Someone who does not have the experience of teaching design could be forgiven for overlooking this publication. As a graduation project from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, the designers also took on the role of author and researcher, going in search of various philosophical perspectives for their socially urgent investigation of oil pollution in the ocean, before visualising this within existing print techniques in the form of a paper publication. This elaborate and somewhat abstract piece of student research is therefore for ‘insiders’, but also attains a level that justifies inclusion of this book in the selection for 2020.
The consistent design leads the viewer, through the best table of contents we saw, into the abstract topic. The material collated and generated is intriguing. A stunning piece of planography in blue at its heart. The more we leaf, the more we see what is happening. In spite of its somewhat hermetic quality, the book feels fantastic.
It is a pleasure to see how designers just starting out on their careers have used the book and typography to represent their research. Not only does this give rise to hope, it is also very stimulating: a fully-fledged farewell for a student ready to fly the nest.
The practical legibility of the text on the back gave rise to much discussion. We understand that this is in line with the autonomous concept, but some members of the jury wondered whether this might not be a little too obvious.