• 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. Listtttt

    There’s a whole heap of great design studios in Barcelona with which we’re very familiar but it’s always a joy to discover talent we haven’t come across before. Such is the case with P.A.R, a graphic design and art direction studio run by Iris Tarraga and Lucía Castro. The way they talk about their approach eschews any kind of bullshit, as they write on their website: “Our methodology is simple: We listen to our clients, we understand their needs and we solve them. Our style is clear and direct, we take care of the balance and harmony in our designs, we use typography and colour accurately, we believe in functional design.”

  2. List

    We were lucky enough to meet some of the team from Singapore studio Foreign Policy when they popped into It’s Nice That HQ during a recent research trip to London. The same friendly, curious and open-minded approach that led them to drop us a line has also seen them develop The Swap Show, “an exhibition exchange between design studios and creative agencies from cities around the world designed to showcase and celebrate creative work internationally.”

  3. List

    It’s tricky to implement the intricate tricks of an optical illusion in a book cover design without the finished product appearing slightly heavy-handed, but designer Hansje van Halem does it with poise and perfectionism. She’s worked as a freelance graphic designer since graduating from Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietvield Academie in 2003 (as her About section explains) and her enjoyment of what others might find to be repetitive shines through in the illusory patterns in her portfolio.

  4. List

    As serious art and design journalists, we’re not distracted by mere baubles. But when said bauble takes the form of an online game (think Space Invaders meets graphic design portfolio) then who are we to resist. It’s one of many trinkets to be found on karlssonwilker’s terrific new website, which shows off their work in the best possible light and confirms their status as one of the most accomplished design studios working today.

  5. List-0102-0103-0105-triptych-%c2%a9-david-shaw

    When the Design Museum planned its Women Fashion Power show, which opened last month, it was very much keen to take the “women” component seriously, appointing them to take care of both the exhibition design and graphics for the show. As such, it drafted perhaps one of the most famous women in design’s practices, Zaha Hadid Architects for the exhibition design; with Lucienne Roberts and her team (Dave Shaw and John McGill) at LucienneRoberts+ creating the graphics.

  6. List

    Based in Manheim, Germany, Deutsche & Japaner have a really great sense of what looks good. They have been on the site a couple of times for their stylish graphic design but this work for the Aesthetics Habitat project shows off a bit more of their own personality. The site is described as “a venture all about meeting objects with a personal interpretation, transforming its function and creating narratives” and in essence its curators invite creatives to respond to and reflect on their relationship with a favourite thing of beauty.

  7. List-flyers-for-the-institute-at-sexology.-photography-by-russell-dornan_-design-by-liam-relph-(3)

    London’s Wellcome Collection space always hosts explorations of the things that fascinate us most. It’s covered death, it’s exhaustively explored the human body in all its glory and grotesquery, and now it’s moved on to surely the most fascinating of all – sex, or more precisely, how people have studied it.

  8. List

    Brimming with sophistication and an understanding of what makes great design, Atelier Tout va bien’s portfolio is a glorious way to scroll away the day. The studio is made up of French design duo Anna Chevance and Mathias Reynoird, and it’s the pair’s editorial, poster and book design that really stands out.

  9. List

    The It’s Nice That team recently discussed which discipline we cover on the site would we most like to be brilliant at (it’s the kind of thing we do to wile away the final, dragging hours of these dark winter afternoons). After the appropriate amount of consideration (charts, cost/benefit analysis and the like) I plumped for book cover design and that led me down a little book-design-reminiscence and that led me back to Linda Huang.

  10. List

    Another day, another well-crafted, interesting identity for a topic that isn’t perhaps the most instantly exciting. This time, bringing us issues like “sustainable urban energy planning” and “urban transitions management” (we admit we’re not too sure what this means), is this identity for Sustain, by Filimonas Triantafyllou. Sustain is an academic platform to host discussions between different universities in Europe and Asia about their research into sustainability issues, and it’s refreshing to see Netherlands-based graphic designer Filimonas take such a pared-back, colourful approach to the subject matter. The graphical treatment uses different typographic word-marks for each of the topics being addressed, with each symbol reducing these rather complex issues into a simple motif.

  11. List

    Eschewing the usual white-paged minimalism, Berlin gallery Neumeister Bar-Am boasts a charming identity inspired by all things postage. The gallery is housed in an old Post Office space, and Slovenia-born, Berlin-based designer Neven Cvijanovic of Floor5 chose to look to its former home in designing the identity, using a colour scheme referencing that of the Deutsche Post, working with art director Marek Polewski on the project. The flexible identity system uses icons that recall mail stamps that adapt to each show for use on invites; while other collateral like stationery and business cards are more pared-back. It’s great how the theme is subtle, yet direct – especially in little touches like the yellow tape.

  12. List-dunnamed

    Australian consultancy Sense designed the identity for this year’s Czech & Slovak film festival, which took place in Melbourne and Sydney, creating a look look inspired by the gorgeous hand-printed Czech film posters of the past. The festival was themed around the idea of “resistance”, as a nod to 2014 being the 25th anniversary of the non-violent “Velvet Revolution” in Czechoslovakia – a series of peaceful demonstrations against the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia that worked to end 41 years of Communist rule in the country.

  13. List

    If last week on the site was dominated by terrific Norwegian graphic design, then this week it’s the turn of Finland, and more specifically Kokoro & Moi to step into the spotlight. Teemu Suviala and Antti Hinkula’s studio has been going for 13 years now, and it’s always exciting to get wind of new updates on their site.