The challenge was to make a compelling exhibit – fifty of the best books and fifty of the best covers – appealing to AIGA members who had seen many of these exhibits in the past.
Chermayeff & Geismar chose a very simple color palette – white, black, gray, and orange – and tried to make single large design moves using as much space as possible. The books themselves do the communicating; visitors can pick up each item on display and there are plenty of well-designed captions to answer questions.
The largest element in the space is a large banner with the title of the show, which not only puts a title panel in an unexpected place, but also helps to draw in visitors from outside. Of course, all the items on exhibit have carefully written text labels.
The entire exhibit was designed, built, and installed in one month for less than $10,000. It was built from materials from nearby hardware and lumber stores. A single table was made from standard table legs and "apple ply" stock, cut and varnished on site. The books are held in bookends secured to the edge of the table by clamps from a photography supply store down the street.
"A little budget stretched a long way through an inventive choice of 'off the shelf' elements. This exhibit offers a clean and inviting environment for the display of award-winning books and covers. The clarity of the space speaks well to its audience of designers, while allowing open space for each entry to be viewed and interacted with."
Jonathon Alger (Principal in Charge), Emanela Frigerio, Michelle Miller, Lise Andersson, Rich Fahey
Lisa Hein (Installation), Walter Sign (Banner)