Library of Babel ID – in COLOUR?

A friend suggested I include colour in the main logo. While I think these are a little over the top, I’m posting them anyway because of frustration that the file I had them in just crashed and lost the work *sigh*.

SNORE. Boring.

More interesting shapes.

Too ordered, I think. Going with the spectrum/prism idea.
Looks a bit like that cellophane stained glass craft you used to make as a child. 

This is more intense and quite like Kaffe Fasset’s spectacular colours. The open road. What will you find?





interactive books: good or bad?

The Guardian this week published an article about whether interactive book apps were positive or negative things for young children.

It’s an interesting read, essentially asking the question: what is important about the reading experience?

[Ferelith] Hordon says… “They are great fun and they have their place. But on the whole, they distract from the reading experience. For very small children there is something very special – and something that needs to be treasured – in listening to the parent’s voice reading.

“If you start putting pop-ups and twiddles and voices into the picture book experience, where is the difference between that and a film or a game? In this world in which there is so much noise and movement is there no value in promoting stillness and thought?”

It’s definitely a controversial thing to challenge what people see as the next advance in this type of technnology, and it opens up a whole discussion about what reading is.

Is it reading because the words are on screen? Is it reading because its about a story? Does it matter which format the words are in, or is reading fundamentally about scriptism – that our society has decided that the written word is the most perfect form of language, the most ideal – perhaps the most idealised?

continuing identity experiments

I think we’re approaching something potentially awesome here: 

Or in Garamond:

Blocked out text (still in Elephant typeface and Garamond) with hexagons incorporated. I think the opacity is doing some really interesting things visually, and also alludes to the elusive nature of the meaning of the story.





visual identity for the project

I usually find it quite hard to begin with a cohesive visual identity for a project and not feel tied to a brand or identity that might no longer suit the project. Previous thoughts on title pages or brand are in this post.

More iterations on an identity for the book, thinking about a symbol that might work and a font selection that could be cohesive across the entire book.

Experimenting with hexagons and suggestions of the infinite through repetition.



I think this is my current favourite: suggestive hexagons with Didot font.

Thinking about how it might look in color, and in a more Faber & Faber style:

(too James Bond?)

Thoughts? Which is the strongest? What is working and failing miserably?

labyrinths: suggestions from others

My tutor sent me these links:

“Borges essays, while short, can be baroque affairs. They are the mark of a “delirious archivist,” as Umberto Eco called him, of a man who lives amidst legions of chattering books. He constructs his essays like a vast puzzle, piling quip upon quote, leading you ever deeper into a thicket of metaphors. Occasionally, they are almost formless, as if their writer has been so carried away by the force of his reading that he has forgotten the point he set out to make. Yet, a careful reading will always reveal the fragile thread between each idea, the links that made Borges not only a consummate reader and thinker but a peerless writer.” NANDINI RAMACHANDRAN

A friend reminded me of the labyrinths in Alice in Wonderland

And also the maze in the fourth Harry Potter book, The Goblet of Fire:

I also watched Bowie’s 1986 ‘The Labyrinth’ on Friday – which probably deserves more than a passing reference, but I’m a bit busy, as its assessment submission day for task 2 of 3.

With less than subtle references to Escher in creating an incomprehensible reality.. While I was on vimeo I also found this, a typographic treatment of a quote from the Borges story, The Aleph.

visual experimentation/iterations

experimenting with the intersection of light, architecture and the universe (constellations, as we make sense of the stars). I think my constellation lines are too thick and could be much finer.I’m loving the interplay of the map of streets and the list of extracted words from the text here. And the cute little constellation, lurking there, draco.

Different colouring – mostly derived from the original polaroid, but shifted a bit. Which iteration do you prefer? 


The suggestive power of hexagons: yes or no?

Image credits – All base photographs by me, architectural drawing and map of tokyo taken from books.



representing the universe

Nick Risinger is responsible for the Photopic Sky Survey, a huge photograph of the entire night sky, as we see it. 

You can zoom in and out off the image, around the galaxy, showing planets and constellations and a crazy amount of detail. Where you would expect to see black… there are hundreds of stars. 

Interestingly, as Louie Giglio points out, the Milky Way that we can see from Earth, is only a fraction of our universe. How does one even imagine such hugeness? 


The image is Creative Commons so I might use it in my final project. I’m fascinated by the image, and gentle but perspective shifting manipulations of it.

representing unimaginable things: Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan, an American artist/photographer uses interesting scalable photographs to represent the huge numbers of disposable items in his ‘Running the Numbers’ series on consumption and the statistics behind it. The photograph above represents the 1.4 million  paper bags used in American supermarkets every hour.

Below is ‘insatiable’ – “Depicts 48,000 plastic spoons, equal to the number of gallons of oil consumed around the world every second.” Chris’ work aims to represent ‘global phenomena’ on a scale that will challenge us and illuminate the things we otherwise couldn’t see – the unimaginable (Jordan, C. 2009).

I’m considering the methods he used and the effects he creates to see how I might also communicate what seems incomprehensible.