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DESIGN
User Design Books
DESIGN
User Design Books
Three simple booklets bring wit, wordplay and graphic design shenanigans to the printed page
by James Thorne
on 12 April 2012
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Boutique graphic design outfit User Design recently released a series of self-published works united by British wit and a simple, hand-drawn aesthetic. The titles include "The Journey of the Larks", "Punctuation...?" and "Life", and show an emerging playful side of the predominantly commercial publisher. Illustrated, designed and created by Thomas Bohm, the trio matches supremely minimal design with an endearing sense of play.

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"Journey of the Larks" is a picture book that balances word play and illustration with clever "typographic shenanigans". The themed spreads illustrate a range of inventive scenarios from "a wince of dentists" to "a lot of used car-dealers". The standout pick of the bunch, Larks has plenty of charm to entertain children and adults alike.

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The grammar-focused "Punctuation...?" is a non-traditional take on classic educational instruction booklets. While entirely informative, the illustrations for rules are executed with a splash of cheek and cleverness. Documenting the 21 most-used punctuation marks, the pamphlet runs the gamut from curly braces and interpuncts to pilcrows and guillemets.

The narrative tale "Life" is a picture book that records "one day in the life of somebody." The roughly constructed story follows a character through his daily commute, the office grind and domestic life. While non-linear and difficult to decode at times, the account succeeds in demonstrating a kind of dadaist daily life.

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User Design's collection of books can be purchased through Amazon and Central Books starting at £8 or $12.80.

Photos by James Thorne

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