#35 BOOK DESIGNS
Issue #35 of GRAPHIC explores contemporary book design. It is the final one that completes “The Book Trilogy” of GRAPHIC as originally intended, following #30 Publishers and #33 Bookshops. It features interviews with eleven designers/studios along with their comments on some books that they have designed. Six others contributed their own sections using their creativity to show their book design practices.
“Book designs in the era of e-books” would probably be an appropriate subtitle for this issue. It would also be good to call e-books as online archiving space where there is neither beginning nor ending. The space which provides tremendous amount of reading materials by updating them in real time is changing the publishing industry and the readers while even altering the nature of the book. What meaning does book design hold in the environment where the entire reading culture is facing a sudden change by this digital technology? Although it may be a stock topic, but from a practical point of view, we wanted to invite designers from all over the world to listen to their valuable opinions on book designing in our times and to learn from their experience what stance the designers should take in making books.
The seventeen designers/studios featured in the issue are experienced designers mostly working for independent and art publishers, who are also acknowledged for their achievement in their field. Some run their own studios, some work for big publishing houses, and some do both. We have willingly invited some designers who are young and less known, and it was because we wanted this issue to be an eclectic collection of the words from designers in order to truly reflect the changing status of contemporary book design. As a result, on this issue are densely engraved some sharp individual diagnosis on current trends in book making, seemingly similar but slightly varying opinions on the role of book design in our times, and some representative examples of designing practices.
If there is one thing you should know to better understand this issue, it is that this issue is the final one that completes “The Book Trilogy” of GRAPHIC as originally intended, following #30 Publishers published in the summer of 2014 and #33 Bookshops published in the spring of 2015. Through this project in which we have invited critical participants in the ecology of contemporary independent and art publishing—including ten publishers, twenty bookshops and seventeen designers—we meant to deeply investigate the book, which is not only a vessel of knowledge and ideas but also the very outcome of graphic design. We believe that looking at book design from an ecological perspective, or looking at it in a context in which books are produced and distributed can help bring out new ideas about book designing or at least broaden one’s outlook.
We express our gratitude to the eleven designers/studios that accepted our interview and six others who contributed their own sections using their creativity to show their book design practices. We now end “The Book Trilogy.” We also appreciate again to all the publishers and bookshops, the contributors to the two previous issues. We are confident that books will remain undiminished.
Aaron Nieh, Andy Pressman, Aude Lehmann, Chad Kloepfer, Geoff Han, Gilles Gavilletm, Ingo Offermanns, John Mogan, Joris Kritis,
Joost Grootens, Julia Hasting, Lamm & Kirch, Mirko Borsche,
Nina Ulmaja, Paul Sahre, Thomas Petitjean, VARV VARV