Sometimes the most soul-stirring print design comes from pushing mightily against the very limits of paper itself. This week we revisit recent works of fiction that feature highly tactile covers , discover another tome that folds out into a three-dimensional, working pinhole camera, and peek into the colorful journals of a fellow paper lover. (Previous Cool Designs of the Week can be found here.)
Novels to Make you ‘Feel’ Good
We can only imagine the back-and-forth that went on in the Penguin conference room when this little idea came up, but the results, hit and miss though they may be, are never dull. The idea was this: republish recent popular books with covers that feature different craft-inspired details, and call the whole wonderful experiment Penguin By Hand. Launched in September, the books use quilting, embroidery, crochet, and a whole lot of embossing to bring these volumes to life. More here. (Detail from designer Alison O’Toole’s embossing plate for “The Help” below.)
‘This Book is a Camera’ Design
Kelli Anderson, with the help of Structural Graphics, used numerous paper cuts and folds to transform this unassuming-looking book into a pop-up, fully functioning pinhole camera. Instructions and an included pack of black and white photo paper ensure that you’ll be ready to take pictures the old fashioned way the moment you crack the spine: yours for $30 over here.
Our chief remit for Cool Designs is to feature paper creations that somehow remind us of the endless possibilities that each sheet of paper contains. Usually that means showing you something professionally printed or otherwise polished. But sometimes we see something done by hand – “maker-ly” in today’s vernacular – that reminds us of why we fell in love with this medium in the first place. And with that, meet 19-year-old Russian Ellina, currently studying economics and management in France. More to the point, meet her beautiful notebooks! From her pleasing use of different colored inks to detailed sketches and experiments in typography, we can’t remember the last time we saw something that so completely captured the feeling that “anything’s possible with paper.”