VE3 is a re-imagining of a book originally published in the 1960s. The book is the first ever book in a box”, called Composition No.1 by Marc Saporta. When we say book in a box we mean: quite literally a book that comes in a box with loose pages. The narrative is contained on each page, leaving it up to the reader to decide the order they read the book, and how much or how little of the book they want to read before they begin again. In so many ways, Composition No.1 was published ahead of its time: the book raises all the questions we ask ourselves today about user-centric, non-linear screen driven ways of reading.
With this in mind, Visual Editions approached Tom Uglow of Creative Labs Google and Youtube to write an introduction for the book. This re-imagined edition also includes several of Salvador Plascencia’s (author of The People of Paper) drawings, looking at all the different components that make up a typical” book. The book is designed by Universal Everything, a London based design studio known for their interactive screen-based work (clients include MTV and AOL).
The book, as Visual Editions have shown with their other two titles, will have a high attention to design and production values and in many ways is the best example of a book as an object, or better yet, the book as an experience. Along with their usual consideration to high quality craft and finish, the designers have also generated unique digitally-generated artwork for the backs of each page, making for a gorgeous, tactile design relevant to literary, art and design and digital audiences.
Ultimately, Visual Editions’ re-imagined Composition No.1 asks readers to question: what is it that makes a book a book?
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Marc Saporta (1923-2009) was a French novelist, essayist and literary critic. He is the author of five acclaimed novels: Le Furet (1959), La Distribution (1961), La Quete (1961), Composition No. 1 (1962) and Les Invites (1964). He also translated writings by Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac and Martin Luther King.
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