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Structure of the visual book Paperback – 1988


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Paperback, 1988
$14.87 $2.35

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 113 pages
  • Publisher: K.A. Smith; 1st edition (1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089822036X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898220360
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,852,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By John F. Ward on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This volume, rather than just providing dry (or gluey) how-to instructions on how to MAKE a book, offers readers new ways to THINK about what a book IS, how to make a book expressive beyond the reader's expectations. Smith is clearly a deep thinker, but not without a sense of humor. He is able to rip apart the structure of the book by examining our preconceptions, and he is then able to assemble a new vision of what the word BOOK means, and he is THEN able to draw on his impressive skills to actually assemble the book that serves up that vision, or to show practitioners how that can be done.
Frankly, I was blown away, first by his ideas and then when I read the copyright date. I can only imagine where he's been going since the '70s!
As a letterpress printer, as a photographer and user of alternative processes and media, I strongly recommend this piece to people who need a little shaking up, or who simply want to be amused and entertained.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Starla Stensaas on August 31, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommended this book to another artist interested in working with the book form and when I came to amazon.com to send a direct link I couldn't believe there is only one review for this book. This is a classic in thinking conceptually about the structure and sequencing of a book, as well as thinking conceptually about what a "book" is as an artifact and an artform.

Although the text is a little intuitive for linear readers at times, anyone who wants to explore the book as an artform must take a look at Keith Smith's work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jack Gurney on March 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised. I expected a book full of bookmaking methods from a review I saw on another site but as another reviewer here points out, it strives to make the reader think first, and then, after understanding what they are trying to achieve, THEN make books. Inspirational.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Marysia on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a long, detailed how-to on the construction of books as visual art objects. I have no doubt the author is an intelligent man and knows what he's talking about. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts to comprehend his rationalization of artistic technique, the text was very hard to get. It works best if you read through it quickly and pretend you understand, in an artsy 'anything goes' sort of way, and then understanding comes in a fashion. The photographs were a great addition but might have benefited from color. Also, this is a personal preference, but many of the "books" were completely un-functional, ugly, and disturbing for my taste.

I am an aspiring writer and consider myself a pretty off-the-wall artistic soul, but I concede there are artists out there who are just plain weirder than myself. I also don't have a high tolerance for the narcissistic end of the avant-garde spectrum. Writers--and text!--exist for a reason. I want a book to be about something meaningful, not just an ego trip for the artist who expects people to puzzle out the mysteries of his "one of a kind" masterpiece. Most of the time when confronted with some of the glaring, distasteful monstrosities in the photographs, my thought was: dear god, what a waste of trees.
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