Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas

Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas

University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2010

Description

Project brief: Infinite City is a cartographic ode to San Francisco, proposing the idea of the inexhaustible richness of any place. The book was published as a joint project between UC Press and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The creation of Infinite City involved more than 25 people, and the final product included not just the book but also a series of limited-edition broadsides and numerous lectures and events that ran for six months in conjunction with SFMOMA’s 75th anniversary. Lia Tjandra was responsible for the overall design, liaising with 12 artists and two cartographers to create maps that are informative as well as aesthetically dazzling.

Approach: The maps are the focus of this book. The designer, Lia, created a process to work with the cartographers, researchers, artists, fact checkers, artists and the author in a manageable way. You could say that Lia was the hub of the wheel. Because there were so many contributors, she realized that the maps could go out of control and look wildly different from one another. The result successfully hit the sweet spot between having each map shine as an individual gem and making the book look cohesive. For the cover, we wanted a utilitarian, raw look because the ultimate goal for this book is for people to use them, to throw them in backpacks and embark on myriads of adventures in San Francisco.

Effectiveness: Infinite City is one of UC Press’s current best-selling books. We can’t print fast enough to meet demand. It has recently been adopted as the University of San Francisco’s Freshman Read for their 2011 fall semester. The author, Rebecca Solnit, has recently won the Northern California Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. The success of this book has prompted the author to create an atlas series featuring other U.S. cities.

Juror Notes

This book is a remarkable feat: an exhaustive presentation of a city’s layers without becoming precious.

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

Credits

Design firm
University of California Press
Art director
Lia Tjandra
Designer
Lia Tjandra
Jacket designer
Lia Tjandra
Illustrator
Various
Cartographers
Ben Pease, Shizue Seigel
Production coordinator
Sam Rosenthal
Author
Rebecca Solnit
Publisher
University of California Press
Trim size
7 x 12
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