Monday, 25 June 2012

A book that looks low-budget and homemade, but isn't

I wanted to include this very strange book about jewellery, published by a German publisher. Firstly, here's what you assume is the cover:

However, here's the book's actual cover:
click to see dots that make up the image.
The image is made out of lots of little dots and seems to be a knife handle wrapped with wire. The grainy image quality is continued throughout the book. Here's a shot of that shows the general low-resolution quality of the images (this is quite hard to capture in an image displayed on a computer screen):
This low-res image quality is clearly a deliberate design choice, possibly to give the feel of a 'home-made' documentary. The low quality images also tie in with the 'raw' coverboards and 'naked' spine. It's a wee bit pretentious, as I imagine it was much more expensive to have all these 'naked' details than it would have been to produce a more conventional-format book.

Another interesting design choice is the layout of the text panels:
There is a huge top margin, and equally-sized bottom and side margins. The measure is also very wide - 102 characters by my count. The normal 'comfortable' range for reading running text is 45-75 characters per line. This is well outside that - possible the huge top margin is to help balance this out, but it is still hard to read all the way to the end of each line.

Update 27 July
I forgot to add that, although pretentious, I think the unconventional format works for this book. It's targeted at a very niche market - contemporary jewellery designers - and the deliberate pushing of boundaries is likely to appeal to this audience.

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