The chief difficulty facing panel members when Me We appeared on the table was not allowing themselves to be caught up with the superb photographs that make up the book’s contents. Once this difficulty had been recognized, however, it turned out to have easily enough other qualities to justify selection as one of the Best Dutch Book Designs.
First of all there is the editorial decision to have the portraits arranged as a single unbroken story of life from birth to death. That way the anecdotal becomes universal, and me really does become we. Then there is the way the images are served up, monochrome and colour, page-filling or even larger, all resolved in a free sequence as seemed best. The captions are periodically grouped on otherwise blank pages which thereby, in a single gesture, both impose rhythm in the sequence and give a helping hand to those wanting to know the names that go with the faces. The lithography and printing on matt paper are excellent.
That there was no decision to choose a particular portrait on the front cover is in keeping with the photographer’s glamourless style. Instead, the title on the cover gains added force – a strong gesture. That the spine title does not read from top to bottom, as is customary in the Netherlands and Belgium, is either sloppy or contrary – but which?