Feeling Bookish? You could win a beautiful hard-bound!

OK, I’ve been pretty busy lately. Working on the final exhibition prints for my show next month in Milwaukee; a full-plate of assignments (thanks Evan, Lonnie, Jake, Randy, Melissa and Kate!); and finally trying to put together a book dummy for the Blurb book contest and just to create a dummy to shop around (love to multi-task). It’s a lot of work, but fortunately, I am not alone. I am enlisting the help of fellow Bobcat, the genius Jody Sugrue – who is so incredibly talented she may well drive me to therapy for insecurity.

I attended EnFoco‘s portfolio review last weekend up in NYC and had the good fortune to meet with Denise Wolf, one of Aperture‘s talented staff. She gave me some good feedback to consider about creating a book. Though she acknowledged that she usually works on a book for a year, and I have like two weeks – she suggested that I might consider putting my Off-Season and Consumed works together. I’ve gotten this feedback before, and just as often affirmations to the contrary (anyone else familiar with this conundrum?). Well Jody took this idea and ran with it.  We decided to put the work together, but in the spirit of democracy we want to keep them separate but equal.  Hardcore traditionalists may hate this look, I dunno, but I’m a big believer of the theorem: “Be bold and strong forces will come to your aid.”
I am submitting for your approval two design ideas for the cover and some page layout ideas. You can click on the individual frames a couple times to enlarge.  Would love your feedback gentle readers, so please leave a comment. And to show that no good deed goes unpunished I’ll be happy to forward one lucky winner the  book,  A Better Time, which is a beautifully printed hardback book published by Cartiere del Garda, and is an offering of great photographs from around the world on the subject of leisure time, including an opus by yours truly from work in Peru (still updating that component of the website), and with work from other great photographers like Kathryn Cooke, Silvia Morara, Matilde Gattoni, and more. Go ahead, leave a comment (not on facebook please but in the comments field here on wordpress), it won’t hurt.

I’ll put all the comments in a hat in a week or so and draw the winner who will get a copy of A Better Time delivered straight to your mailbox.  Employees of Susana Raab Inc. are ineligible (this means you Teddy Roosevelt!).






10 thoughts on “Feeling Bookish? You could win a beautiful hard-bound!

  1. Regarding the cover designs, I prefer the first cover, where “Off-Season” and “Consumed” are at the identical rotation/perspective… no need to get TOO clever.

    I like the front and rear covers, however I have problems with the spine: you’re using three different fonts there, which seems in my eyes to be one too many. It just doesn’t quite look right.

    I can totally appreciate the rush job you’re doing for the Photography Book Now competition: last year I put my book together in two nights (non-optimal to say the least!).


  2. i’m confused: if you select the rotated covers, is the content also going to be flipped, so that each side reads naturally to the midpoint of the book?

    my preference: unrotated covers, text opposite.

    i like the bold, simple design – bonne chance!


  3. I love the rotated covers, the idea that it’s two books in one. I’ve seen that done before and always enjoyed it.

    I also like the layout where the caption is on the facing page. But I think you could even do both. Some of my favorite books have a spread where there’s just one photo on the recto, followed by a spread with two photos–one on the verso, the other on the recto–and so on. It adds visual interest, as long as there’s a reason for the pairing of images. . . .

    Good luck! You’ll have my vote!


  4. I like the idea of the rotated covers if the content is also going to be rotated so the two books in one are flipped? If I make sense…

    And I like the image description on the opposite page. I hate creases in the image!


  5. I would go with the non rotated covers. My question what will the center spread look like? I am guessing that is where the two bodies of work will come together. I think I like the info on the same page as the book, but that would also depend on how big it is. If it is smallish I would go with that. If it is larger, I would do the opposite. The cover is really bright. Also, what is the reasoning behind the color choice of the double A? Just curious. I think putting these two series together is a strong choice.


  6. Thanks all for your comments – and anyone new reading this please keep ’em coming. I’ll hold the drawing next week and announce on the blog, so anything up to then is fair game.

    This is still in the very rough stages. We still have not addressed the issue if the covers are rotated how they will meet in the middle. Liz, do you recall how the books you’ve seen before have managed this impasse? The colors are also very much up in the air. I like bright bold colors with the fast food, and I think orange works very well. However I could see moving to yellow or some other shade of pink, not so highlightery for the other side. Regarding the fonts, I think we are only using two different ones, just varying the boldness. I agree that too many fonts distract and detract. The page treatments – I still haven’t decided if I am going to pair all the images or break up with white space sometimes for breather or what. Since this is not going to be a more precious traditional fine-art book, and I mean precious in a good way, I don’t feel wedded to white pages every so often. But I definitely hear you about putting the picture first – though for me, I think I automatically move to the right when I turn the page of a picture book, perhaps it is just conditioning on my part.

    As for the double AAs that is something Jody came up with which I immediately did not like. Then I sat with it for a while and I grew to like it. Also if I use that as my logo I like it because I can update my color palette with the times. Jody’s reasoning was the double A was distinctive and could be my trope.

    I had criticism this weekend about not putting titles with my work. But you know, the titles are me – so I have to go for that. If people think it’s too cute, that is fine, I give them that. Hin, I’ve been accused of being too clever before (and pushing my luck but that is another subject). Hin, also thanks for chiming in because I went and looked at your work and it is wonderful. You have a fan here.

    For me, I kind of like the flipped cover – but I am wrestling with resolving where it meets. I like to know that it will always be oriented the usual way for us Western readers – but I think this will still evolve. And I thank you all for dissecting and articulating. Please keep at it!


  7. I prefer the non-rotated text, easier for the reader.

    As for the page layout, I’ve always been a fan of having the text on the opposite side. Downside of this: books are too bloody heavy by the time you’ve done that to every single page. So perhaps a combination of both.


  8. I prefer the non-rotated covers. I like the look of the rotated ones, but practically speaking, having to flip over the book to see the second body of work has always felt more gimmicky than clever to me. Having it rotated with upright images is better, but I’m not sure that it really adds anything.

    I really like the idea of the double As but the color of the text makes it hard on the eyes, esp with the pink. I say keep the AAs but maybe change the color for the back cover.

    The style of the caption works better on the opposite page to my eye (I like smaller captions if they’re on the same page). I like the to see one image per turn in large books where the photo feels more like a print than a page in a book, but for small to medium sized books, sometimes makes the book feel a bit padded out. I like the idea of mixing it up, pairing complementary photos where possible.


  9. I like the idea of the flipped covers but that does imply to me that you will have work oriented each way inside— is that the case? If not, I’d say going with the first cover would make the most sense to me. And I definitely prefer the caption on opposing page. This lets me really concentrate on the image before looking to see what it is titled rather than having the text be a part of or a competing force against the image. Looks awesome and I wish you the best of luck with the competition!


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