A couple semesters ago I had to research publishers for my Book Publishing course. I distinctly remember coming across Flying Fish Press which is run by Julie Chen. I immediately ruled it out for my hypothetical project because:
- I’d never even considered experimenting with different forms of publications, and therefore had no idea of where to even start, and
- After looking at Julie’s work I was completely intimidated.
But being intimidated doesn’t mean that I wasn’t impressed. And even though I didn’t select Flying Fish for my final project, I was awestruck with the creations by Julie Chen.
The covers for the book art I’ve seen by Julie have generally been comprised of neutral shades – a bit misleading, as once you open one of her books, the form of the content is wildly inventive. Personal Paradigms is my favorite because it appeals to my thought that reading any book is a highly personal experience – depending on whatever is going on int your life at the time, you’ll likely have a different interpretation (probably a reason so many of us re-read our favorite books). I think having a book in the form of a collaborative board game that records the the players’ personal experiences in playing the game, and the relationship of that game to their lives is a remarkably ingenious way of re-creating that ability to speak directly to the reader and leave a lasting, personalized impact.
I LOVE the concept, but for $2,400, I don’t think I’ll be “reading” it any time soon…
Another artist I came across was Isaac Salazar. I’m not sure whether he counts for this assignment, since he doesn’t write his own books, but I love how he transforms the work of others into incredible 3D typographical displays with his book origami. Admittedly, some of his choices for individual words aren’t my favorite (a lot of it is inspirational-type stuff), but I do admire his eye for detail and his craft. His work is available for viewing on Flickr. Apparently there are pieces of his that you can purchase on Etsy, though I wasn’t able to find any for sale.