Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life
Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life
Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life
Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life
Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life

Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2003

Description

So many recent books on design look overdesigned. Is there room for something more subtle, more substantial than ephemeral? For this book we wanted to reflect the spirit of its content, which was an exhibition that explores how designers can use commonplace materials and transform spaces and objects in new ways. The resulting catalog reflects this in its form, materials, and typography. It is an “archetypal” book, or the essence of a book—seemingly conventional, yet not quite conformist. Its size, shape and weight suggest a novel or trade paperback but its choice of typography, paper, and binding are closer to a classically designed book. In this way, it participates in the idea of the exhibition completely: the familiarity of the book’s form is simultaneously undermined and reinforced by its unexpected content. The book includes a series of essays by the exhibition curator and other writers that place the exhibition’s themes in the broader context of contemporary design.

There are many ways (not all monetary) to analyze the impact of the publication, but the book continues to sell well and has helped promote the exhibition to potential tour audiences as far away as Japan.

Juror Notes

“Our jury really liked this book—especially the cover and half jacket, which play thoughtfully with the ‘Strangely Familiar’ in design. Yet, while the front and back matter are beautifully and classically handled, they don’t push either buttons or boundaries. A slight awkwardness on the inside—matching that on the outside—would have been welcomed.” Cheryl Towler Weese

“Competent typography but not innovative. I liked the packaging of this.” Archie Ferguson

Collections: 50 Books/50 Covers of 2003
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book

Credits

Design firm
Walker Art Center
Creative director
Andrew Blauvelt
Designer
Alex DeArmond
Production coordinator
Lisa Middag
Author
Andrew Blauvelt
Editors
Pamela Johnson, Kathleen McLean
Publisher
Walker Art Center
Trim size
6 1/8 x 8 11/16 “
Pages
344
Quantity printed
4,500
Typefaces
Akzidenz Grotesk, Minion
Printer
Dr. Cantz’sche Druckerei
Papers
Munken Print 90 gsm, BVS matte 135 gsm, F-Color 120 gsm Rosso
Binding method
Smyth sewn
Book type
Image driven
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