Last September I was introduced to the publishing concept of Le Cool from Andrew Losowsky who showed me a number of books based on different cities. I really liked thumbing through them because each was uniquely designed for each city. While I only spent a couple minutes looking through each I really appreciated the design of each. Recently I was contacted by Le Cool’s PR wondering if I would be interested in taking a closer look at their revised Barcelona guide. While I probably won’t be visiting Barcelona anytime soon I thought it would be worth taking a closer look at it.
What I remembered when I was looking through some of the other city books with Andrew is that I thought they were worth having even if someone wasn’t planning a trip there. There were as many stories as things “to do”. The structure of the book goes something like this—each chapter is broken into chunks of hours, starting at 6am and ending at 5.30am the following day. Each of those clusters of hours is in context, typically there’s some eating, seeing stuff and things to buy along with a couple miscellaneous things. Each layout is designed differently which really suits this format, once again it implies context that isn’t easy to template.
While that makes up the majority of the book, there’s a couple other sections worth mentioning. There’s a directory of all the places mentioned. comparing the visual experience and the barebones directory that’s used for quick reference is helpful. A person can take in the experience vs the places they’ve wanted to take note of. The other part of the book which was probably my favorite was the hand drawn maps that display where everything is.
Whenever I read a book these days I try to wonder how the books content would transfer to my iPhone and iPad. Because the book is designed specifically for a small format I wonder how a designer might change the format. If I was in the city how would my iPhone transfer those stories and tips. Overall I think it could be a pretty great experience plus would give the person using the book on their iPhone to share their own stories. I’ll be keeping my eyes to see if they start evolving the format in this evolving mobile world.