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Spine Language | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Spine Language

Photos by Mickey Smith

I came across a fascinating series of photographs from the artist Mickey Smith via the blog userslib. She has photographed bound periodicals and professional journals from public libraries. Plain covers and spines of these type of books are typically void of any expression yet when singled out by her, the colour and type become quite expressive. Will these forms of bound periodicals be around five or ten years from now? As with information being digitized and space becoming a premium, it would be hard to imagine these bound periodicals lasting as is. You can read more about her project VOLUME at www.mickeysmithart.com/volume.htm

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  • http://www.mlarson.org Mark Larson

    Interesting stuff. Analog to this is Mark Luthringer’s Ridgemont Typologies. When you see these things consciously grouped, you evoke something a bit different from just the unit.

    And I hope those bound journals will stick around for a while, because while they’re often indexed electronically, a lot of the actual content just isn’t online yet. And if it is, you know it’s going to be behind a paywall.

    But we’ll get there one day. I’d love to have a print-on-demand, build-your-own reference book kind of thing, where you can browse a publication, pick and choose the articles you want on [Insert Topic], click a few times, and they mail you a freshly printed softcover after a few days.