A class that conveys the energy of the place
The plastic bottles create a bewitching mood. “NUDIST” is a photo book from photographer Shinichi Kaneko. Book design and art direction were done by Hiroaki Nagai. The book being in black color feels crisp and the B4 size gives it a strong presence.
While pasting the black cheesecloth on the spine of the book, which is also a feature of this binding, Nagai himself requested that he proceed with the work while fine-tuning it; additionally, he also wanted to bring the students of the university seminar he teaches. While many students are accustomed to digital, he wanted to convey to the students the merits from the “live feeling” that things take shape by conveying the designer’s intentions directly to the people at the production site and adjusting on the spot. It was a gratifying proposal for us as there is often unexpected appeal that arises from real, person-to-person communication even at the production site.
It slips into the heart of the person who works with their hands
The main person in charge of this project was Niijima. In Nagai’s presence, what impressed us was his strong attitude in thinking together about how he can make something better from the same perspective as the creator who works with his hands. It made us feel a sense of closeness to him as if he had been directly working with us at the production site all this time.
The black cheesecloth is pasted to give the plastic bottle a nude feeling so as to make people imagine the sex appeal of women’s thin stockings. As we were moving ahead with the work in the presence of Nagai, he suggested “What if we use black glue to stick on the cover and inside cover, the whiteness of the paper would become less noticeable, right?” Inspired by Nagai’s flexible ideas, Niijima tried it on the spot and its finish was beautiful so we decided to proceed in that direction. Those two people were making a book as if they were playing a gratifying game of catch even when viewed from the surrounding people.
What the real communication brings out
When we push forward on a project only by email, in most cases we send the client a dummy book, countless revisions are made and there is a lot of back and forth, however, this time by Nagai coming to the site, thinking together and getting each other’s consensus without any time lag, it felt like a great opportunity to create the best product.
Even for us, rather than receiving an email at a later date saying “Great finish! I’m really happy!,” the way of conveying joy is different if someone says on the spot, “This finish is the best!” Niijima looked back at himself from four years ago and said “If I think about it, I was still very inexperienced then and don’t think I could respond to Mr. Nagai’s voice well enough, but I was drawn to Mr. Nagai’s charm as a human being and had strong desire to respond to his expectations.” I think there are also positive vibes that circulate from real communication.