In Defense of “Unreadable” Books

A case for “unreadable” books like mine: “In 2010, psychologists at Princeton University published “Fortune Favors the Bold (and the Italicized),” a study demonstrating that people have better recall of what they’ve read when it is printed in smaller, less legible type. Texts presented in unusual typefaces (…) created “disfluency” in readers, triggering deeper processing and significantly improved retention. When people are forced to stare at something to decipher what it says, it sticks with them.”

Symonds Cider Ads: UK, Ireland

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Spent the better part of May working with the folks at BBH London on a series of print ads for Symonds Founder’s Reserve Cider, which will be running over the coming months throughout the UK and Ireland. It seems that these ads will be inescapable if you use mass transit in Great Britain over the coming summer (My friends in the UK have been sending photos of these train platform ads and billboards, asking me if I had done them, or if someone has been copying my style).

The team at BBH were great to work with, and I thank them for making my job easier throughout the approval process. This project also allows me a significant window of time over the coming months to concentrate on the next books I hope to publish.

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I like working with clients outside the US, because I often find that in many ways, one has much greater creative latitude (I’m fairly certain that there’s no way any agency in the US right now would or could sign off on these illustration-dependent, copy-heavy ads).

BTW: I’m currently seeking representation outside the US, so please contact me if this interests.

3×3 International Annual: Best of Show

3x3best“Honored” doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel right now after hearing that Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself has been selected as Best of Show in 3×3‘s International Professional Show (no. 12). I never imagined that I would receive such an honor; after 25 years of working as a graphic artist, this is one of the sweetest moments of my professional life. My sincerest thanks to 3×3, the judges, and my publisher, Tin House. I certainly hope this leads to more opportunities for me to bust my tail. I am working on two books right now, and I am optimistic that I will find homes for them. I’m more hopeful about the future now than I have been in a very long time.

Artists Talk at Poets House: Friday June 12, 7PM

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Walt Whitman & the Art of the Book: Contemporary Visions
Curated by Deidre Lawrence and drawn from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Walt Whitman & the Art of the Book presents a diverse selection of contemporary artist books, inspired by the work Walt Whitman.

Artists talk with Allen Crawford, Sam Gordon, Barbara Henry, and Davin Kuntze, contributors to Walt Whitman & the Art of the Book – 7:00pm

More here.

I Dropped Dead

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Last night, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philly hosted a wake for my thirteen year-old pen name, Lord Breaulove Swells Whimsy. My friends Ben Warfield, David Kessler, Laura Baird, and Jesse Sparhawk contributed music and animated projections of fantastical terrariums. Over 600 people attended, many of them dressed as various creatures. After giving three readings throughout the evening, I reclined on the funereal plinth by the front door, gave a short reading of a selection from my old book, and then received the commiserations of mourners as they left. Happy to say that the morticians did a nice job on me. (Photo: Addie Métivier)