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'Better by Design', Dr. Joerg Colberg for the British Journal of Photography

Author: Jörg Colberg

In the most basic terms, they are simply books made up of photographs, but of course there’s much more to the photobook than that. Typically they are carefully edited and sequenced, and the selection of the photographs, and their order, are crucial to whatever story is being told. But there’s another crucial element that’s too often ignored – the design.

Over the past few decades, photobook design has become an integral part of telling the story. Classics such as Walker Evans’ American Photographs used a very straightforward design: blank pages and picture pages alternating with very little text, if any. In contrast, contemporary photobooks have come to embrace the many different ways in which the design of a book – the graphic design as well as its actual physical properties – can help shape the message. The following books are some of the most striking examples I have come across.

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