Cool Designs of the Week

No matter how slick and functional books become in the digital realm, there is something altogether spiritual that takes place when an expertly designed book comes to rest in the hands of those who cherish it. This week, we see the life of a beloved philosopher laid bare, discover a university syllabus that slaps us invigoratingly across the face, and contemplate a book as broken as the nation it mourns. (Previous Cool Designs of the Week can be found here.)

Albert Camus Biography Design

One of our great literary passions is the photo biography, a form often attempted but seldom mastered, regardless of subject – text and images just never seem to gel somehow. Which is why we fell in love with “Albert Camus: Solitude and Solidarity,” a sumptuously illustrated timeline celebrating the existentialist author of “The Stranger” written by his daughter Catherine. Art director Chloé Madeline’s layout is flawless, allowing photographs of the man and his times to mingle naturally with images of manuscript pages, book covers and other documents, leaving you with the impression of having just tiptoed through the life of another human being.

camus biography design

camus biography design


Lynda Barry’s ‘Syllabus’ Design

The artwork of Lynda Barry has always been hard to classify – a tremendous rush of text and images best described as a combination of Dan Eldon’s collage journals and “Adventure Time” cartoons crammed in a blender and set to “puree.” Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it. Perhaps her most fascinating work is “Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor,” a volume containing the class assignments she gave her students at the University of Wisconsin starting in 2011. The delightful Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings describes it this way:

“[An] infinitely invigorating compendium of illustrated exercises, instructions, and meditations on everything from how to keep a diary (because, as we know, the creative benefits of doing so are vast) to memorizing things effectively to navigating the psychological phases of the creative process to why art exists in the first place.”

syllabus lynda barry designsyllabus lynda barry design


‘Nostalgia’ Book Design

When a country is utterly consumed by war, most of us simply forget about it over time. Designer Eren Saracevic’s volume “Nostalgia” is a brilliantly contemplative look at what remains of the former, broken Yugoslavia. As Eren told UnderConsideration,

“I did a broken book about the broken Yugoslavia, the broken relationships, the broken flags, the broken landscapes, the broken ideas, the broken people and the multicultural broken dream, that should remind us, that the irreparable past of some place can become the future of another.”

That “broken” theme is cleverly carried over to the design of the book itself, which contains torn pages and an exposed spine. (But what kind of binding is that, exactly? Good question! Download your free guide to bindings right here to find out!)

nostalgia book design
nostalgia book design
nostalgia book design


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