Building into a Book

In order to clear up my work in progress with student projects and make space for the latest post-university projects (aka after assessment!) I am cleaning up the categories, but here are the CSM-specific categories just in case of need:
(and don’t forget to scroll down if you want to read through the development of a project from start to finish!)

Projects done around CSM

Year Two at Central Saint Martins (2012-2013):
Unit 5
Visual Language: International Klein Blue
Liberty’s Department Store into Flipbooks, a building translated into a book
Yves Klein by himself, a book translated into a building
Blast/Bless: Postcards from London, Luxembourg and Paris

Unit 6 – The Bigger Picture

Unit 7
Time is of the Essence: Student Organiser
What if Music Could Be Seen: Musical Perception
Pop Up Shop: &London Notebooks

Context / Dissertation
Unit 8-9

Year Three at Central Saint Martins (2013-2014):
Unit 10
Home Town: Luxembourg(ish)
The Value of an Image
A Do Something But Not Anything Manifesto
Public/Personal Space

TSI (Typography Special Interest Group)

Final Year Digital


Events & Exhibitions

Competitions & Collaborations & Live Briefs
Barnard & Westwood
Font Aid IV

An Illustration Workshop
An Internship at the Imprimerie du Marais
Art Auction 2013 Catalogue
D&AD British Council
D&AD Monotype



Change of plans

As I said, I have to change the form of the books again as the flipbook would interfere with the format I set for my grids. So I am going to simplify the book by making it a book which first purpouse is not to be flipped. Instead it is going to include the illustrations/grids with a text set accordingly to each specific grid/illustration. But instead of the letters trying to illustrate the grids as they would have done in the flipbooks, the grid won’t necessarily be visible anymore by only looking at the text.
Using a selection of illustrations from the façade, the booklet should be divided into the different floors, using what is sold on the different floors as content, without clearly saying what it is that is sold there. It could be like an orientation guide for the building. However, for the moment I am not going to put a table of contents or page numbering to repeat the lack of orientation, and since they seem to move their shops around in the building as well. (even though it seems logical to change the Christmas Shop to only Arts & Crafts and Furniture).

January's Store Map

January’s Store Map

But, as I am analysing the different forms of the front, I realise that, even if they slightly differ in width, different windows and suppors, the main structure is always the same, such as the different levels and the vertical lines that repeat each other continuously through the façade.Photo735

3hile I am again looking at the differences that are between the different parts of the building, analysing the details and searching for differences, I think back to the beginning of the brief and to the question:

How do you translate the building into a book?

and I realise that there doesn’t necessarily need to be text in a book, or booklets. Or flipbooks. Instead of the text, I could use the image itself to construct itself throughout the flipbook, showing the similarities and differences between the parts.
Now, could that solve my problem, or am I just too attached to my idea of a series of little flipbooks?


Another option are virtual books, which would remove the problem of the gap. But this would mean again that my format wouldn’t be adapted to the support, at least not for desktop versions. It could work on iPads and tablets.

The different versions would then be a variation of each grid, simulating the flipbook by allowing to go through the pages quickly, but also to stop at a page and look at it.

In theory, I would do a flipbook version for every of the fourteen sections, so that when you have the fourteen booklets lying one next to another they form the whole building. I could then also add two small booklets, one about the Liberty sign and one for the ship sculpture that is above the main entrance.



I do now realise that the flipbooks have to be quite big in order for them to be readable and have enough text in them, and to leave enough space on the side of the image.
As my format is very, very vertical, I planned to do vertical versions. Yet, this would mean that a lot of text would disappear at the lower part of the page, as increasing and adding margings under the format to allow space would make it very difficult to actually ‘flip’ the book.
This means that it would be better to do a horizontal flipbook, enlarging the width of the pages in order to leave a gap on the left side, while pushing the text to the outer right side. As my format is now 178 x 80 mm, this would make it a lot wider.


Sketchbook extracts, notes

Sketchbook extracts, notes

So what does one need to make a flipbook:

– a set of images/pages
– a lot of unneeded space next to the binding
– paper that is resistant and not too thin but not too heavy either
– preferably a horizontal format, but not necessarily
– enough marging in order to allow the book to bend
– enough pages to support each other during the bending

My initial idea:

From a leaflet over a poster to flipbooks, I am using the grid of the building’s front as bases.

Analyse of the grids:

The building’s front is not flat and in one part. Instead is divided into fourteen different vertical sections, divided by the forms, the roofs and also the variations in depth.
All sections of the building are based on the same grid: which is visible due to the wooden beams. Every part is divided into the different floor levels and into vertical wooden beams that are installed in regular distances one from the other.
On this same base grid, there then have been added variations to each part, such as different windows, other intersections, and roofs.
The grid I am basing my project on is the very visible dark wooden structure that contrasts to the white paint.


Using the bases, I set text onto these grids. However, instead of showing the whole text, I want to be able to make it confusing and disorientating (again, the feeling of lost while in the building, too much information at the same time and no good overview of the buildings).
In order to do this, I moved away from the leaflets and posters towards the format of  flipbooks.