Visual Editions

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VE3 Here we come (and we cannot wait)

All just in time to be around for Composition No. 1 going on press today. As Mathew from With Associates put it so perfectly: “last week must have been full of too many good labour inducing meetings on all fronts”. Spot on.

In all our busy-ness to get VE3 to this stage, we’re worried we’ve forgotten to tell you what’s actually in the making. So here goes: Composition No. 1 follows on from our re-imagined Tristram Shandy last September, and our sculpture-esque Tree Of Codes last November. It’s a little known classic by French writer Marc Saporta. And it’s lovingly called the first ever book in a box because well, that’s what it is. If you’re familiar with the term, you’ll immediately think BS Johnson’s The Unfortunates which many claim was inspired by Composition No. 1. If you haven’t heard the term before, Composition No. 1 is a book made up of loose pages, with a self-contained narrative on every page, allowing you shuffle and read the book in any order (or length) you want. It begs the question: what makes a book a book, and more than anything brings the interactive messing, shuffling, and sliding we’re so familiar with on our screens into a physical book.

We’ve been working with some pretty incredible talents on the book, making the whole project such a treat: there is Tom Uglow of Google and YouTube who’s written the introduction, digital design maestro Matt Pyke of Universal Everything who is behind the book’s design (his first ever book no less) and California-based writer Salvador Plascencia who has drawn little diagrams showing the anatomy of a book.

Sam from Universal Everything is on press today in Belgium with our friends at Die Keure to double-check everything, especially the 2mm vs the 4mm, the digitised landscape imagery, and make sure the colour is nice and bright, bright, bright. There’s a little film here showing some of the detailed printer discussions from this morning, and a peak at how it’s all taking shape.

Okay, back to new baby and box printing now.

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