Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spineless Classics

Spineless Classics have one of those unique products and services that, once you've seen, you have to wonder: why hasn't anyone done that before? I'd seen a few of these posters but didn't realize they also made puzzles and postcards.

Created by Carl Pappenheim, the aptly named Spineless Classics take the full texts of classic novels and arranges them into "single paper designs". Beautiful at a distance, the designs are also legible close up. 
Here is the postcard set, which I would happily receive as a gift... ;)

The brainchild of Carl Pappenheim, the idea came to him by accident one year when he was too broke to splash out on expensive Christmas gifts. Despite his financial constraints, he wanted to give his mother a present with meaning.  
Detail from Peter Pan poster

Having watched "architectural drawings roll off the presses at a friend's printing company", he figured that he could fit 100,000 words (and his mother's favorite novel) on each poster-size sheet. The reaction to the resultant poster led to the creation of the company, and posters are now available as far a field as New Zealand.  

 He explains some of the process in an interview with ejunkie HEREHere's an excerpt: 
Would you like to describe the creative work process involved in creating these posters?
I mostly have a large team of magic elves working around the clock with very tiny movable type. However, when they're on holiday I use computer software. Often the worst part is first, cleaning and preparing digital versions of books, before importing them onto a blank page to see roughly how much space we have to play with. Then I'll try a few rough ideas, maybe do some Internet searches to get the creative juices flowing before sketching in detail. I've only recently started hiring people to do the illustrations; in the past it's all been my work. Finally comes the hardest part, making sure that I don't have hyphenated words split across white spaces, and trying to positing chapter headings in places that make sense. The power of the designs, I think, is in the fact that they stand up to close scrutiny. I don't just bang them out after hours with no regard for the details.
(Sources HERE & HERE)

These posters aren't cheap (they run about $80 to over $300 and I'm not sure about commissions) but you must admit they are beautiful! I love the postcard tales set, though they would be doubly perfect if they came with a special magnifying glass. What book would you have made into wall art?