Ugly Greatness?

We picked up two books yesterday, both great books, but both with very unique design. One is Trips & Trails Oregon by William L. Sullivan, the other is Re-imagine! by Tom Peters. In both cases, I was both attracted and unnerved by the design.

Trips & Trails Oregon is an amazing book, every page crammed with text, pictures, drawings, and even full-color (pink!) drop-shadows. It is obviously the passion of one person, who seemingly designed the book, took all the pictures, and wrote all the text. It really is an almost perfect book about traveling and hiking in Oregon, and once I stopped looking at the book as a graphic designer (and started looking at it as a “user”), I was hooked. But don’t even get me started on the author’s website!

Re-imagine is a different story. Mr. Peters obviously intends for the book to appear as shocking as the story he tells! For someone who has chosen a red exclamation point (“Pantone PMS 032!”) as his company’s logo, the book’s design is not surprising. Though the obnoxious over-use of color, photography, and red design elements is quite distracting, the content of the book is invaluable, and one can tell by his website that he does indeed “get it.” The book is pretty much a must-read for every modern business.

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.