When “fuck yeah” Tumblrs and other online resources saturate our lives with a back-lit visual infinity, how can print compete? i-D founder and Creative Director Terry Jones, along with the publishers at Taschen, have a seductive solution that I’m calling BBW. That is, print Big, print Beautiful, and source Well. BBW is why you would buy Jones and Taschen’s new Designer Monographs book series. Too big for most shelves, the books call for open, horizontal storage, for passing-by perusal. The first designers to be monographed are Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Vivienne Westwood. The content is culled from Jones and i-D’s extensive archive and it reminds that, for all the vastness of the web, there is an even more endless supply of material yet to be scanned. At the same time, the series updates print with a net mentality, as each monograph is organized more like a fan blog than a traditional catalog: images and quotes are assembled associatively rather than chronologically, allowing for the kind of affective juxtapositions and cluttered mimesis of the mind that the Internet does so well.
The series will continue with the next two books featuring Raf Simons and Rick Owens, designers who, like Kawakubo, Yamamoto and Westwood, were selected for having, “successfully created international reputations with their unique visions, and founded a base for inspiring future generations of new designers.”