Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Madness of Small Worlds - a book I designed

My first full book design since I managed for Scholastic in '95. 

The Graphic Design went longer than expected as with perhaps... a house renovation... but the result is something to be proud of! The publisher and I got creative with the layout, and it was worth the extra weeks in the end! Check out sample pgs below, and perhaps if you are a fan of this famed playwright, Mac Wellman (Obie award winning), you'll be interested in getting a copy!

I met Mac Wellman when he came as a guest to Stanford, during a production of one of his plays, early on in our book publish process. I didn't know what to expect, as he is one, or the most published playwright of our times - and what goes on in his head might be a little scary. Being that I'm more of a picture person than literary, and want to be more positive than cynical - not sure (his and my) future has a lot of Christmas cards in store.  The "artist self pity" of "people don't get it" attitude made me wonder how many friends he has. I realize society is a little too simple, and there is a terrible virus of un-awareness and apathy in our world - but the cryptic style of his analgesic writings are to me, meant to be riddles and puzzles and creative, not slaps in the face if we don't get it right away. (actually I meant that word to be analogous, but I just love that it turned out to be "analgesic", I think it works!). I liked his writing more than him, and I suppose he'd not mind that at all!

It may be that he was super critical and pushing the student-director to try harder with future plays. I did see his more jovial side come out a couple times... but somewhat at the expense of others. 

With that said... I find his writings very creative - and so cryptic that I feel like I'm wondering in a labyrinth - one that resembles some of my strangest dreams, and nightmares. I'm as frustrated as the next aware human, and try to intellectualize the reasons for our state of society, the lack of taking our own responsibility for all or any actions. The need for excessive laws to protect ourselves from ourselves shows the priorities that have gone awry. We accept the reasonings of "economy" or take away our human rights of choice - so protect the abusers of rights. I can get crazy mad with that. Mac Wellman's writings help feed and humor-ize (I love to make up words) and stir up even a giggle and some anger I think. So enjoy it if you dare! 

Know that you have met the designer of the book, and maybe that'll bring an extra smile to your face as you turn the page for another surprise typography element, or verbage you know I didn't understand as I placed it on the page!

At top of post is the cover of the small press book - 
published by "Trip Street". 
Painting on cover is by Karl Roeseler, the publisher.

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