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My, That’s A Very Large Book You Have There

This year there were plenty of graphic design related news stories that may have caught your eye thanks to traditional journalistic coverage or discussions here at Speak Up — be it the MoMA logo modification, the new UPS logo, “famous” designers’ work on US presidential election campaigns, or, heck, “design” dominating the galleys of an entire issue of Newsweek.

But did you read the story about MIT scientist Michael Hawley’s 133-pound book about Bhutan? It nearly knocked my socks off. And not only because it is priced at $10,000 per copy. Just the thought that someone pushed the bar of print layout technology (and book printing and binding standards) to create a 5’ x 7’, 110 page book to raise money for charity simply made my mind whir with questions: how will people read it? display it? what does it cost to produce? how much money goes to the charity? and, of course, how in the heck did they make the darn things?

What were some of the more interesting graphic design-related stories that caught your eye this year?

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PUBLISHED ON Dec.23.2003 BY joy olivia
greg’s comment is:

Not surprising, but it is interesting -- http://www.creativepro.com/story/news/20587.html

I blame Outlook.

On Dec.23.2003 at 11:31 AM
Tracy’s comment is:


On Dec.24.2003 at 01:26 PM
Witold Riedel’s comment is:

There is always GOAT (which oddly includes Butterflies and Bees and even a seemingly inflatable dolphin... cheers.)

On Dec.28.2003 at 08:01 PM
Witold Riedel’s comment is:

(i forgot “enough”... “enough” is such an important one... “oddly enough”... I guess “enough” is a good one to remember in general, as well, too, in 2003 and for 2004...)

(that’s enough) (for now)

On Dec.28.2003 at 10:20 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Joy, thanks for the links, I had not heard of this big-ass book. It is quite impressive.

Witold, I have no clue what you are talking about.

Chan, good calls.

I can't think of any "design news" other than the ones already mentioned… I'll do some searching.

On Dec.29.2003 at 04:23 PM
joy olivia’s comment is:

Now seriously, this has to be the best thing all year: David Byrne making PowerPoint art!?!

On Dec.29.2003 at 04:40 PM
joy olivia’s comment is:

To see his work in action, visit Wired's pages (its coverage includes images). Equally interesting is Edward Tufte's article on the evils of that beast of a program.

On Dec.29.2003 at 04:47 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

I think Witold was referencing Taschen's new book on Ali, called GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). It's 20"x20" and weighs 75 lbs. The "Champs" edition is $7,500 and comes with an original Jeff Koons and some silver gel prints by Ali photographer Howard Bingham. The "regular" edition is $3,000.

Oh, and there's some photo of him and an inflatable dolphin.

On Dec.29.2003 at 05:16 PM
Steven’s comment is:

That David Byrne Powerpoint book and the Tufte article were mentioned in the Technology section of the SF Chronicle today, BTW.

One design/motion graphic theme that fascinated and horrified me this year were all of the Iraq War graphics that were slathered all over the TV last spring. Creepy.

The question I have about that ridiculous Butan book is was it really worth killing all of those trees? It seems like a very misdirected effort.

On Dec.29.2003 at 10:38 PM
joy olivia’s comment is:

Steven --

Good call. At first I totally had your same thoughts about the Bhutan book project. In fact, my first reaction was a total questioning one. I wondered, why did the author (from MIT, the land of technology) go the book route to raise money when he could just sell a plasma screen tv with a dvd of the images, perhaps even adding in a page-flip style transition to give it a "just-like-reading-a-book" feel. But then it hit me. Going to the book route, although impractical, would get him coverage. The more I read about the project, the more interested I got and the more, I suppose, I began to understand and appreciate his efforts.

On Dec.30.2003 at 08:11 AM
joy olivia’s comment is:

Jonsel and Witold--

Wow, thanks for the recommendation of GOAT. I hadn't heard of that "big" book on Ali. For any one interested in learning more (like I was), here are some more links:

- The info on Taschen's page about the project

- The official GOAT page

- Amazon's listing for GOAT

On Dec.30.2003 at 08:17 AM
Krystal Hosmer’s comment is:

EM>One design/motion graphic theme that fascinated and horrified me this year were all of the Iraq War graphics that were slathered all over the TV last spring. Creepy

I couldn't agree more, Steven. It was like an infomercial for a war, with a little dash of publicity machine for fun, all sold on the home shopping channel, who stole CNNs logo just for the day.

On Dec.30.2003 at 04:46 PM