Between the Pages: ‘Firewood and Reject’

1 month ago by

In this interview series we sit down with some of the designers and illustrators behind some of Aotearoa NZ’s self published books to discuss their design/illustration processes and take a look into the print specs behind their projects. 

This week we take a look into the children’s book, ‘Firewood and Reject’ which took the illustrator/author, Philip Peacock, 12 years to create.

This series is proudly sponsored by Bookprint.

Ask for the Bookprint DA Designer Service, to receive an extra copy of proofs (one to keep and and for your client), and an extra copy of the final book for your design office.


Where and what did you take inspiration from during your illustration process? 

This “Firewood and Reject” book started when I turned sixty-four. The intended six-month project, turned into a wonderful twelve-year journey. 

I had been a photographer and TVC director in the world of advertising where I always had to consider the “client”.  Whereas this book has been written and drawn with no expectations or obligations to anyone else. 

The thrust of the book shares an honest belief worth considering.

“Forgiveness” has much to offer to the forgiver.

There were no economic restrictions on the scenery or characters I could draw.  Scenes and locations are included that would be very costly to construct for still photos, or a movie.

The drawings were produced with just a BIC ballpoint pen on sheets of regular paper. These items are available to almost every child in the rich and the poor nations of the world. 

Not being a strong reader, I knew I would struggle hopelessly to write a structured story.   So, I wrote poetry which allowed me to delightfully jump about everywhere.  

For me Firewood and Reject was a great ride, freedom with no deadline.  

For the print nerds, what are the print tech specs for this project: 

  • Binding: Hardcover, Casebound, Smythe Sewn
  • Paper: Royal Offset Hi-Brite, Printed CMYK for rich blacks

BookPrint talk us through the importance of professional grading the ‘Firewood & Reject’ illustrations for print:

BP: “He’s had them professionally graded so that the greys are right and the blacks are fully saturated so each image looks nicely balanced in terms of blacks, whites, and greys as you go from page to page.”

Why did you ultimately opt to print this book within Aotearoa, rather than overseas? 

Deciding eventually, it was time to print, I marched off with a mock-up of the book and met David Brown at BookPrint in Auckland.  His care, service and timing preparing the book for print were perfect. When he handed me the finished book it was so much better than I had imagined.


Ask for the Bookprint DA Designer Service, to receive an extra copy of proofs (one to keep and and for your client), and an extra copy of the final book for your design office. 

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