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Book Design

3D Printed Storybooks For Visually Impaired Children

3dprintedbookResearchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have designed a series of children’s books for the visually impaired.

U-Boulder’s Tactile Picture Books Project uses 3D printing technology to turn classic children’s books including Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon and Harold and Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon into books with three dimensional tactile experiences.

Colorado.edu has more: “The main idea is to represent 2D graphics in a 3D, tactile way on a scale appropriate for the cognitive abilities and interests of young children, said Yeh. The team combines this information with computational algorithms — essentially step-by-step instructions for mathematical calculations — providing an interface that allows parents, teachers and supporters to print their own customized picture books using 3D computers.” (Via Electric Literature).

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Food Writing

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NY Artist Carves Books Into Beautiful Sculptures

dettmerNew York-based artist Brian Dettmer uses old books to create beautiful sculptures. Dettmer uses knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve up the pages of a book. He does not add or move around content from the book, he only removes items to create new meanings with the page.

Here is more about the book from his artist’s statement: “The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge.”

Dettmer is not alone is using books as a medium for art. Julia Strand and Mike Stillkey also work with old books in their creations.

Penguin UK Reveals New Charlie & the Chocolate Factory Cover Design

charlie-the-chocolate-factory-pmc-667x1024bPenguin UK has redesigned the cover of Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the book.

Here is more about the redesign from the publisher’s blog: “This new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl’s writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life, ready for Charlie’s debut amongst the adult titles in the Penguin Modern Classics series.”

Some people responded negatively to the new cover on Twitter. Read more

Harvard Experts Confirm That Book Really Was Bound With Human Skin

harvardlibraryExperts at Harvard have confirmed that Houghton Library’s copy of Arsène Houssaye’s Des destinées de lame is bound in human skin. They are 99 percent sure that their tests are correct.

Here is more about the tests from the Harvard blog: “Microscopic samples were taken from various locations on the binding, and were analyzed by peptide mass fingerprinting, which identifies proteins to create a “peptide mass fingerprint” (PMF) allowing analysts to identify the source.”

The university also concluded that two other books which were suspected to be made of human skin were actually bound in sheepskin.

Water is Life Designs Book That Can Filter Water

Nonprofit Water is Life has a new book available that not only educates readers on safe water drinking tips, but also acts as a tool to purify water and kill deadly waterborne diseases.

The Drinkable Book” is designed to educate people who are unaware of the risks of contaminated water and at the same time serve as a functional object that can help readers do something about it. The book uses technology invented by chemists at Carnegie Mellon University.

We’ve embedded a video with more details above.

Harvard Discovers Old Library Books Bound in Human Skin

harvardlibraryHarvard University has discovered three books in its collection are bound in human hide.

The details make it sound more like the elements of a novel than of real life. One book was found in the Langdell Law Library, another in the Countway Library of Medicine, and yet another in the Houghton Collection. One book deals with medieval law, another Roman poetry and the other French philosophy. The book Practicarum quaestionum circa leges regias… doesn’t jump out as bound in human flesh, as The Harvard Crimson reports. Check it out:

The book’s 794th and final page includes an inscription in purple cursive: ‘the bynding of this booke is all that remains of my dear friende Jonas Wright, who was flayed alive by the Wavuma on the Fourth Day of August, 1632. King Mbesa did give me the book, it being one of poore Jonas chiefe possessions, together with ample of his skin to bynd it. Requiescat in pace.’

(Via Reddit)

J.R.R Tolkien in Modern Advertising

oneringtoruleValerio Amaro, a student at Miami Ad School Berlin, has created a Tumblr blog that combines her two passions: advertising and The Lord of the Rings.

She has taken text from J.R.R. Tolkien novels and adapted them into ads for consumers products including cars, mouth wash and condoms. She explains her idea on the site, “I wanted to find a way to combine them, so i asked myself ‘What would happen if J.R.R Tolkien worked in advertising?’”

Follow this link to explore her creations.

Chang-rae Lee’s New Book To Have Limited Edition MakerBot 3D Printed Cover

makerbotAuthor Chang-rae Lee has a new novel set in a dystopian future America coming out next month, and to celebrate the release his publisher Riverhead Books has created an innovative limited edition case. On Such a Full Sea‘s slipcase will be printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.

This limited edition hardcover copy comes with the case, which was designed by Helen Yentus and MakerBot. It costs $150 and only 200 will be made.

“What I like about this project is that it re-introduces the idea of the book as an art object,” stated Lee.  ”Content is what’s most important, but this [3D edition] is a book with a physical presence, too. Of course I hope what’s inside is kinetic, but the physical thing isn’t normally meant to be. This edition feels as if it’s kinetic, that it has some real movement to it. It’s quite elegant as well.”

George R.R. Martin Reveals True Shape of the Iron Throne

George R.R. Martin revealed this week that HBO’s “Iron Throne”–the throne of melted swords that has become a trademark part of the show–is “not the Iron Throne I want my readers to see.”

Martin shared a painting of the Game of Thrones centerpiece by Marc Simonetti, you can visit his post to see that image.  Above, we’ve embedded another painting of The Iron Throne by Simonetti from deviantART. Check it out:

That’s the Iron Throne as painted by the amazing Marc Simonetti (and if you haven’t gotten his 2013 Ice & Fire calendar, better hurry, the year’s half over) for the upcoming concordance, THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. It’s a rough, not a final version, so what you see in the book will be more polished. But Marc has come closer here to capturing the Iron Throne as I picture it than any other artist to tackle it. From now on, THIS will be the reference I give to every other artist tackling a throne room scene. This Iron Throne is massive. Ugly. Assymetric. It’s a throne made by blacksmiths hammering together half-melted, broken, twisted swords, wrenched from the hands of dead men or yielded up by defeated foes… a symbol of conquest… it has the steps I describe, and the height. From on top, the king dominates the throne room. And there are thousands of swords in it, not just a few.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Gets New Cover at ALA

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire got a new cover at the annual American Library Association convention. What do you think?

Author and illustrator Kazu Kibuishi created the cover for the fourth in a series of trade paperback editions from Scholastic. Here’s more from the release:

In each of the new cover illustrations, Kibuishi perfectly captures a pivotal moment from that particular book. For Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the artwork captures the triumphant moment when Harry uses his Firebolt broom to retrieve the golden dragon’s egg he needs to move forward in the Triwizard Tournament as the crowd cheers him on.

Read more

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