Introducing... Modern Ruins

Introducing... Modern Ruins

Pre-order Modern Ruins now


“Human cultures will pass, given time, of which there is sufficiency. The ivy will snake and unrig our flats and terraces, as it scattered the Roman villas.”
- Robert Macfarlane



I have always been enamoured with ruins.

My home country Ireland is full of them, a standing history in ivy-clad stones. That is surely part of what drew me back to this place, my birthplace, after many years away. A connection to the ancient – what author Robert Macfarlane refers to as deep time.

The shot of me above was taken in 2018 during an exploration of the remains of Ballycarbery Castle, perched along the coast of scenic County Kerry. I was so bewitched by the place, the jagged irregularity of its silhouette against the sky, the dense thicket of green blanketing its walls.

Stone balanced upon stone, hanging on for dear life. Buildings are fated to resemble their builders. Buildings possess bones, skeletons, even faces (hence, ‘facade’). Engaging with architecture is interpersonal, deeply so.



Though our previous output has focussed extensively on virtual worlds (namely, the work of Japanese game developer FromSoftware), there is a continuity between our earlier projects and Modern Ruins. Video games are liberally sprinkled with – and constructed Lego-style from – ruins, unlocking for all the opportunity to explore such melancholy spaces. Even those trapped in just-built, copy-paste suburbs, which I was for a time during my teenage years.

In Tune & Fairweather’s debut release, You Died, I wrote, “To spend any time with Dark Souls is to become intimately acquainted with ruins… This is the game’s speciality: provide clues as to the broader shape and leave inquisitive minds to the job of filling in the connective ligament. Dark Souls’ designers understand the power of an artful tease.”



When I discovered the work of London-based photographer Robin Hudson, I knew I had found somebody who not only shared my obsession with ruins, but actively carved out time to photograph them. His urban exploration around the UK and mainland Europe had generated a library of images that set my brain on fire. The symmetry of his framing. The technical ingenuity of capturing vast ballrooms without fish-eye distortions. Naturally, I hoped for the chance to build an equally grand structure in which to showcase them.

And now, in close partnership with Robin, we have. That book, we are proud to announce, is called Modern Ruins. The book’s layout is 100% complete and already winging its way to our printer in Italy for late-summer manufacture.


I value texture – that's why I've devoted my career to print publishing – and the grit of these images deserves a rough uncoated design paper with a bit of friction. The crumbling walls, invading foliage, rusty ironwork, accumulated sand. In short, the recipe for my ideal art book.

If you've been following our work for a little while, you will appreciate that this book is something of a departure for us in terms of subject matter. Our interests have always been promiscuous, of course, and we hope that collectors who appreciate how Tune & Fairweather leverages print as an artistic medium might consider adding Modern Ruins to their own cabinet of curiosities.

As we plan to have this title delivered before Christmas, it would make an extravagant gift for a loved one... provided they own a suitably large coffee table.

Jason Killingsworth
Founder, Tune & Fairweather


Pre-order Modern Ruins now



Modern Ruins is a luxurious large-format art book containing 250+ photographs by acclaimed London-based photographer Robin Hudson.

Part of the urban-exploration (a.k.a. 'urbex') community, Robin travels to remote locations – sanatoriums, hilltop villas, monasteries, hotel hideaways, vineyard farmhouses, decommissioned factories – to document magnificent or historically significant architecture from the recent past that has fallen into decline and sits abandoned awaiting demolition... or possibly renovation. Some of the locations in Modern Ruins have collapsed since being photographed so their memory lives on in this collection. Let your imagination roam as you mingle with the ghosts inhabiting these elegiac, time-forgotten spaces.



  • We have designed Modern Ruins to be a coffee-table art piece that visitors to your home will tip open with reverence and curiosity. To this end, we’ve wrapped the book in a weighty 170gsm translucent dust jacket that partially obscures the cover imagery. Modern Ruins invites exploration, manifesting the ‘artful tease’ referenced above. White UV printing on the dust jacket adds a touch of refinement, a pristine counter-balance to the dirt and decay within. The tension of opposites, a recurring theme in our work.

  • Part of what we love about books is the emotional resonance of touch. For our ‘elegant decline’ endpaper motif, we have invested in a sensuous Colorplan paper stock from UK supplier G.F Smith with a “Sandgrain” embossing. The wall depicted was photographed by Robin on location during one of his trips. We hope readers will brush their hand across these endpapers. We designed them with your fingertips in mind.

  • We are blind debossing a custom texture of weathered stone into the book’s spine. On a typical print job, you would never apply such a technique after the offset printing of metallic-silver spine text because of the inevitable damage to the printed area of the sheet. In the case of Modern Ruins, any resulting “damage” is an intended feature rather than a defect. The gnarlier the better, frankly.

  • We invested in heavier greyboards for Modern Ruins' casing (3.5mm instead of the usual 3.0mm) in order to underscore the feeling of solidity you get in the featured architecture. The covers of this book have the heft of a structure built to endure and be appreciated for generations.

  • Departing from the bold colour palettes of previous projects, it’s been a joy to lean into an array of delicate pastels – as if tipping open a box of French macarons. The calligraphic swoops and slender lines of the book’s display font adds to this aura of romance, whimsy and lightness.
  • At roughly 13 inches in height and 11 inches in width, Modern Ruins is the largest book we’ve ever produced. In order to preserve the centre-justified chandeliers and altarpieces of Robin’s immaculately framed photographs, we needed extra width to comfortably shift them clear of the book’s ‘gutter’ where their decorative minutiae would be obscured. The amount of details in these photographs is crazy. We want you to get lost in the finest details without needing to squint.

  • Collectors of Modern Ruins will receive, at random, one of three cover variants. Each cover image is accompanied by a unique-coloured pastel Surbalin covering in three-quarter binding (spine & reverse).

    The urban exploration that Robin does contains an essential element of surprise that we want to bake into the experience of unboxing this volume. ‘Cover roulette’, you might call it. An opportunity to embrace uncertainty. Each carton of Modern Ruins arriving at our warehouse will be a shuffled deck.

    Which cover variant will greet you when your copy arrives?

  • Ruins have an unavoidable philosophical dimension. So we feature a variety of palate-cleansing spread between each section featuring a reflection on transience from thinkers – living and dead – such as Alain de Botton, Robert McFarlane, Rumi and others. The background textures on these pages also feature sensory textures from Robin’s close-up photography.

[Text in above image: "There is something ghostly in all great art... It touches something within us that relates to infinity." - Lafcadio Hearn]

Pre-order Modern Ruins now



  • 13" x 11" inches (32 x 27cm)
  • 324 full-colour pages plus intermission gatefold spread
  • Typeset in Galliard with Saol as display
  • Three-quarter bound hardcover in Geltex Seda (unique pastel shade with each cover variant)
  • Flat spine blind-blocked with custom weathered texture
  • Printed endpapers on G.F Smith Colorplan paper with special "Sandgrain" emboss
  • Printed on high-bulk uncoated 140gsm Arena Rough Italian design paper
  • Dust jacket printed white UV on 170gsm Polyedra Satin translucent stock



- Are there any pre-order bonuses?

Yes. Anybody who pre-orders in the first month of the pre-order campaign, ending July 29th 2023, will get a FREE digital version of Modern Ruins (€15 value), which will arrive promptly at the close of the pre-order campaign.

- Is there any way to sample the book before purchasing?

Yes. There is a digital sampler of Modern Ruins (40+ pages of the book showcasing final layout) that can be downloaded free of charge. We hope this will give you a better sense of the book's content and design approach so you can pre-order with confidence.

- When will physical copies of Modern Ruins arrive?

The print-ready layout is already completed and ready to go into production. Because this book makes such a great gift, we are on track to have the final book manufactured and delivered by December of 2023. As with our other projects, we will share production updates along the way so you can observe the progress.

Pre-order Modern Ruins now

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