Leslie Williamson’s third book is essentially a love letter to her home state of California. Interior Portraits: At Home with Cultural Pioneers and Creative Mavericks, A California Design Pilgrimage is an exploration of some of the Golden State’s most creative trailblazers through their homes. As Leslie writes in the book, “The homes of these Californians are not just interiors, but portraits of their inner creative worlds where their dreams have been nurtured and have grown.” This vibrance, wanderlust, and spatial reckoning come to terms with one another in the book’s design. The subdued color palette, accented by a rich russet, is reminiscent of the California landscape and its renowned landmark and identity as the ‘Golden Gate’ of the west. Its typography and layout ‘weave through space’ through the juxtaposition of typographic scale—the differing sizes of the title and chapter titles to create a sense of perspective—and the cadence of the photographs’ layout.
The book’s photographs are laid out in a rhythmic flow wherein each spread contains at least one full bleed image, weaving the entire layout together across its pages. This design approach guides the reader through the book, as well as connecting them to the travel- and movement-based component of Williamson’s work, her ‘pilgrimage.’
The book possesses a certain intimacy as a view into the deeply personal interior worlds it documents, and as an artifact of travel—an innately intimate process and experience. This closeness is furthered in the book’s sophisticated nod towards the design of traditional photo albums. A two piece cover with contrasting cloth textures and colors, subtly debossed text, and a tipped-in photograph transforms the book into a refined, tactile object that, much like the work of its author and subjects, is reminiscent of the familiar and traditional while also assertively innovative. The book’s body font Pitch, an elegant and contemporary reimagining of the traditional typewriter genre, frames Williamson’s stories as personal recollections, letters, or journal entries such as one might compose during a journey, from the comfort of a home, or as a central part of the creative process. Van Condensed —uppercase lettershapes, rounded corners — is used for headlines on the cover and throughout the book.
Studio: Volume Inc.
Creative Direction: Adam Brodsley, Eric Heiman
Design: Yuya Yoshida
Photography: Leslie Williamson