Art of McSweeney’s
Art of McSweeney’s
Art of McSweeney’s

Art of McSweeney’s

McSweeney’s Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2010

Description

Project brief: When our friends across town at Chronicle Books approached us to collaborate on a ten-year anniversary book about the art and design of McSweeney's, we jumped at the opportunity. Then it took us a while to figure out what kind of book we had just agreed to make.

It became clear after a little while that the book should be nice to look at, as well as a meaty, educational read for anyone who's ever wanted to know what it's like to publish a book. We wanted to have meaty behind-the-scenes, making-of stories in there for the people who come to McSweeney's primarily as readers, and we wanted to have a lot of artwork and process sketches in there for the people who come to McSweeney's primarily as visual people. We didn't want the images to dominate the storytelling, and we didn't want the story to overwhelm the images. We wanted the text and the images to work together simply and effortlessly.

Approach: Covering roughly the first 11 years of our held-together-by-duct-tape existence, this book tells the stories behind the making of the first 31 issues of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, the founding of The Believer magazine and Wholphin DVD magazine, and the inspiration behind many of our books.

Also included are hundreds of images, interviews with artists and authors such as Chris Ware and Michael Chabon, and a really neat folding jacket/poster covered with 44 stories and 200 drawings by Dave Eggers on one side, and dozens of Charles Burns-drawn faces on the other.

Effectiveness: We were very very happy when Chronicle liked the book, and they did a fantastic job of promoting and distributing it.

Juror Notes

Is it going overboard to say that this book gives me hope for the future of books in general? I think not, because it does.

Collections: 50 Books/50 Covers of 2010
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book
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