FRAME BY FRAME: The Helly Hansen Annual Report

September 23rd, 2009

Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Note: This project was completed as a class assignment at the Art Institute of Seattle. This was not done directly for Helly Hansen (though it would be very rad if HH took a liking to it). I hope that in some way the sharing of my process may be of inspiration to you.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been showing sneak peeks of projects that I’m working on via Twit-pics and now its here. If you’re just tuning into the blog, you can follow on twitter to see things that don’t make the blog.

The Objective

Before diving into the process, let me define the project. The goal of the project was to choose an existing company and create a minimum of 28 pages, bound, and at least 6 x 7″ or larger publication. The publication was to be an annual report about the company; presenting who they were in the industry and their financial success. The financial section of the project was required to have at least 6 to 7 pages of tabled financial data.

The company I chose was Helly Hansen and there were several reasons why. Every project that I do for an assignment (if I have the opportunity to choose), I like to choose companies that are easy to work with based on their branding. I also like to consider what options I have when working with their logo as well as the photography of the project.

Wanken Shelby White Designographer

Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Wanken Shelby White Designographer

The Concept

The most important thing to me was to portray the report close enough alongside their branding, that it would fit within. If you look closely at the Helly Hansen logo, you’ll see that the two H’s are separated by an angle. Each spread uses that angle is echoed lightly throughout the entire report.

The second idea I used took the logo’s height and width to determine the size of the annual report. To do this I enlarged the logo roughly 600% until the width reached 8.5″. This idea alone drives the report.

The third most important idea of my concepts was to put a small change on the images that were shown throughout the report. For those who may not know, Helly Hansen’s product line was originally and still remains focused on performance gear for boating and heavy outdoor use.

The Photography

Since photography remains dear to me, it was only right that I go the extra mile (or 13.6 for that matter) to get the shots myself. Check out the photos from the shoots in this next, Frame by Frame clip (view in High Quality).

Instead of showing stock imagery or images gathered by HH themselves, I shot my own style with regards to what was appropriate for the report. Over 1,000 images were shot for the project (usually I’d shoot more) but only 15 were used in the publication. I felt like this is a pretty high percentage of keepers to tossers.

The Cover & Binding

To start the building of the cover, I purchased Gorilla glue (Home Depot), Vinyl/Fake Leather (JoAnn’s Fabrics) and Basswood (Utrecht). The following images show just how I made each piece.

Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Wanken Shelby White Designographer
I utilized a laser cutter to etch/carve the logo into the front cover. Once again you see the angled lines echoed both on the front and on the back covers along with “ANNUAL REPORT” on the front and “HELLYHANSEN.COM” on the back.

Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Wanken Shelby White Designographer

Having never worked with perfect-binding a book before, I did my research online on the materials needed, clamping it, gluing it and also attaching it to the covers. A lot of the process is very simple and straightforward if you have another book or pictures to reference while you build yours.

Wanken Shelby White Designographer
Wanken Shelby White Designographer


I would have to say, I am very satisfied with how the overall piece turned out and I can’t wait to try the whole process again. Lets turn it over to you since this post is for you. If you enjoy what I’ve done here, let me know–feedback is always welcomed.

Thank you to Greg & Brooke Miller and also to David Cole for helping out as the talent in some of the photos that were used.

Posted by on 09/23/09 in Design, Portfolio, Process, Showcased Work

80 COMMENTS   »  Leave your Comment

  1. Shaun says:

    You are such a badass. Some hot work right there. Damn.

  2. Shelby, beautiful stuff. The attention to detail and over-delivery would be impressive on a “real” project; the fact that you did all this for a student project makes it that much more awesome.

    Our open invitation still stands for you to come back and hang out at the long table anytime.


  3. Turned out awesome! Love the wooden cover, laser-cut logo came out super sharp.

    Great job!

  4. Matt McIver says:

    Great work Shelby! Always amazes me what you come up with. You executed the design and photography very well. I love the handmade cover. Where did you get that laser etched at?

    Keep it up!

    Matt McIver
    Fstop13 Photography

  5. Yuriy says:

    That’s awesome. I’m beyond impressed. You’ve got talent Shelby.

  6. stephen says:

    this is WWWWWAAAAAAYYYYY awesome.

  7. Dave says:

    Great work. This looks tight. Great video editing too. I love a good process log like this!

  8. ivan says:

    how long did it take to (physically) make the portfolio? (not including the photography, design, etc..)

  9. The actual building of the cover took me a couple days because of drying time (I was extra careful). If I was to combine the time of each gluing session it wouldve only been about a day.

    I’ve learned a lot about building and binding.

  10. Skelley says:

    Super good job man. I really like the photography in it, it’s cool that you made sure to go out and get all the shots yourself. The cover is also way rad, but that’s a given of course right! I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future.

  11. GlenStef says:

    Greatings, Can i take a one small photo from your blog?

  12. man that’s some awesome work, the cover’s got such a cool old school look.
    great work shelby.

  13. Great work man! I love the process shots, it really shows the hard work that went into this. Let me know when you have the bbq… I’m in.

  14. […] WANKEN | Blog FRAME BY FRAME: The Helly Hansen Annual Report – […]

  15. […] the process of designing the report at the source. Advertise with Design You Trust! – DYT on Twitter – Facebook Share this on […]

  16. Eivind M. says:

    Increadibly beautiful! Nice work :)

    Seen on twitter.. :)

  17. […] Quan creus amb el teu projecte, el més important es ser constant…  PELL+ FUSTA, ens sona d’ alguna cosa? Si voleu veure més podeu visitar el blog […]

  18. Josh Bradley says:

    Rad work dude! That looks like fun.
    Next time you are in Portland you’ll have to get a hold me.

    Idaho (Washington) pride!

  19. Josh–

    Thanks! I should be heading back down there sometime soon.
    Let’s keep in touch.

  20. Shelby, that is fricken’ hot. Love the colour and the wooden covers are class. It’s got all the polish, finish and simplicity I love, well done.

  21. this was done for a class assignment?? well done!

  22. doug sheets says:

    great work, I am glad to see you got the cover to work (very nicely) How long did it take the IDT people to cut it out?

    Cool to see you are still hanging out with D.C.

  23. The laser cut took about a half hour. The laser spread can be “blurred” so that it covers a little more area but it still is quite small.

  24. Ray J. says:

    Incredible. When I first glanced at this post I kept asking myself, “what part did he put together?” Was it the text, graphics, images, binding, etc…? As I read more and more and slowly realized that you put the whole thing together from start to finish I was blown away. Great job man. Keep up the rad work.

  25. Kaarin S says:

    this is incredible. even down to the book covers, all of it, SO amazing. way to work.

  26. […] Awesome class project with process by Shelby White. I’m always a sucker for engraved wood. More pics and making of here. 0 Comments »   |  Share on Facebook  |  Tweet This  |   var object = SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title:'share', summary: 'Share this post'}, {button:false}); document.write('Share'); var element = document.getElementById("share"); object.attachButton(element); […]

  27. NAVIS says:

    DUDE. That is seriously awesome. I want to make my photography portfolio out of wood but have no idea how to make a book and don’t have access to a kickass laser machine. Perhaps when I gain some more cash I can hire you to make me one of these bad boys for my port. LOVE it. And Helly Hansen is such a great company to choose too.

  28. Rent says:

    amazing work here. really love the entire project throughout.

  29. Andy Mangold says:

    An absolutely stunning piece! My only complaint is the use of fake leather and basswood, which I think undermines the authenticity of the design. Real leather and some nice walnut or mahogany would not have been much more expensive and would have been the cherry on top for me.

    Keep up the great work.

  30. Andy Mangold says:

    Also, quick follow up, it is heartbreaking to know that it was perfect bound as well! A sewn binding would definitely stand the test of time, but I fear this will be fragile!

  31. That is some serious binding there…

  32. Ian Houghton says:

    Mate, that’s beautiful. Really nice work, and HH should really be keeping you in mind for the future ;)

  33. Spencer says:

    Amazing work. I am submitting a portfolio soon for review to get into a design program down here in california (im assuming your in seattle?), might have to do something similiar with the wood/laser engraving idea. Looks very clean.

  34. Andy–

    The problem I had was that I couldn’t find a place that had smaller pieces. Most wanted to sell full boards and I only needed two small pieces. I take it you’re knowledgeable when it comes to woods & binding; I will have to consult with you next time I’ve working on a project like this.


    I am in Seattle. I would love to see what you come up with for your portfolio.

  35. Kyle says:

    I am a graphic design instructor at Ai in Salt Lake City. Does your school have the laser cutter?

  36. ben says:

    I was on ISO 50 site and came across this- very nice and like scott said he’s a sucker for wood grain, so am I. The wood cover was perfect for this project. also loved seeing the whole design process- It tells the true story behind how it was created. Nice work.

  37. Mark C. says:

    This project is beyond cool! Excellent job! You have a great blog; I just bookmarked it. I became aware of this site through Scott Hansen’s blog, by the way; just in case you’d like to know.

  38. Siiiiiiiiiick!!!!!

  39. blackabee says:

    beautiful work.

  40. […] funny sometimes what areas of a project get sketched the most. For example, the HH Annual Report project I did, had more sketches about binding the book, than the design itself. Some of my other […]

  41. […] and pictures as the piece comes together. This has been in my head for a while, but the recent Helly Hanson Annual Report project by Shelby White lit a spark under my […]

  42. […] on his blog you can look at the work in progress… […]

  43. Brad H. says:

    Amazing work. The wood cover was a very nice touch.

  44. jon says:

    Beautiful piece of work- I appreciate your presentation of the process and it shows the dedication. Your post inspired me:

  45. I love it when a student goes above and beyond for their assignment and this is exactly what you’ve done. Very nice work Shelby!

  46. Buhl says:

    Amazing work. I love the photographs and the style. Friggin’ swell!

  47. Fantastic work man! Looks even better in person, and I love that you added process photos. VERY professional.

  48. kris says:

    Super clean work! Nice attention to detail.

  49. Julia says:

    Hi Shelby. Yuriy just told me to check out your blog. I’m going to school for graphic design and it was so neat to see and read the steps you took for this project. Bookmarked your blog.

  50. Julia–Thanks for tuning in and bookmarking the blog. What school are you going to for design?

  51. Boldis Media says:

    Wow and cool in Vegas! Really good annual report!

  52. Simply put, that’s surgical execution. Amazing.

  53. Jessica says:

    That is.. intense.

    Lovely. Amazing. Work.

  54. […] When sifting through the 900 or so images I shot, I couldn’t bring myself to edit them heavily. I was really just feeling the raw power and how it was more engaging than some over processed business such as the over used and abused Dave Hill style. It felt good to get out and shoot more and it’s about that time of year when I should get my photo portfolio online and do some more shooting like in the Helly Hansen Annual. […]

  55. Jay says:

    Great Job! Looking through annual report ideas and came upon your blog.

    The design is awesome. Just not too fond of the color choices of black and brown. Just a personal preference, I just don’t think black and brown together looks good, kinda tacky. Haha. But overall, you did a great job man, I love the creativity.

  56. Awesome work, very well done indeed. Nice to see some real craft going into this work.

  57. Thanos says:


    This is a great piece of work indeed!
    Is it possible to tell me what is the name of the font you are using?
    Many thanks

  58. Shelby White says:

    @Thanos, Helly Hansen uses DIN as their primary typeface.

  59. Jim Li says:

    This is still the BEST piece indeed from all the years that I have been teaching at AIS.

  60. Shelby White says:

    Thank you. It was a pleasure to be able to create this project in your class!

  61. Caroline says:

    I love this a lot. When I graduate with my Graphic Design degree in the spring, I think I might have to try this for assembling my portfolio. Very fine work. I’m impressed with all the work you put in!

  62. ayad says:

    i must try this at home, this is very inspirational!

  63. Martin Craster says:

    Hey, Awesome book. How did you bind the pages to the wood, if you dont mind me asking? Very curious.



  64. JRAY says:

    You you make me look like a dick. Beautiful.

  65. Paris Vega says:

    Wow. I’ve seen this on your site before, but I just realized that you made the cover yourself. Really inspiring to see thorough execution like this.

  66. […] I’m ready to print my next one.You can read the write-up in Shelby’s words on his blog here. BindingHelly HansenPrintShelby […]

  67. […] Rate this: Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in […]

  68. […] af rapportens udseende samt billeder og film om den s tilblivelse kan læses og ses på Wankens […]

  69. shane toomey says:

    I dont suppose you have any links to the sites that you used for references whilst binding your book, I have 6 weeks left of university and after seeing your book, it has inspired me to make one of my own for my degree show, any tips would be super helpful.

    also, your blog is awesome. keep it up

  70. […] FRAME BY FRAME: The Helly Hansen Annual Report | WANKEN – The Art & Design blog of Shelby …. Share this:Google +1FacebookLinkedInTwitter Add your comment 0 Responses to this post Add your comment […]

  71. Billy says:

    Wow really impressive.

  72. […] The Helly Hansen Annual Report […]

  73. […] Für alle die etwas mehr darüber erfahren wollen können hier klicken! […]

  74. Tori says:

    A simple and inelitlgent point, well made. Thanks!

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