The Future is Our Only Aim: 2012 Designers

Curator: MacFadden & Thorpe
date: November 7, 2012
Categories: Book & Magazine Design
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Cover of The Future is Our Only Aim

Today we continue our tour with a project by Adam Machacek and his studio partners called The Future is Our Only Aim. This book was produced for the artists Vasil Artamonov and Alexey Klyuykov, in honor of receiving the Jindrich Chalupecky Award—a major prize for young artists in the Czech Republic. Artamonov and Klyuykov’s work considers future scenarios and past models that inspired them.

We first met Adam when he came from the Czech Republic to be a Design Fellow at Chronicle Books, where we used to work. Adam’s enthusiasm, charm and talent quickly made him a cherished colleague at Chronicle, and it’s safe to say we’ve felt some envy and admiration for nearly every project he’s done.

Since 2004 he has run the studio Welcometo.as with his business partner Sebastien Bohner, who is located in Lausanne, Switzerland. Originally Sebastien and Adam worked in the same office, but as life brought new journeys, they have engineered a process of working together through Skype while in separate locations, often with Adam designing through the night because of the time difference. To our great joy, in 2011 Adam returned to the Bay Area so that his wife could pursue research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and he and Sebastian have formed a new partnership with Prague-based designers Petr Bosák and Robert Jansa. They are calling the studio 2012 Designers, with the conceit that the name will change annually. Collectively, they designed this book.   

The book’s text—in Czech and English—is set in the year 2076, and quotes heavily from other future-oriented texts. In the Czech section, the designers tracked down the original sources, scanned them and inserted the copy as an image: a sort of time capsule that reveals the text’s previously printed form. The book’s essays are printed on a soft creme sheet in the front and back, sandwiching a glossy center color image section. As is typical with Adam and his partners, the book is utterly contemporary in form, playing inventive typography against solid structural bones.

An interior spread, showing the insertion of quote images from other volumes.

Some of the 800 unique covers made for the book.

The cover design presents the book’s nicest moment. Simply typeset in black with generous open space, it offers a canvas which the two artists were asked to illustrate, bouncing the book’s production from artist to designer, and then back again. For two days, the artists painted an amazing variety of images on the 800 covers in the print run, which were then laminated, bound and trimmed, making each a unique volume primed for future collectors.
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