Type and Face by Mannbutte

Type and Face

KIRKUS REVIEW

A glossy photography collection featuring a broad variety of typography and design combinations.

This book brings together photographs taken by Bhatti (a photographer and designer who published under his artistic identity, Mannbutte) and interpretations of those photographs by the author and 14 of his fellow artists and designers. Many of those interpretations make use of typography, often in the form of tributes to a typeface the designer clearly admires: “The girl was tall. Her legs were slender. Kind of like Akzidenz Grotesk,” says text accompanying the silhouette of one leggy model. Sometimes the typefaces are anthropomorphized: “Meet Futura. Thin and bold. And sometimes when she’s had one too many, italic.” Besides serving as a tribute to the variety of typefaces available to designers, the book also celebrates the range of artistic imagination. Many of the photographs in the collection have been interpreted by more than one contributor, often with strikingly different results. Photographs are reprocessed, transformed by color and given new meaning through design overlays. Some of the photographs are displayed without any typographical design at all—a surprising choice given the book’s title. In fact, aside from the occasional clever wordplay, typefaces make up a far less substantial portion of the book than the title and introduction might lead readers to expect. The emphasis is clearly on the images as well as the fact that these designers want readers to know that the contributors see themselves as creators of profound, meaningful art. Whether the reader agrees will depend on his or her patience with the concept, particularly as it is represented by attractive females with come-hither expressions. There is no question, however, that the book as a whole is an attractive package, well-laid-out with high-quality, full-bleed printing. The collaboration effectively blends the styles of a variety of different artistic perspectives, both contrasting and complementary.

A coffee table–ready tribute to photography and design.

Pub Date: March 25th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1483604787
Page count: 236pp
Publisher: Xlibris
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2013




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