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Peace: 100 Ideas

Ask any beauty pageant contestant what they most wish for and the answer will invariably be “Peace on earth” — with “Ending world hunger” in close second place. But how to achieve that lofty, earthly goal? A winning smile, a gestural wave and nice eveningwear can only do so much. Fear not, beauties of the world: David Krieger, founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, has developed a list with 100 ways to “Promote a more peaceful world”. And Joshua Chen of Chen Design Associates in San Francisco has given those one hundred ideas visual interpretations in the self-published book Peace: 100 Ideas.

The premise of the book is really simple, it’s Krieger’s one hundred ideas illustrated in a tight little package that manages to act as both a socially conscious venture (by giving 10% of the proceeds to wagingpeace.org’s mission for a more peaceful world) and as a very decent promotion piece for the studio — no matter how much they play down that aspect. Admittedly, while the book is solely designed by Chen and associates (both past and present) the book manages to avoid a self-congratulatory tone. Most of the time.

Peace: 100 Ideas is handsomely produced: perfect-bound inside a nice, thick, silky-smooth cover with beautifully reproduced images. And it’s kind to the environment too [PDF], with no new trees used to print it, which accounts for seventy-two trees saved. Inside, each idea for peace gets its own spread in the book and each is interpreted in its own unique way in varied styles from photography to illustration to computer-generated imagery to collages and, I’m guessing, a good fifty or sixty different typefaces. After all, there are one hundred ideas to depict. If you are familiar with CDA’s work you will certainly notice a lot of visual cues from their client-related work in this book and at times it seems like a quick browse through old files helped inform some of the ideas. Nonetheless, CDA is a talented group and many spreads are riveting and a joy to look at. Others are obvious and literal and others are simply not that interesting or well done. And none give emotional goose bumps.

The one hundred ideas themselves are not very revelatory or highly inspiring, they are as appropriate for promoting world peace as they are for keeping kids at summer camp from killing each other. However, they do act as a reminder that simply acting as a decent human being — which seems too much to ask for these days — is enough to promote peace. (Noteworthy though is #18: Speak up for a healthy planet). The pairing of ideas and visuals makes the proposition a whole more valuable and relevant to the public — the book is in the end a nice gesture and contribution during troubled times. Inspiring, motivating and comforting.

Unfortunately, unless people take it upon themselves to follow ten, five or even one of the hundred ideas, this book is as useful as Miss Nebraska’s espousal of peace on earth.

Book Information
Peace: 100 Ideas by Joshua C. Chen, David Krieger
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: CDA Press (November 27, 2003)
ISBN: 0974658200
Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Aug.07.2004 BY Armin