Book Design

As a result of my completed written project proposal, it was now time to look at book design, so I searched and trawled the internet and found some of the usual books on offer, then I found this book called Photographic Memory: The album in the age of photography (Curtis, 2011).

This book has many examples of books and designs and Illustrations. Notably, this was a good source of reference for my project to get things moving.

Photographic Memory: The album in the age of photography (Curtis, 2011)


Sequencing is an important aspect of the way we design books, so I needed to look at how my photos are grouped and how they are sequenced. The example below (Curtis, 2011, p,80,81) shows an obvious way to sequence, but I have some tough decisions to make as I also need to choose a category of the type of images and groups to sequence, so, for example, do I show a set of portraits as a group or perhaps group as a before.

Comparatively, I have been showing my work based on the theme of a particular barbershop and its surrounding areas. The book narrative needs to be of general interest, so I need to think more about these categories. My intention is to produce a book rich in content, but not so focused on the History of barbershops, but more about its contemporary evolution that it is today.

Photographic Memory: The album in the age of photography (Curtis, 2011, page 80-81)




As an illustration, the book (Curtis, 2011) offers many ideas on book design examples. One thing that some of my teachers have suggested in previous study modules when I did a previous dummy book design, was that my work needed some punch and had great potential. So in other words, I needed to display my images in a more powerful way.

This design below, which caught my eye, it was part of a set of war documents confiscated by the US Military in 1945(Curtis, 2011,p 95). Not surprisingly the photographer was unknown. These war documents were part of the Hitler youth movement and would have been shown to high-level officials in Germany. In terms of design, I was impressed with the use of space and text and the outlined images with a cream coloured background. The book was printed on heavy paper and had a steel cover.

Photographic Memory: The album in the age of photography, war documents(Curtis, 2011, page 96-97)

The author arranged these images to give the image empowerment. The designer arranged the layout to give a sense of movement. The use of space between the photos allows the photos to breathe. The people facing something on the opposite page can have a powerful effect on the way we see photographs. Of course, my Barbershop images and associated images will not be about empowering anything political. This layout is really about an appreciation of design and effect on us as individuals.

Photographic Memory: The album in the age of photography, war documents (Curtis, 2011, page 98-99)


The next example below that also caught my eye was the work of Jack Delano.


Photographic Memory: The album in the age of photography, Jack Delano (Curtis, 2011, page 156-157)




Curtis, V. (2011). Photographic memory. New York: Aperture.



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