Homework For February 3

Our first Homework is a reading and written response.

The reading is entitled Wht is a Book? by Paul Chan. Here is a PDF: Wht_is_a_Book_2011

Or if you feel like spending $1.99 for the eBook, you can find it HERE.

This reading – if we can call it that – considers shifting ideas of reading, publishing, print production, and mass communication in an abstract way. You may love it or you may hate it.

Once you have downloaded and read the book, write a 3-4 paragraph response. Think about the relationship between the meaning of the text and the form of presentation. How would you describe the tone of the language? (Does it read like a poem? a novel? a newspaper article?) What is the text about and who wrote it? Why is it presented in this way? How do the images on the pages relate to the text? How are the images arranged? What are your impressions of the design – or the lack thereof? Is Paul Chan just a lousy designer? How would reading a printed copy of this book be different from the eBook?

You don’t need to directly address these questions, but try to think along these lines. And don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

You response should be the equivalent of a one page paper. Post your response according to our Posting Guidelines. And please be ready to talk about the reading in our next class!

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. When I first laid eyes on ” Wht is a book” by Paul Chen, I was clueless on what to expect The cover of the book gave readers very little indication about the information inside. One of the first things I noticed when I started reading was its unusual page layouts. Reading text was laid out against various backgrounds images such as map fragments, internet memes , paintings and random documents. The background images had a weak relation to the main text. This made the book a difficult read as I would often find my eyes wandering to background text and images instead of focusing on the main information.

    “What is a book” covers a brief portion of graphic design history. It specifically focuses on the history behind the printing and publication of books.Unlike its chaotic and occasionally whimsical page layouts, the content of this book delivers itself in a serious manner. I found the book to be an enjoyable read. It contained lots of interesting information and does a good job of showing graphic design’s growth during its infancy stages. However the same can not be said for overall visual layout of the book. Text are often overlapping creating confusion within the eyes of the reader. Some of the pages can be very busy and often clashes against the main reading text.

  2. When I first laid eyes on ” Wht is a book” by Paul Chen, I was clueless on what to expect The cover of the book gave readers very little indication about the information inside. One of the first things I noticed when I started reading was its unusual page layouts. Reading text was laid out against various backgrounds images such as map fragments, internet memes , paintings and random documents. The background images had a weak relation to the main text. This made the book a difficult read as I would often find my eyes wandering to background text and images instead of focusing on the main information.

    “Wht is a book” covers a brief portion of graphic design history. It specifically focuses on the history behind the printing and publication of books.Unlike its chaotic and occasionally whimsical page layouts, the content of this book delivers itself in a serious manner. I found the book to be an enjoyable read. It contained lots of interesting information and does a good job of showing graphic design’s growth during its infancy stages. However the same can not be said for overall visual layout of the book. Text are often overlapping creating confusion within the eyes of the reader. Some of the pages can be very busy and often clashes against the main reading text.

    Overall, “Wht is a book” is a interesting and highly unusual book. I believe that it should only be viewed for its design and reading material is not of importance. I do not think Paul Chen is a lousy designer. He may have purposely created this book with such a layout to stress the importance of graphic design.While I went through the pages of the book, it made
    me realize that many people take graphic design for granted and do not realize the impact
    it has in our lives. By creating ” Wht is a book”, people can realize the major impact good and bad design can have in our lives.

  3. JOSE BENITEZ, FOR FEB. 3

    When I opened up the pdf and started reading a couple of pages I just thought to myself this will be one of the most annoying pieces of literature I have ever read. I was indeed correct in the end and also ended up with a minor headache.

    “Wht is a Book?” by Paul Chan is far from what a normal book consist of like the legibility of the text to the size of the text and the background. The background with the text made things more complicated to read and felt like it really had no connection to what seems to be quotes on the history of print. Those quotes seem to end rather quickly and jump from one subject to another. It can possibly be his thoughts that he has gathered from time to time or research that he combined from other sources just like all the newspaper clippings and images he put together. He misspells a whole bunch of words too. All this confusion still leaves me guessing “what is Chan really trying to say? And what is this I just read? (scratches head then plays with chin hair, deep concentration.) It just seems to lack a real sense of direction just because it’s somewhat out of the ordinary and was careless about how it was put together. I might just not be at the level of thinking and designing as Paul Chan to fully understand the true meaning behind it.

    I had stepped away from my computer because it was bothering me, but then gave it another thought. The physically copy of the book would help you get a better appreciation of things. The purpose of this book could be to show the importance of designing and how its layouts can have different affects towards the readers.

  4. Anna Norris Homework for Fed3
    “Wht is the book?” gives a brief summery of a paper innovation and publishing. The book illustrates important points in history and doesn’t provide with a lot of information. It reads like a newspaper’s article.
    The book grabs my attention from the first page. The first thought that appeals to me is a busy background. The book has a lot of illustrations, images as well as a map where you can find a lot of reflections from an old newspaper. Every page in the book is different with its own background that has a meaning and represents the idea.
    “Wht is the book” is not easy to read. The book has overlapping text. Author creates this book as an art form. It appeals more visual. It has interesting and attractive design.

  5. Raymond Luong HW Feb 3

    At first glance, I immediately noticed the red eyes that was staring back at me. I thought, is this dude stoned or something? Why are his eyes red?” Then i realized the background was flipped upside down. That made it pretty trippy. Lastly I read the title.

    As I start to scroll down to the other pages I already thought “wow I don’t even want to read this”. The pages were so noisy, I had to focus in ont he words to read it clearly. I read on and tried to make out what this book is telling. Each line didn’t even connect, it didn’t make sense. But it oddly had a theme. It connected somehow. As I read on, I realized I was only on page 19, I thought, “i;m not reading all of this nonsense. Random pictures and random sentences.

  6. The group project originally got off on a slow start. There was a lot of tension among us and ideas weren’t circulating too quickly due to a lack of ideas. After bouncing around several random concepts, we decided to settle for a printed book that will be based on American murder and crime scenes. For some time, our group was quiet and progress became rather slow. We were unable to agree on any ideas and struggled to put out a creative concept that we could all agree on. During the second half of the class , the group became much more enthusiastic and productive with our ideas.

    During the time spent for the group projected, We developed a strong core concept of American murder and crime scenes. The general feel of the book would be presented in a gritty and dark manner.The cover of the book would be made to resemble a genuine police file case. Each chapter of the book will be centered around a particular american state , a brief history of all its most notorious crime scenes and murderers. Each page will be designed to resemble a collage of news paper clippings , file reports and photographs that are related to the specific murderer or case.
    The group activity was an interesting experience. If given the chance to repeat the group project again , I would tried to speak more freely to avoid tension. There were a few times where the group became completely silent and communication came to a complete halt. There was a struggle to work together during some points of the project. By the end of the day, we managed to get a solid concept. However, it still has room for improvement and needs to be worked on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s