It goes without saying that I love books. I love to read books. And I love to design books. Book Fairs are a Mecca for me. I can spend hours, even days, perusing through everything from beautiful leather bound and gold gilded antiquities to hot-off-the-press limited editions, looking for design and material inspiration. Since book fairs have been cancelled or moved online, I’ve had the chance to revisit my personal collection over the past year. Here is a short list of some of my favourite book fair finds that I have collected over the past decade.
This book "collects the responses of international graphic designers to the same brief–to lay out the first page of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, a text that directly references lettering as Pip searches for clues about his family from the letterforms inscribed on their tombstone.” This book is a favourite of mine as it allows me a glimpse into the minds of 70 designers to see how they would each approach the design—from classically traditional to boldly conceptual to just plain wacky.
Legendary, Lexical, Loquacious Love
Karen Reimer and Sally Alatalo
“How would a love story exist without a narrative structure or plot line?" The answer is an alphabetized romance novel where all of the words from an existing book are sorted from A to Z. You’d be surprised at the outcome! “Alatalo used the alphabet—an arbitrary, non-hierarchical ordering convention—for its objective unemotional character, which places it at odds with the subjective emotional character of romance novels.” I appreciate how such a simple ordering device, the alphabet, can really unearth society’s notions of love and romance so clearly.
I am a sucker for a good erasure poem—especially this one, in which, over 50 years after the moon landing in 1969, “poet Ken Hunt utilizes NASA’s Apollo 11 voice transcription document, a chronicle of the first 6 days of the that mission, to create The Odyssey, an erasure poem of star charts carved from the technical jargon and offhand remarks found in that transmission”. I love how the type dances on the page like stars in the vast negative space left behind by what has been removed.
If you’ve ever gone down a stock photo wormhole, you’ll appreciate the absurdity of this book. "David Horvitz’s Sad, Depressed, People looks at a set of images circulating within stock photography collections. These photographs, in which actors are photographed holding their heads in their hands, ostensibly depressed, are here shown to contain a bizarre tension between their status as stock images and their supposedly emotional content.”
How I Learned to Love
Would you still love me? This simple but complicated question appears over and over and over, on every spread of the book. If I was broke? If I made a mistake? If I broke your heart? A sweet but heartbreaking little publication that asks the questions we may not speak but likely think.
As one woman design studio Lauren partners with artists and cultural institutions to create a broad range of materials with a focus on publication design. A graduate of OCAD and Parsons School of Design, Lauren cultivates the next generation of designers as a faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Design Strategy and Graphic Design programs at George Brown College’s School of Design, as well as the Communication Studies and Multimedia program at McMaster University. Outside of the studio Lauren is a founding member of Collective Form, a community of commercial artists who aim to foster relationships by hosting events that build a robust community for emerging and longstanding visual communications professionals.
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