The Photobook Advent Calendar – Dec 11th

This year, in the true spirit of Christmas, we’re doing the Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar where we’ll look at a different photobook, newspaper, magazine or ‘zine we like by someone we’ve worked with in the last 12 months, right up until Christmas Day. To view the Advent Calendar picks so far,click here.

Day 11 – December 11th

John MacLean – New Colour Guide

On November 9th this year we held the first ever Miniclick Paper Fair, and we asked John MacLean to do a talk on self publishing on the day. John gave us a discussion through the history of self publishing, his inspirations and the journey through his 8 self-published books. The talk was superb, as is his latest book, New Colour Guide (nice link)…

john_mcleand_colour_guide-3(photo courtesy of Self Publish Be Happy – thanks guys!)

“In our day-to-day lives, colour is largely secondary to form by practical necessity: the shape of a tree is more immediately important than its colour. In art history, colour has rarely been considered a worthwhile subject, but has been a discourse continually expanded by visual artists.

New Colour Guide (NCG) is not intended as a means of understanding colour (even if that were possible), but rather a project where colour was chosen to guide and structure my process of image-making. Why? Because, in a contemporary culture where images that cannot be explained by words are mistrusted, colour remains defiantly ineffable, mysterious and uniquely able to highlight the enigmatic nature of human visual perception.”

On a quick flick through, New Colour Guide is a series of great photos, observations on everyday life encapsulating everything from animal to mineral to vegetable. There’s a playfulness to the photos that is really charming and the simple captions leave as much room for the imagination as is possible for a caption.

It all combines to create a journey through colour, with the images paired or grouped together perfectly to either juxtapose each other and supply some tension, or sit together harmoniously and complement each other nicely, as John asks “How does colour influence our perception of an image?”

It’s published by Hunter & James and designed by Wayne Daly. I’ve already mentioned the grouping and pairing which works perfectly. There’s 68 pages, with 59 images (in colour, of course). On occasion the pages fold out, which just adds to the playful and tactful nature of the book. It’s softcover, with a screen printed plastic cover (which makes it feel a bit like a library book, playing on the “New Colour Guide” title). One of my favourite little touches is the Rhem Light Indicator sticker at the front to let you know if you’re viewing the book under the ideal lighting conditions.

New Colour Guide costs £17 and is available here.

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