So, I found this project by chance this weekend and I got so excited. I know that many of you are interested in publication design and I had to share this. The book, Tree of Codes, is a story made of die cuts within the story of another book, The Street of Crocodiles. First, please watch both videos- the first one is Jonathan Safran Foer speaking about his idea and the development of the book, while the second is footage on the making of the book at the printers. Second, here is the publisher for Foers book (and my dream job) at Visual Editions. Check their their website out as well!
I really love that Foer has a great interest in the book having a "conversation about what is possible with literature and paper." I agree that publications do not just have to be one sided with greatness, whether that be the story or the design. That the books need to be just as visually interesting as their stories- I feel the same currently with the publication I am working on. These are both disciplines that compliment each other so well and Foer has done a beautiful job at reinventing our notion of both. I also came across this idea of "visual writing" when looking through these two websites and it struck me as a term I had never heard before, nor could completely grasp. Was it a new form of writing through visuals or just a new text format? So in looking this up, I found from the VE website was that it is a "writing that uses visual elements as an integral part of the writing itself. Visual elements can come in all shapes and guises: they could be crossed out words, or photographs, or die-cuts, or blank pages, or better yet something we haven’t seen. The main thing is that the visuals aren’t gimmicky, decorative or extraneous, they are key to the story they are telling. And without them, that story would be something altogether different." Its turning to a new definition of writing, being called a visual revolution. Which, then led me to this article by Ellen Lupton from AIGA (sorry about all of the links, they just fit so well together!) that discusses using design as a tool for new college curriculum in writing classes. If you have the time, please read it: "Introducing the principles of web design and typography shouldn’t replace teaching writing as a precise, rule-based medium of communication. In the digital age, people are writing more, not less. The alphabet isn’t dead; it just has a lot more company."