Unit Editions published the catalogue for the Wim Crouwel exhibition in 2011 at the Design Museum in London. The catalogue is true eye candy for designers, showing full-page photographs of the work of dutch graphic design master Wim Crouwel. The visual stream is interrupted from time to time to give credit to the work shown in the pictures. In the center of the book there is a long interview with Wim Crouwel, conducted by Tony Brook. A nice break as after seeing so much amazing work; it is obvious that readers will want to know more about Crouwel.
The book is now sold out. But Unit Editions has released a digital version of the catalogue as a free iPad app, for those who did not have the change to get the book. Or for those like me who cannot get enough of Wim Crouwel’s work.
Even though the iPad app follows the graphic structure of the book, it is not a mere PDF reproduction of the book’s content. This makes me very happy. Despite some smaller issues, I am positively surprised how great this app is.
This is how designers should be thinking about delivering information; not trying to mimic a printed book. Just like in the printed book you get to see full size photographs of the work alongside some details. The caption is very discreet in the top right corner that can be expanded if you want to know more about a specific piece. But it is also possible just to visually enjoy all the work.
In addition, there is a video of the interview with Wim Crouwel, when the app is browsed horizontally, and the interview text – which also is contained in the printed book – if you are browsing the app vertically.
The chapter openers and the cover use Wim Crouwel’s typefaces as a stand out chapter number. I wish I could see more of his typefaces in the book. There is a set of animations, made by Dan Flynn, with the typefaces. It does not add much to the content as you can not really analyse the typefaces, but that can be a fun way to understand how Wim Crouwel designed his typefaces, always focusing on a grid.
The same typefaces are used in the printed book and in the iPad app. For this matter and due to Wim Crouwel’s aesthetics the use of Akzidenz Grotesk seems very appropriate and blends well into the background giving the images full power. Le Corbusier by Lineto was used for page numbers in the printed book, and for chapter numerals in the table of content, and some other small details in the iPad app.