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Lead Image

99: Stories Dreams Poems Book


Production Method




Manic Design

Creative Director: Karen Huang
Designer: Audrey Yang



Ngai Heng Media

A book within a book within a book. A production feat without a doubt, especially considering the low run of 99. A stellar design solution that matches the unique content held within while providing the reader more than one surprise. 



David Fuhrmann-Lim

Quantity Produced


Production Cost

$100 per book

Production Time

3 months

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

Page Count

Large book: 272
Medium book: 160 pages
Smallest book: 64
496 total

Paper Stock


Number of Colors







This piece is available for purchase for Kindle

99: Stories Dreams Poems
99: Stories Dreams Poems
99: Stories Dreams Poems
99: Stories Dreams Poems

Recent Posts



Project Description

A friend came to us with the manuscript for “a book of  99 short stories, and each story is exactly 99 words!” Printed in a limited edition of 99 and launched on when else but 9 September 2016.

The number 99 is a Kaprekar number (992 = 9801; 98+01 = 99). Our research also revealed that 23 + 33 + 43 = 99, which in an obtuse way led us to thinking about Matryoshka dolls and the Droste Effect. All of a sudden, there it was —€” the idea of a book within a book within a book.

Many of the stories are about what lies behind the mundane and quotidian, what we might find if we looked beyond the surface, which made this layered format all the more apt and poetic. It was therefore crucial for the book to look innocuous so that the surprise within is amplified. The size of the smallest book (just 4.8cm x 6.5cm) draws the reader in emphasizing the intimate nature of this project.

Most designers have come to accept that design (as a job, for a client, for a dime) is rife with compromise. How would our projects turn out if everything went the way we intended? I might have never known, if not for this strange little gem.

Production Lesson(s)

It's amazing what a difference it makes when the brief, budget and deadline stays the same after the project kicks off. ”

Post Author

Author Picture

Bryony Gomez-Palacio

Editor of FPO and co-founder of UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

August 9, 2017


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FPO (For Print Only), is a division of UnderConsideration, celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects.

FPO uses Fonts.com to render Siseriff and Avenir Next.

FPO is run with Six Apart’s MovableType

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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

blogs we publish

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

products we sell

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work.

Brand New Conference videos / Individual, downloadable videos of every presentation since 2010.

Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

Brand New Conference / A two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today's most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness / A speaker series in Austin, TX, featuring some of the graphic design industry's most awesome people.


Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

Projects we've Concluded / Long- and short-lived efforts.

UCllc News / Updates on what's going at the corporate level of UnderConsideration.

The End