Landscape as Urbanism
Client—Princeton University Press
7 by 9 inches, 216 pages, casebound
As designers, we are always looking for ways in which a project’s subject and organization might indicate possible aesthetic directions. With Landscape as Urbanism we were particularly interested in the strong system-based approach to landscape that the book delves into. We thought that if we developed a simple set of rules to determine the interactions of the images and the text we could arrive at a design that both adhered to the content, and produced unexpected effects.
To that end, we made two separate sets of rules, one for the images and another for the text, that would dictate how each would be internally organized as well as how they would interact. Quite simply, images are aligned at the bottom of the page and move upwards; text aligns at the top of the page and moves downwards. Thus the organizational grid is different in both direction and dimension for both text and image. In this way, the contrasting alignments make the text and image systems complementary to each other—indeed, put them in conversation. Instead of simple inline or full-bleed arrangements, these complementary systems produce a variety of page configurations while maintaining a predictability that facilitates reading.
To further distinguish the text and image systems, there are two ink colors used in the book, each assigned a function: Dark blue is used for text and all navigational elements on the page. Umber is used for images and their captions, as Charles Waldheim had requested that the images appear “dirty”; we thought umber created that earthy effect.
The book’s cover combines the dirty umber ink with florescent orange ink, a visual reference to construction site safety equipment. The combination of “natural/unnatural” echoes the book’s own engagement with the nature/culture continuum, one of the central ideas explored in Landscape as Urbanism.