Gestalten books

Map It

To promote their new book and digital templates, by Dutch graphic designer Joost Grootens, Gestalten published the interview above detailing the contents of the book. Grootens is an expert at filtering and translating complex data into visually compelling atlases with a narrative. 

Grootens, who is program leader of the Master of Information Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, offers up insight on how books—and atlases in particular—let us reach a better understanding of the changing world we live in by stemming the flood of images and data. Very much rooted in design devoted to clarity yet not shy of taking an unconventional approach, Grootens and his team are dedicated to creating contemporary objects that offer their audience the ultimate in information experience. Watch the video.

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Papercraft from Gestalten

Papercraft is the fourth book from Gestalten that documents the growing trend in hand crafted creations. Papercraft Follows on the heels of Gestalten’s Hidden Track, and Tactile and Tangible. The book Papercraft focuses exclusively on paper as a means of creation and the expression of ideas and creativity through this common medium.

This book Highlights the importance of paper historically, by discussing how paper once symbolized a means of democratizing and distributing information. Papercraft also shows how the advent of digital technology over the last 30 years has given birth to the copy & paste culture of infinite permutations, and how a framework was born to rebel against this. Papercraft presents works in the form of the DIY hand-crafted creations that in many ways feel more real because of their tangible qualities. The book is split into five sections that cover work from publications and posters to 3D objects such as paper toys and installations, fashion and costume design, as well as typography and environments showing the rich diversity of objects.

At first, I felt as though I’d seen a good portion of this work before. This isn’t surprising though considering the coverage many of these people have received for their work over the past 12 months. As I spent more time with the book, and despite the familiarity I was sucked in by the labor of love that is evident in all this work.

The book is well put together with the usual high quality design and production value expected from Gestalten. The book’s designer Birg Meyer has detailed the content sympathetically, using a flexible grid that offers a variety of images big enough to really illustrate the work displayed. Complemented by a simple layout this allows the intensely detailed work to speak for itself. The inclusion of DVD content is also a nice surprise. A collection of animation work featured in the book alongside printable nets of some paper toys help bring life to boring studio desks and are a cheerful addition.

My one  complaint about the book is an overall lack of organization. There are small sections populated through out the book that give brief descriptions of the artist and the production process, but all of them fall a bit short. In a book where the way you make something is as important as the end result, you would think that the publisher would have focused a bit more attention the process that goes into each piece.

Overall Papercraft does solid job of showcasing a diverse collection of work created using paper, and it is more concentrated than its predecessors allowing it to hold its own. If you have seen Tactile  and liked it, you’re probably going to like this fourth edition. The companion DVD makes the title stand out from many ordinary art books and helps to justify the price. This is a good reference book and one that I found quite inspiring. More over it is just really nice to look at. There is such great photography for each of the pieces, and it really helps you to get a sense of how they looked in real life.