The Unplugged Book

The Unplugged Book

MTV Off-Air Creative, New York, New York, 1995


The Unplugged Book had a complex yet specific design problem. How do you infuse the emotion and content of a popular television program with over 70 unique artists between the pages of a coffee table book...successfully? Paradoxically, I was stuck with only 2 design platforms. Firstly, the elementary rudiments of art-making: texture, line, form and color. And secondly, a pre-built aesthetic of the Unplugged show, which had become vernacular. People were using “UN” as a slang prefix to mean everything not: uptight, high-tech, or pretentious. Initial solutions involved discovering semiotic meaning, and ascribing it literally with a unique shape, typefaces, materials, colors and visual textures, whilst remaining true to the popular notion of what “UN” means. Of course, liberties were taken with the style of delivery.

Collections: Communication Graphics: 17 (1996)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Promotional design and advertising
Format: Promotion, Type design, Booklet


Design firm
MTV Off-Air Creative
Creative director
Jeffrey Keyton
Graphic designer
Christopher Davis