My good friend Hamish Robertson invited me to be a part of his first foray into self-publishing with his new paperback zine Afterzine. The zine is 112 pages and is centered around the interpretation of the theme “negative space”, which was also the first assignment he was given as a student at Leeds College of Art. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece of work with a ton of great contributors like Peter Saville, Joseph Sullivan, Alexa Chung, Tavi Gevinson and about 20 or so other contributors. You can see my piece below, a collage I put together that felt very much like negative space. So far it’s on sale in all kinds of cool shops (I spotted it at Skylight Books) or you can order it online by clicking here.
Stop-motion is one of the mediums that never fails to impress me. The sheer amount of time and effort put into making still images appear to move when combined is something that I certainly don’t have the patience for. But the folks over at Andersen M Studio certainly do as evidenced by the video above, created for the New Zealand Book Council. What they’ve done is animate a piece of Maurice Gee’s book Going West, creating a piece that’s both enthralling but also kinda’ creepy in the Nightmare Before Christmas kinda’ way. Just watch and see how crazy they got with the details, like the tumbleweeds and towns and every other little detail.
One of my very talented friends Matt Allard, along with co-collaborator and illustrator Ian Dingman, has released a new book called To Slow Down The Time: Stories. The book takes a really interesting, somewhat backwards approach. Instead of Matt writing the stories and Ian creating illustrations, Matt was actually inspired by Ian’s art and created stories around his pieces. It makes for a great and interesting read, seeing how Matt interprets Ian’s images and crafts these great, short stories. Ian’s drawings are also quite charming and are filled with detail and character, as evidenced above.
It’s also worth mentioning that Matt and Ian published the book themselves which is an endeavor all in it’s own. I’ve already poured over my copy and it’s great to see them follow through with this passion project.
In the same vein as so many of my friends and acquaintances I have a love/hate relationship with Swedish homewares giant IKEA; however, I love everything about their new book of baking recipes, Hembakat är Bäst (Homemade Is Best). Styled by Evelina Bratell and photographed by Carl Kleiner, the cookbook’s photography eschews only presenting the finished dish in favour of also capturing the ingredients in artfully arranged still life imagery. It’s a little like deconstructed food photography where intricately displayed piles of sugar, egg yolks and vanilla pods are works of art. As far as I can tell the book is only available in instore in Sweden, but hopefully it will also be released internationally. At least my stomach hopes so.
On a lot of blogs and in popular culture lately people are looking to the past for their inspiration. We have Mad Men on TV or blogs dedicated to Penguin covers, hell, I’m just as guilty of doing this. So it’s really refreshing to see the folks at IDEO taking a look at the future of books, coming up with some exciting, though possibly confusing ideas. They’ve created three different book interfaces that would work with a tablet computer, Nelson, Coupland and Alice, each having their own strengths and unique primary task.
I think my favorite of the bunch is Alice, which takes reading books to the next level but allowing you to interact with the story, taking photos, visiting areas in your town to unlock special chapters and communicating with your mobile phone. My only real beef with these is that there doesn’t seem to be any sort of thought around navigation, which is essential to making a users experience a good one. I don’t want to poo poo this project in any way, I think it’s a great idea and I’d love to see more forward thinking like this.