McSweeney’s No. 16

McSweeney’s No. 16

McSweeney’s Publishing, San Francisco, California, 2005

Description

We began by just fooling around, tearing and folding various scraps of paper. We wanted to create something that initially appeared like a fairly ordinary book, with book dimensions, a spine, etc.—and then mess with that as much as possible. Once we settled on the four-pocket format, we then searched for content that would make it necessary—four different categories of material, works that required a pocket, etc. It all came together serendipitously.


Since the overall package was fairly ridiculous, we tried to keep the aesthetics restrained, almost austere. We had always wanted to use one of Joanna Davis’ tree drawings, and the fold-out cover provided a rare opportunity to give it the full space it deserved. Michael Kupperman did brilliantly intricate work on Robert Coover’s card story (each card is slightly different, revealing a different scene in the mystery).

Juror Notes

Another elegant book from Mc Sweeney’s, this one in response to a restriction imposed by their supply of bindings cloth, which resulted in the top band. Straightforward and free of design “moves,” McSweeney’s continues to demonstrate the power of “plain-speaking” design.

Collections: 50 Books/50 Covers of 2005
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book

Credits

Design firm
McSweeney’s Publishing
Creative director/designer
Eli Horowitz
Illustrators
Joanna Davis (trees), Michael Kupperman (cards)
Editor
Eli Horowitz
Trim size
6 x 9 inches
Pages
208, plus 15 cards and 1 comb
Quantity printed
25,000
Typeface
Garamond 3
Printer/binder
Tien Wah Press
Papers
115 gsm Nymolla Woodfree (text), 80 lb. rainbow (lining), saifu (cloth)
Binding method
Perfect
Publisher/client
McSweeney’s
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