#1 The Most _______ Kask Library Books 28-31.01.2013 Workshop by Charlotte Cheetham - manystuff.org
3BA graphic design Teachers: Jurgen Malfeyt, Thomas Desmet, Geoffrey Brusatto, Sara de Bondt
Hogeschool Gent – KASK, Gent
The Most _______ Kask Library Books promotes and rewards books coming from the Library of Kask.
As the curator of the whole event and its catalogue, students had to imagine the whole competition, its motivation (to highlight the most “something” books), the jury and their decisions, and to create the catalogue, as an archive of this year winners, which highlights specific aspects related to the (fake) competition purpose.
With a fantasy approach, students had to create a context (what kind of books are rewarded by whom) and select 10 winners books in the library. They then had to create the catalogue - its form and content - that constitute the trace of the competition and document the awarded books.
Every year Trash to Treasures collects the most ignored books in the KASK library. We’re talking about that little book that has been hiding in the back of the shelf or the dull grey cover that nobody ever noticed. Our mission is to give these books a second chance. To give them a place to shine, a moment of spotlight. Every book of every genre is welcome. The only qualification is that the book never left the library.
The base for this book was to make a catalog of the 10 weirdest books in the KASK library. Which I entangled in my own opinion and life. I started by taking the 10 books, of which I personally thought, were the weirdest. Which means having titles that you can misinterpret. I wanted to make the book something personal, something I alone could write and make. So I took each of the books and when the title, the content or the pictures reminded me of something I’ve been through or experienced in my life, I wrote the story down. Right next to that story I put an image of the subject in that particular story with a small sentence that said that you could get more information at the back. The extra information included photos of the books along with the titles and authors, respectively. The chapters are also named after the books. The design is inspired, and sometimes very literally, by Penguin books. These books had a distinctive color code and design. That’s why my book looks like a novel at first but actually is a mix between my personal vision and the facts about the books themselves.
This catalogue is the result of a search for the most essential books for survival in the KASK library.
First we made a list of 10 themes for survival, these are ranked in order of importance. Hereafter the jury made a selection of the most basic books that were found for every specific theme, within these books we selected the most interesting pages for survival. On these pages we deleted the needless text and kept the essential. We paid attention to the level of important information and explanation, preferably with clear images. All these books serve as manuals for survival, they advise you to be active. This is rather in contrast with the passive reading which is mostly done in the library. So the purpose of this catalogue is to motivate people to do things themselves, that is why we want the books to be as basic as possible. Instead of going to IKEA, you can use the catalogue as a guideline for constructing furniture. Houses can be built with bare hands using found materials and maybe the pursuit of happiness can be made easier with Schopenhauer.
The result of the catalogue looks like a manual and starting point for a civilization, a new beginning as a protest against the extravaganza of these modern times.
Our graphic approach towards this catalogue flows out of the idea of survival as well. It is based on the idea of a fire emergency button. This explains our choice for a strong glass frame in which the catalogue is conserved. When needed, the glass has to be broken with a small hammer that accompanies the frame. We suggest to hang it on the walls of the library.
Each library has its own secrets. Sometimes you would prefer to lend one book and it wouldn’t be available nor on the shelf at the library nor by some student’s home.
We were interested in books which gone missing over the past years. Officially there are 27 books aren’t available at the moment in KASK library, but it was not easy to get as we thought. As workers said that information was for internal use only and was not for share - our curiosity reached the maximum. We found that fact suspicious and decided to investigate the problem of mysteriously missing books with a help of professional library people. Jury of our competition consists of 3 workers of kask library: Katia, Paul, Birgitta. They wanted to keep their identity hidden. After some hours trying to gain more information and thorough thinking, jury decided to give us less then the half of all names. 12 books have won our Most Wanted competition and as a price we will try to find them. Each book has its name, author, size, amount of pages – everything is used to make our search easier.
Books who have been damaged by using them or by threatening them not well are having a transformation in form as well as in content. Books who have been damaged by using them, like most books in a library, often have change of bookcover because the original one hass been teared apart or has been damaged to much. This means that the original cover, who has been placed by the designer gets changed to a more neutral cover, just to restore the book in a proper state.
When the design changes, the look and feel changes in the same way. The book gets a new and different form. People who pass by the bookshelf do not, or notice less often the book because of it’s neutral look.
Also gets the content changed in the same way. The readers of the books in the library often places notes inside the book, or underline the important content in the text. Corners of the pages often gets folded to remember where the reader last read the book. Some of the publications misses pages, cover, etc. That way next to form, also the content changes. As we see that a book is in constant transformation by age and use, this seems quite controverse, as a book is made to last and to have a permanent form and content.
Change in form and content is not to be seen as good or bad, as some people for example get to see the important pieces better by the highlighted paragraphs from the former readers of the book. Otherwise, some have the opinion that books are meant to be in the original state and do not have to change, so they threat their books very carefully and store them well.
As a publication who highlight this subject, we created the ‘Most damaged KASK library book. This is a softcover publication (17cmx24cm). To add a layer on top of the printer matter, we wrote the titles and additional text with a pencil on the publication. This creates a more used and layered design, as well as it makes each design different from the other.
150 books were selected in the search of finding the most intelligent books of 2012. To execute this inteligent idea, 5 extremely intelligent and successful judges were selected: Rob Granito, Edward David Wood Jr., Andrew Layton “Andy” Schlafy, Ken Alfred Ham, Lawrence Mark “Larry” Sanger. These judges were chosen because they each are outstanding in there own discipline.
The 10 books in this catalogue each got an award for most intelligent book. We are extremely proud to present these books too you. These ten winners represent the quality that is needed to make an encyclopaedia; every encyclopaedia should have this as a minimum. The jury based their decision on the sophistication and intelligence that they eject. These aspects are obtained by the luxury and grandeur of the covers. Other criteria were the binding, the corps, the number of letters, the use of linen and rotogravure with gold. This kind of design guarantees us that the book is full of knowledge and intelligence.
The catalogue exists of essays about the exterior of a book, the ten winning books en their decisive aspects and an enumeration of the judges and their biographies. The design is made by Guido Van Liefferinge.
We started with the idea of making a catalogue for the most borrowed books of the schoolyear 2012–2013. The project started with a clear list. We quickly found a winner, El Croquis: de arquitectura y de diseno. Or so far we thought. Trough the process we discovered several mistakes in the archive system of the KASK-library. The assignment suddenly turned into a whole new perspective. The list became very interesting…
This catalogue is the result of a simple listing of the most borrowed books. The ranking was given to us by the system that is used in the KASK library. In fact, the jury is non-existing. It is a jury that exist of several algorithms which are used in the system. In this way, lists are created and printed. It is on this list that the catalogue is based.
In the catalogue we choose a form that clears up all the mistakes in the library system. First you see a little text that tells info about the book and then secondary and hidden we put our own input in the catalogue showed by our handwritten notes. It is our personal impression so it is human. The quote errare humanum est, found on every notepage, is the reference of that impression. Making mistakes are human. We found several mistakes in the system. The most important mistakes found in the system was that the list isn’t correct at all. It puts books in the wrong position. The book that is in the first position is not right. You read the reason in the hidden notes. An other mistake that we found is that there is not any kind of logic in the categorization of books that has been borrowed the same times. It isn’t an alphabetic system or any other kind of logical ordering. An other mistake is the update of it. That mistake is also explained in the notes.
It was a very interesting workshop. Not only as a quick assignment but also with all the different layers that we found in the system of the library. It made us look further then the information that we received. Maybe the information that we received is consciously manipulated.
It is important to collect all sorts of items, both in terms of objects and in terms of information, this gives a nice overview on a specific topic. Selecting the information and its representation is very important. So there are different criteria for determining both the creator and the designer must consider.
We decided to assess the following 10 criteria for a reason. The cover and title are responsible for the first impression of the book. It should be a summary of the interior, and clearly show the essence of the book. The introduction gives the reader a perspective of how the selection is made. This selection is crucial, especially when you have selected a group of 100. In addition, the order of importance to the essence of the book to make it clear: is it a top 100 or just a collection of 100 items. The description serves as the interpretation of the selection, which makes it clear on what the selection is based. To give more value to the book, the relationship between image and text is very important. On graphical level, the use of the correct font is very important to have a certain atmosphere. When you make a collection of 100 items, a register comes in very handy. But the publication itself must be compact, which depends on the size, paper. And, of course, is the choice of the theme for the book of interest. It determines whether it can be a useful book, if only for a particular audience. In this publication you will find a collection of books that contains a collection of 100 items.
Every year, KASK organizes a contest between the books in the school library. Based on their ‘looks’ we should be capable of finding the most complete and persuasive book as an object on itself. The selection, made by the jury consists of maximum ten books. Those books have subjects from design to art and architecture. Every book has its own individuality and the expressive concept and the ways the reader can be attracted is more important than the lay-out, for example. We emphasize that this is not a beautiful design competition, it’s more about the physical aspect, which include the material, the originality and the interaction with the reader.
The jury consists of the designer Roger Marisse, the publisher Otto Appeldoorn, the graphic designer Cameron Sthore, the curator Christina Von Curber and bookbinder Charlotte Berchler.
The criteria is undefended because the identity of the book should be shown in its extern form and material, the cover, the originality and why we should prefer it to other books, we praise the book as an object.