The Best of BP&O — Books & Magazines of 2018

Selected by Richard Baird.

The Best of BP&O — Books & Magazines of 2018

As BP&O continues to build out its reviews to include work beyond graphic identity and package design we take a look back at the books and magazines published on BP&O in 2018. Highlights included Bedow’s haunting work on Who Protects Me From Violence, Fredrik Værslev As I Imagine Him by Zak Group andStudio Mut’s book on New Architecture in South Tyroll. However, there were five projects that stood out, and have made it into BP&O’s Best Of Series.

This feature brings together those book and magazine projects that find a synergy between content and form, and often develop the notion of pretext further, published on the site during 2018 for another opportunity to be seen and shared. These balance a strong and appropriate concept, structure and form with a compelling graphic and material response. These are BP&O’s favourites, and are presented in no particular order.


Book & Magazine Shortlist 2018


Fredrik Værslev As I Imagine Him by Zak Group, United Kingdom
Who Protects Me From Violence by Bedow, Sweden
Platform10: Live Feed by Pentagram, United States
Revolt by Paul Belford, United Kingdom
Goldlink Magazine by Spy, United Kingdom
Migrant Journal by Offshore Studio, Switzerland
OfficeUS Manual by Pentagram, United States
Tatau by Inhouse, New Zealand
Speculations On Anonymous Materials by Zak Group, United Kingdom
Critical Mass by Foreign Policy
Mies In London by OK–RM, United Kingdom
New Architecture in South Tyroll by Studio Mut


Speculations on Anonymous Materials by Zak Group, United Kingdom


The Best Books & Magazine Design of 2018 – Speculations on Anonymous Materials by Zak Group, United Kingdom

Speculations on Anonymous Materials (2013), nature after nature (2014) and Inhuman (2015) is a trilogy of exhibitions, curated by Susanne Pfeffer, that took place at Fridericianum, Europe’s oldest public museum, located in the German city of Kessel. The exhibitions, which mark the institution’s turn towards post-humanist thinking, intended to demonstrate how current artistic practices shift the theoretical boundaries separating the natural from the artificial. London-based design studio Zak Group was recently commissioned to catalogue the trilogy of exhibitions, which was then published by Koenig Books. The catalogue is set in German and English, has 220 pages and features three metallic spot colours.

See more of this project here


REVOLT by Paul Belford Ltd. United Kingdom


The Best Books & Magazine Design of 2018 – REVOLT by Paul Belford Ltd. United Kingdom

REVOLT is described as an instruction manual, tool-kit and practical guide for any business seeking to do more with their brand, or for individuals looking to get more out of life. The central premise is that having people on your side, and that the ability to form and activate a group is the secret to success, and essentially leverages and intends to help channel any feeling of disenfranchisement and anger into affirmative action and movements of change. Content feels very much of its time, although the visual and form language of action and disruption, revolution and dissent employed by Paul Belford Ltd. is an enduring and fairly universal one. Conflating political and societal struggles with corporate (or charitable) interest or self-help is bold and provocative, as is its visual expression.

See more of this project here


Migrant Journal by OffShore Studio, Switzerland


The Best Books & Magazine Design of 2018 – Migrant Journal by OffShore Studio, Switzerland

Migrant Journal is a six-part exploration of migration in all its forms. Indeed, it covers the very current and pressing political and socio-cultural implications of the migration of people fleeing from persecution, seeking better economic opportunities or under pressure from shifting environmental conditions, yet it also touches upon the more abstract movement of objects and ideas around the globe. Migrant Journal, in its breadth but continuity of theme, intends to reclaim the word migration, to make a break from the prejudices and clichés of migrants and migration.

This is a hands-on review, BP&O holds and has read issues 1,3 and 4, but unfortunately is missing Issue 2. Migrant Journal began as a Kickstarter project, is edited by Justinien Tribillon, Michaela Büsse and Dámaso Randulfe, co-edited and designed by Isabel Seiffert and Christoph Miler of Offshore Studio.

See more of this project here


Mies In London by OK-RM, United Kingdom


The Best Books & Magazine Design of 2018 – Mies In London by OK-RM, United Kingdom

Mies In London is a project by Real Foundation that seeks to document modernist architect Mies van der Rohe’s only design for the United Kingdom, Mansion House Square; a bronze tower and grand plaza located at the heart of London opposite the bank of England and commissioned in 1962 by Lord Peter Palumbo. Following a long struggle with Royal and political concerns, as well as increasing disfavour for modernism within the public consciousness, the project was halted by an inquiry in 1984 with many of the details and artefacts lost to time.

Through careful research and collaboration with RIBA, the CCA and Drawing Matter over three years, editor Jack London and co-editor Yulia Rudenko have brought to light the inside and out of Mansion House Square as envisioned by Mies. The project is an interesting and ambitious example of Gesamtkunstwerk / Total Project. This is expressed by Real Foundation in their own practice and material response through a combination of book and objects; an ashtray and door handle. The book, designed by OK-RM, chronicles and presents the grand architectural gesture and philosophy for the site using the arrangement of content; documents and images with extended captions as a narrative tool.

See more of this project here


Platform 10: Live Feed by Pentagram, United States


The Best Books & Magazine Design of 2018 – Platform 10: Live Feed by Pentagram, United States

Platform 10 is the latest edition of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s annual abstract of student work, events, lectures and exhibitions. Under the theme “Live Feed” and inspired by social media feeds, Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have collated and formalised the 2016-2017 school year, in reverse chronological order, presenting this as a timeline of images drawn from a crowd-sourced database of 117,518 files. The pages of Platform 10 are bound by a French fold, giving the book the quality of a single continuous stream of paper, which is augmented by the sequencing and cropping of images, and the way that these occasionally disappear into the crease.

See more of this project here


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