Big Up

Big Up

Princeton Architectural Press, New York, New York, 2003


Ben Watts has rapidly emerged as one of today’s top photographers. His collection of photographic moments, captured both on assignment and while working on personal projects, covers a broad range of subjects from street photography to fashion shoots, hip-hop culture to high school wrestlers. Watts’s images not only show the personal visual diary of an artist, they provide a new look at what it means to be young and urban. Often with short notes from himself or his subjects scribbled on the photos, or with bits and pieces from the “site” (an airplane boarding pass, an entry ticket), Watts’s images are put together in fantastic collages and combinations that are humorous and insightful at the same time.

Big Up is Ben Watts’s personal scrapbook reproduced in a large-format book that preserves all the qualities of a photo album. His images—vibrant, energetic, and sensuous—take readers on a photographic journey that stays in mind long after the book has been put down.

Our limited hardcover edition of this extraordinary document was so eagerly sought that all 1,500 copies were reserved before we even released the book. Now we’ve reissued it in an inexpensive paperback format that’s sure to capture the imagination once again.

Juror Notes

“A major book on a minimal artist. Its scale belies its content.” Jack Woody
“Sometimes I just like a book because it inspires me.” Archie Ferguson

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


Design firm
Princeton Architectural Press
Creative director
Deb Wood
Art director
Deb Wood
Ben Watts, Deb Wood
Jacket designers
Ben Watts, Deb Wood
Ben Watts
Production director
Janet Behning
Picture editor
Ben Watts
Ben Watts
Nicola Bednarek
Princeton Architectural Press
Trim size
11.75 x 14”
Quantity printed
Franklin Gothic No.2, Hand lettering
Asia Pacific Offset
Jacket printer
Asia Pacific Offset
Brazilian woodfree 180 gsm
Asia Pacific Offset
Binding method
Casebound, sewn
Book type
Image driven