Somewhere Better Than This Place
Somewhere Better Than This Place
Somewhere Better Than This Place
Somewhere Better Than This Place
Somewhere Better Than This Place

Somewhere Better Than This Place

Heavy Meta, New York, New York, 2003


This is the catalog for the inaugural exhibition for the new Zaha Hadid–designed Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. The show focused on art as a social experience and encouraged direct interaction between the center’s audiences, works of art, and the building itself. The catalog featured images documenting installations, performances, or videos from 33 different artists, which allowed for greater flexibility in the placement and reproduction of the images.

Just as the exhibition questioned the tradition of the museum as a white box for art to hang in, we questioned the convention of art sitting inside the margins of a white page. Instead, each image bleeds across a double-page spread and prints in reverse on the following left page as if the paper were transparent. In keeping with the exhibition’s intent to actively engage the viewer into its design, the smaller trim size allows for a closer engagement with the content.

The exhibition title, Somewhere Better Than This Place, is taken from a work in the show by Felix Gonzales-Torres. When fanned from the front, the word “somewhere” can be read along the fore edge while the word “nowhere” is visible when the book is fanned from the back.

The book sold out within five weeks.

Juror Notes

“One of the few examples of truly original book design this year. The discordant typography, text that wraps the edge, images that read through the type, intimate size and surprising grid made this positively memorable.” Cheryl Towler Weese

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


Design firm
Heavy Meta
Creative director
Barbara Glauber
Barbara Glauber, Beverly Joel
Jacket designer
Beverly Joel
Thom Collins, Michel Foucault
David Frankel, Kathryn Russell
Contemporary Arts Center
Trim size
5.5 x 7.5”
Quantity printed
Fantabular, Grotesque Condensed, Grotesque Bold Extended
Dr. Cantz’sche Druckerei
Jacket printer
Dr. Cantz’sche Druckerei
Papier Union Talheim Prima Ballerina 150 gsm text, Mirriboard Silver 270 gsm cover
Bramscher Buchbinder Betriebe
Binding method
Smyth sewn, softbound
Book type
Image driven