The London (1994) Message Book

  • Josh Hester

This project involved turning the film-essay, London (1994) By Patrick Kieller, capturing its message, and relaying the elements of the film into a book. The movie is fully reliant on visuals and is a series of well composed 35mm filmn shots that help tell the story of Patrick Kieller’s journey through London in 1992, accomponied by Paul Scofields narration.

It is essentially a visual journal of chronological entries of what happened that year, hence the leather cover and months/dates being the chapters. Throughout, the main character presents strong Parisian envy, and to show this conflict I used Romana, designed by French type designer Theophile Beaudoire in 1860, and Apercu, released by Colophon a UK-based studio in 2010. Another french influence I featured in the book is the binding technique, a french fold. Every other page is hidden behind the fold that unless you look closer you won't notice.

The initial design of the book was long-winded and just a copy and paste of the film's visuals with text. I changed the editorial layout completely because I didn’t feel it worked. It felt unintentional, just lazy and premature. I found a few roadblocks when it came to my budget and what I thought I could do, in terms of printing and production. I allowed it to limit me instead of using what I could in those parameters.

Learning to work within my time and financial constraints was key in this project and actually ended up producing a more meaningful outcome than originally intended. For the refined outcome, I decided to relate the fact that in the film version all of the focus was put on the visuals and the narration was secondary to compliment it. I chose to flip it so that the focus of the book interpretation is all on the text (narration) and the images (visual) are secondary hidden on the inside of the french fold.