TOPIC / Exhibitions
Gateways: An International Exhibition of Book Covers
is the 6th exhibition in the Idioms
series curated by Andrew Howard (sponsored by ESAD). The exhibition is on display between July 31st and September 2008 at the Silo-Espaço Cultural, NorteShopping
, in Porto, Portugal.
The exhibition had a website set up for their call for submissions
back in June. Since the initial call for entries, I was not able to find much information online about the show. But the curator and designer of the show, Andrew Howard, was so kind to send me some extra info with photos of the space and a beautifully type-set catalog for the show.
For me its a rarity to see a book cover exhibition in the midst of a shopping mall. But I think its fantastic.
The full exhibition included 400 cover designs, representing 53 designers from 14 countries. Most of the books were selected through an open call for submissions. Special invitations were extended to Jon Gray
and David Pearson
, who both are given substantial attention in the pages of the catalog (with essays/commentary in their own words). Jon Gray's chapter touches upon process, difficulties associated with being a freelancer, authors that have family members with artistic talents, pressures from sales, marketing and major book chains. David Pearson goes into great detail about the Penguin Great Ideas
series designs, and spreads show covers from the Great Journey
s and Great Loves
series in full color. These two chapters alone make the exhibition catalog an incredible resource and source of inspiration (and at times support for those dealing with some of the challenges associated with a career in book cover design). Ariane Spanier
, Helen Yentus
, Paul Sahre
, Coralie Bickford-Smith
, Clare Skeats
, Juan Pablo Cambariere
, Gregg Kulick
, and Jaime Keenan
, were also given personal invitations to participate in the show.
The catalog took awhile to arrive (all the way from Portugal!), but it was a great surprise to find in the mail last week. I was expecting a typical catalog, a listing of entries...But what I got instead was a nicely designed book, which may take me a few hours to fully absorb. The writing by the curator, and also Jon Gray and David Pearson is top notch. Its not just a book of pretty pictures. The descriptions and commentaries are very informative and in some cases make me take extra notice to something I may have skimmed past (and most of the text is set in both English and Portuguese).