Kenneth FitzGerald Samizdat Book Set
A study in obsolete publication techniques
If I have anyone to thank for the bulk of my design education and knowledge, it’s Kenneth FitzGerald. Even after graduation, I still turn to him for an encouraging and critical word. I’ve met many great people through his channels and he has given me about half of the Emigre collection I own. In return, he has asked for nothing.
Years later I came across the concept of samizdat, from the underground production and distribution of literature in Russia during the latter half of the 20th Century. These publications were produced in small numbers through simple reproduction methods. The text was often retyped by hand from a single source and then reproduced from a master copy and disseminated.
Stemming from the final project he gave my class back in 2003, I decided to pay homage to Kenneth by typesetting his last 3 essays for Emigre. I retyped the essays straight from the source, typeset them, and finally produced the guts from a master using a photocopier. The cover art was spontaneously created out of “stock photo mailer materials” and just playing with the copier. The booklets are finished off with a florescent belly band, each book with it’s own color. The brash, loud exterior is contrasted by a formal layout and Italian-inspired typographic system. I used Frank Heine’s “Tribute” as a nod to Emigre and to the traditions Kenneth taught, as well as the contemporary ideas he embraced. I only produced 5 sets of books.