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Publication > 11.2 Single Book Cover

Otl Aicher's Isny

by dn&co

When all its surrounding towns were marketing themselves through Alpine cliche – cows, mountains, dirndls – Isny turned to modernist designer Otl Aicher. He reduced the town to stark pictograms, entirely black & white.

Published by Place Press, this is the first English book to chronicle this controversial campaign. The cover is treated as a resource for the reader: it unfolds to a birds-eye view of the work, a comprehensive, pocket-sized exhibition.

Place Press is a new publisher exploring the intersection between people, places & culture.
Place Press’s objective is to tell stories of substance about place, to a global audience of designers, architects, urbanists and design-enthusiasts.

When designing the cover for the book, we had to take consider the fact that Otl Aicher’s work is highly recognisable – so how to create something that is respectful of his rigour, without being a copycat of it? The cover also had to create something ownable for Place Press – something that, as its debut book, positions Place Press as an important new voice.
Our solution was to design a cover with a dual-purpose: to confidently act as a window to the book, and to be a resource to the reader. The dust jacket unfolds into a poster comprised of many posters: an overview to Aicher’s extensive work for Isny. This patchwork of images strings together a story of Isny, how Aicher saw it and the many different ways he communicated it. But at its simplest, the dust jacket is a value add for the reader – a poster they can hang on their wall.

As big admirers of Aicher’s work we knew we needed to take the extra step to help readers engage with his work. So many subtle details emerge from viewing his work at once – the patterns, the idiosyncrasies and the stories they tell. The dust jacket achieves this for our readers, and helps them observe this bird’s-eye-view for themselves.

This book was produced between May and August 2017, released in September 2017 and was featured in leading publications in the UK and beyond including Creative Review, Monocle, Wallpaper, Dezeen, It’s Nice That, FormFiftyFive, Design Observer (US), Novum (Germany) and IDEA (Japan).

70% of the first edition of 1000 copies were sold in the first 4 months. It can be purchased online at placepress.com, and through Counter-Print, Standards Manual (NY), and Tsutaya (Tokyo). Additional book vendors will carry this book in 2018.

  • Creative Directors Patrick Eley
  • Art Directors
  • Designers Guy Hulse
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers Tian Khee Siong
  • Editors
  • Copywriters Elli Stuhler
  • Publishing Director Joy Nazzari
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