Based Upon


Based Upon create objects that reflect the visual and physical history of their clients.Commissioned to make a bespoke desk, they designed one with a series of ‘secret’ drawers, inside one of which would be one-off book telling the story of Based Upon’s curated imagery.


Combining materials with distinct properties and unique behaviours inevitably creates pit falls. Manufacturing a paper book to be held within a wood, leather and metal took precision engineering is a challenge. Understanding how this millimeter-perfect structure might flex, contract and expand over time and in different environments took care, attention and much testing. Running the grain of the text pages in parallel with the spine and allowing the case to overhang means that any expansion and contraction can’t influence the overall dimensions of the book.


  • Case bound in the same well-tanned leather as used on the desk.
  • 4mm board (instead of our usual 2mm) for increased stability.
  • All the materials were measured within a carrier engineered to the size of the drawer, before being assembled.
  • We achieved a perfect fit with a tolerance of just 1mm and total confidence that the drawer will open freely for many, many years to come.
  • Thanks to Based Upon for sharing their photographs with us.