I had so much fun coming up with the book cover and spine design for Andy Heitz's Kickstarter-funded project called #notmychairnotmyproblemthatswhatisay. His campaign was successfully funded and an initial run of 100 copies were printed. These little coffee table books are compiled of photos of lost, abandoned or strangely situated chairs from across the globe, united under the insanely long hashtag #notmychairnotmyproblemthatswhatisay
DESIGN PROCESS & PROPOSALS
I was initially inspired by the famous Herman Miller chairs and their sleek minimalism. When I think of minimalist design, I think of swiss design which I tried to emulate for a few of the cover options.
Andy really wanted to use the photo on the left, since it was the first photo that he used the hashtag with:
On this guy I expanded upon the idea of using the speech bubble to express the hashtag as a thought. It seemed cartoonish, so I wanted to emulate the stylized cartoon-iness seen in late 50s and 60s illustrations. If we would have explored this further, I would have liked to do some hand lettering and more texture.
In the end we decided this photo was a little too grainy to use as the cover photo. Although, all the covers incorporated instagram images that used the hashtag.
Here I got a little ambitious without time to execute, but my idea was to create a wire chair with the words in wire. I did a quick hand lettering sketch and quickly mocked it up in photoshop (did I mention this was super quick?)
"graffiti straddles that border between trash and art."
The last round of options I provided played with the idea that these chairs are abandoned and left to the will of the masses. Some see them as trash, but some of them are perfectly usable — another man's treasure as the saying goes. What has been discarded, Andy has viewed as a collective art piece. Although none of the chairs in these photos were directly graffitied I liked the idea that they were vulnerable to it and that graffiti straddles that border between trash and art.
Andy chose a variation of the graffitied brick wall design :)
For the spine I illustrated a silhouette of a chair and added springs popping out of it (as so many of the photos conveyed). I then mocked it up as a graffiti stencil.
Side note on endpaper: why don't we see it anymore? I used to be mesmerized by endpaper designs as a child (most memorably in The Rainbow Goblin — See Below; too trippy not to share). I recently got to revisit that whimsical feeling after picking up Lena Dunham's beautifully designed hardback, Not That Kind of Girl. The endpaper features pretzels and tutus placed together to create awesome kaleidoscopic patterns, designed by Flat Vernacular (See Below) <insert heart eye emoji>.
For my research in the very beginning stages of designing for #notmychairnotmyproblemthatswhatisay I did a lot of doodling. A whole lot. I originally wanted to do a pattern of doodled chair designs for the endpaper, but it didn't end up flowing with the final cover we chose (see above).
In any case, here is a little gallery of these fun guys that never got to be a part of that endpaper world:
Endpaper in The Rainbow Goblin: The trippiest kid's book that will give you nightmares but you can't look away it's so beautiful. Of all time.
RESOURCES & FURTHER EXPLORATION
For more inspirational chairs, see Design Museum's gallery of chairs. A beautiful design history of chairs through the decades.
For anyone in the San Francisco, Bay Area with a chance to check out the De Young Museum, they have a stunning collection of chairs that span throughout history.