An exploration of the ins and outs of opposites and other concepts, using simple shapes and inventive paper design.
Safirstein uses big, abstract or nearly abstract forms in primary colors on clean white backgrounds to demonstrate relationships in both obvious and nuanced ways. Opposite a massive blue blotch labeled “HUGE,” for instance, that opens in a gatefold to reveal the silhouette of a blue whale, the notion of “Large” is represented by a gray blotch—mounted on a flap beneath which an elephant and the word “gray” lurk—alongside examples in yellow, red, and purple for “Small,” “Very Small,” and (sans flap, since it’s just a spot) “Tiny.” Likewise dots on a ladybug and fingers on each of two (light-skinned) hands predictably demonstrate “One” through “Five.” But “Climb” on one side of a hill is paired to “Go Down” on the other; rows of embossed dots contrast “Straight” with “Curved”; and a circle “Alone” at the top of a slot can be drawn down to the bottom so it’s “Together” with other geometric shapes. Even the conclusion is clever, as after lifting a final gatefold to “Open” a flower, the book would be (as noted on the rear cover) “Closed.”
A tour de force of elemental infographics, likely to spend almost as much time “Open” as “Closed.” (Novelty. 3-5)