Unexpected: MK is a high-quality photography art book which was created to celebrate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday in 2017. It was developed by our own copywriter and photographer Gill Prince, and we were delighted to be able to support her in this project by providing our design and production skills. Unexpected: MK was self-published and sponsored by local Milton Keynes businesses.

The Why

A key requirement was that this book should be a beautiful ‘thing’ in its own right, something which people would be proud to display on their coffee tables. We started by asking Gill to send us her six favourite images from the 50 which would appear in the book, and we used these as a base for an initial selection of high level designs.

Unexpected:MK Gill Prince Book
Gill Prince MK50 book

The What

Gill selected two designs, and we then worked these up into more finished artwork for her to make a final decision. At this stage we also considered typography for the title ‘logo’, plus a colour palette to complement the images and create a theme throughout the book. Once the front cover was approved, we moved on to creating artwork for the internal image page spreads, which also featured extracts from old and new Milton Keynes maps.

In tandem with the design phase of the book, we worked closely with our chosen printing partner to create a blank dummy of the book, followed by a full set of proofs for the dust jacket and inside pages, before printing and delivering 1,500 copies. The book has been extremely well received throughout Milton Keynes and is now sold out, while awaiting a reprint!

Unexpected:MK Gill Prince Book
Gill Prince camera rolls

Here are just some of the reactions the stunning Unexpected:MK photo book has received:

“Beautiful Pictures.”
Dan Walker, BBC Breakfast

“Gill’s photographs are lovely, just beautiful.”
Becky Jago, ITV Anglia

“Absolutely fantastic. 10 out of 10, I cannot fault it. You have triumphed Gill, I’m very proud of you. Bravo!”
Charlie Waite

“This book is quite spectacular, I urge you to get a copy.”
Nancy Stevens, MKFM

Gill Prince MK50 photography
Gill Prince MK50 - Book spread 4 - Landscape

“I knew from the start of the project that I wanted Shine to design the book, as having worked with them for 17 years, I know what brilliant creatives they are. I was 100% confident they would come up with a design that not only made Unexpected:MK look totally professional, but also made people want to pick it up and read it – and of course they did. I love how it looks and feels, and the quality of the production is, as Charlie Waite put it, ‘ten out of ten’! Thank you so much to everyone on the team who helped to make it real.”

Gill Prince, Creator of Unexpected:MK

UnexpectedMK 50