During my time at University I have taken pride in my ability to design and make books and so wanted to use one in my work. I have looked closely sequencing images into a narrative. However, adding text is something that I have not dealt with a great deal. Neither have I had such a strong narrative structure planned as to the book I am designing.
I have chosen to revisit Chattanooga: The Green Factory by Pierre Bessard. It is a book about an eco-town in the most polluting country on the planet, the United States. It is a compilation of family portraits and landscapes of the town coupled with quotes from the families themselves. I too am using quotes to accompany the images.
The Green Factory is a self publication by French photographer Pierre Bessard. He travelled to Chattanooga in America to explore more of the neighbourhood the residents have created. The photobook comprises of family portraits within their homes, personal stories and architectural photography. The Green Factory is a neighbourhood which challenges the stereotype of Americans being the carbon giants, as this community lives by eco-friendly means.
Firstly, the introduction is in a font I do not recognise, yet still takes a contemporary feel. Bessards clever use of different sized font draws the eye to read it thoroughly and breaks the ice for most introductions delivered in photobooks. With photography as such a visual medium I find quite often that introductions are often skipped. Glancing at the text in itself is visually appealing with clever use of graphic design.
The book has a continuity of rhythm; between each full page there is a folded page. This does make the book engaging, but I worry that after some time it can get very monotonous and predictable. At the beginning starting the book however, I feel that with the interesting font design a viewer is inclined to read the text on the folded page to open out and view the portrait hidden inside, yet as the book progresses I wonder whether the first quick glance of this book, the viewer gets more involved with the turning the pages rather than engaging properly.
I extremely admire the design that goes into this book; it is so visually striking. The design of the text using different sizes, capital letters and so on gives a sense of creativity and even makes a unique viewing experience. However, on reflection of my book, I know that I will not be having such bright colours and shadows portrayed here, but soft and woody. I must remember that the work should echo a sense of quietness, much like the archive itself. Chattanooga appears to almost persuade a viewer to live more efficiently, yet, my work is not meant for persuasion but to inform and tease. I think perhaps a more understated font would be more idea for my work.