• Box
  • Conc
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Folded
  • Folded_close
Graphic Design

Dictionary Story

Posted by Alex Bec,

Getting projects off the ground is never easy, especially considering everyone is tightening their purse strings at the moment. So, when artist and typographer Sam Winston had an idea to produce an affordable edition of his oh-so beautiful Dictionary Story he asked for a little bit of help. By putting the proposal on Kickstarter, a place that helps you see if a project is going to get off the ground, Sam placed a figure on how much he’d need to get the project done, rewarding everyone who helped him out. Could this be the future of independent publishing?

Hi, Sam, hows things?

Things are really good at the moment – I just have persuaded my friend Erin (who is amazing with code) to help me sort Darwins Origin of the Species into nouns, verbs and adjectives. And with a word count of over 155,000 – that’s no mean feat. He’s a star and it’s turning up some really interesting patterns.

Can you tell us what Dictionary Story is?

It’s a illustrated story in which words from the dictionary come to life, take on human characteristics and cause a whole world of trouble on the page. It’s a playful book – full of images – to celebrate our language.

I thought this book would raise a few smiles. It’s also close to my heart, as being dyslexic, I’ve always been perplexed and fascinated by language. So the book set out to play with that – being something to read and look at in equal measure.

So, are you looking for support for the project? What’s Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is basically a safe way to see if there is interest in your project. You pledge a certain amount and if that amount reaches it’s goal then the project goes live. So in this case – if we get enough money we publish the book – and anyone who helped out gets a copy. But if it doesn’t – no one gets charged and no harm done.

Why should we help out? There’s a credit crunch on don’t you know…

When I originally conceived the idea for this book I wanted to make it something that everyone could buy. But unless you’re Penguin and have large amounts of capital its hard to produce cheap books. So, I ended up initially making a handmade edition which is lovely but expensive. This project is about resolving that and making this playful book affordable.

And I know there’s a credit crunch on – So don’t buy it for yourself – buy it for a friend instead. I know this logic doesn’t make complete sense but your friend agrees with me!

Is this model the future of publishing?

I think the internet is breaking down a lot of hierarchies – especially traditional companies that have managed to control whole markets – like publishing and music. But in saying that the internet is also creating enormous new corporations like iTunes and Google. I guess the slow will die and the ingenious survive.

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List

    Boasting PVC-clad bottoms, surreal jazz photography and beautifully-rendered risograph prints of basketball hoops, Shabazz Projects’ homepage certainly offers a well-curated and striking experience. The LA-based publishing platform was founded by Hassan Rahim and Brian Okarski, releasing art, photography and design-focused books and objects, all with a run of 200 or fewer editions. Stand-out pieces include the Various Basketball Hoops risographs, which put a whimsical spin on these often weary-looking monoliths; and Eric Wrenn and Antje Peters’ Jazz photographs, which place instruments against a dramatic plume of smoke. Hassan and Brian say their aim is to “provoke and surprise,” and from the images on their site alone, they’re certainly not letting themselves down.

  2. Hellotalja_kit-list-image

    Many a blue-sky-thinker and envelope-pusher has been extolling the virtues of meditation and mindfulness to pseudo-spiritually swell their business jargon lately. So it’s refreshing when a beautifully branded, creatively-minded product emerges that promises to offer that lucrative “pause from modern life.”

  3. List

    If all the magazines and small publications that used the internet as their subject matter were dumped on your head it’d be curtains for you – there’s bloody loads of them. Some, like Offscreen, deal with the people that make digital culture happen and try to bring these unsung heroes out from behind their screens into the RGB limelight, others, like French publication Nichons – Nous Dans l’Internet (Tits – We In The Internet) are more conceptually-minded, analysing and assessing the social and cultural phenomena brought about by the ubiquity of technology.

  4. Main

    Setting up a design studio and changing your name to a cool pseudonym is a good two-fingers-up to life on the quiet side. Parisian designer Julien Ducourthial decided to make this leap, and now overseas The Jazzist, offering bold, fluoro design work “serving in fields of graphic design, illustration and art direction in digital & printed media.” When Julien emailed us he told us he was inspired by 8-bit imagery and cartoons, which gave us an immediate inkling that we were going to like his work. Anyone looking to commission a great French designer any time soon? Julien is your man.

  5. List

    We haven’t featured Oslo-based studio Heydays on the site for a while but a quick check-in with their portfolio shows they’re still producing top-quality work for an eclectic range of clients. Nöra is a design house based between London and São Paulo which among other things supplied the seats for the World Cup stadia in Brazil. Heydays wanted a look and feel that felt “sophisticated with a stylish twist.” The pointillist type treatment pulls this off neatly and there’s some impressive animated elements you can see below as well. Keep up the great work team Heydays!

  6. List

    When it comes to a trendy commission, a restaurant in east London that serves everything on the bone is right up there. Credit is due then to Burgess Studio, whose identity for the eatery doesn’t take itself too seriously. Built around a nice typographic wordmark and the simple idea of making the all-important bone into a smile, the look and feel rolls out seamlessly across everything from bags to cups, menus to the website. It’s simple, it’s striking and it steers well clear of some kind of terrible hipster overload, all of which is to be very much commended.

  7. List

    It’s been a while since we last checked in with Stockholm-based Bedow studio but there’s a host of new work to enjoy over on their site as ever. I was particularly drawn to their ongoing collaboration with Essem Design, “a Swedish manufacturer of artisanal hallway interiors.” Bedow used a refreshingly straightforward way in to what might seem like rather a niche product, building an identity around the Swedish words for “hello” and “goodbye” – the utterances most commonly heard in a hallway.

  8. List

    Producing graphic collateral for one of the world’s largest international contemporary art fairs is a brief that would have some graphic design studios quaking in their boots, but when London-based Studio Frith was approached by Frieze Art Fair they accepted with relish.

  9. List

    “Churn out” always sounds like a derisive expression when referring to exceptional creative work, but the prolific nature of some studios means it’s the only one I like to use use to conjure up the relentless mechanical precision with which these studios proceed – and I definitely don’t mean it derisively. And so to Praline, the products of whose churning we’re here to admire.

  10. List

    For graphic design types, the opportunity to run wild with a printer’s various techniques is pretty much the dream brief, and Mexican agency Anagrama have well and truly lived that dream. They were one of seven agencies studios invited to create a notebook with Imprimerie du Marais, and they were given free rein to experiment with effects like hot foil stamping, microembossing, silk screening and sewn binding.

  11. List

    When David Mckendrick told us he was leaving Esquire and setting hop a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher, we were fascinated to see what the fruits of such a top-notch collaboration might look like. Last week we got our answer, when a copy of the new Christie’s magazine came dropping through our letterbox.

  12. List

    When you’re set a challenge by Google’s UXA design team, there’s the expectation for something pretty darn special to be created. Fortunately for Manual, they nailed their brief and created a smart, clean, eye-catching interpretation of Google’s visual language.

  13. List

    It’s a widely-acknowledged fact that Tony Brook and his Spin team can do no wrong – they just design cracking stuff. So imagine our surprise when… no, just kidding, their latest project’s a belter too. Commissioned by Sim Smith, a London-based gallery representing emerging British talent, Tony and his team went about producing a slick, simple, monochrome identity that’s as unfussy as the artists the gallery represents. The logo, website and print collateral are all pleasantly understated, meaning the Sim Smith name won’t ever get in the way of the most important thing – the artists’ work.