Transforming the Common/Place: Selections from Laurie Olin’s Sketchbooks

Transforming the Common/Place: Selections from Laurie Olin’s Sketchbooks

Hecht Design, Arlington, Massachusetts, 1996


Landscape architect Laurie Olin is highly respected for his sketch style and his use of sketching as a design tool. The intent of this book is to describe and document Olin’s style and design process through his sketch explorations. The “landscape” (i.e., horizontal) format and scale of the book are similar to Olin’s actual sketchbooks. The book is written for students of landscape architecture, design professionals, and architectural historians.

Despite a tight budget and production limitations, Transforming the Common/Place holds together as a design. The original sketchbook pages and details reproduced were of uneven quality; halftones were made from 8 x 10 glossy copystand photographs rather than original artwork; the black-and-white halftones were made from color originals; the paper is a grade 2 stock; and we were restricted to b/w and one flat color for printing. Our challenge was to exercise these limiting production values and create as much interest as possible. I think that wrapping the book in an interesting manner—with a hot stamped cover, unusual printed endpapers, and no dust jacket—influences the reader’s experience of the rest of the book.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 1996
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book


Design firm
Hecht Design
Art director
Alice Hecht
Alice Hecht, Sarah Smith
Brook Hodge, Peter Rowe, John Dixon Hunt, Laurie Olin
Meta, Monotype Perpetua
Bolger Publications
Weyerhaeuser Cougar Opaque
Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Princeton Architectural Press