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I take a look inside Dog Ears, a new experimental typography publication by Grammy-nominated independent design studio Public-Library.
Announced on the occasion of Public-Library‘s tenth anniversary, the studio’s latest publication, Dog Ears, arrives as a collection of iterative design explorations. The publication sets out to examine “the deconstruction of a single sentence typeset in a single typeface,” the studio say, “in an attempt to understand the commitment between content and form.”
Featuring an introduction by poet, essayist, cultural critic and MacArthurFellow Hanif Abdurraqib, the publication uses typography as an avenue to dissect a plethora of cross-disciplinary ideas. As Public-Library’s founders write: “How it starts and where it ends is never as interesting as what happens in the middle. Dog Ears is a book about the middle. It is ten words typeset in Helvetica with no resolution. That was always sort of the point.
“The beginning is obvious and the ending is inevitable, your chance really comes in the time between. The restrictions of this book are the restrictions we give ourselves at the start of every project. Black. White. Helvetica. Routine is the precursor to the process. Creating sameness is the way we find uniqueness. Dog Ears is a book about the middle but it’s also a book about a studio. This book isn’t a retrospective, it’s a monograph of a moment.
“Ten years isn’t our beginning or our end, so this remains a book about the middle and a book about the things we can see if we don’t stop looking.”
Public-Library is a cross-disciplinary design studio in Los Angeles. Led by co-founders Ramón Coronado and Marshall Rake, the studio’s a philosophy is centred on the work of reduction—deducing meaning while experimenting with space, form and narrative to bring out nuance, built on the belief that honesty in collaboration paves the way to meaningful design solutions and persisting partnerships. The themes at Dog Ears’ core reflect the story of the studio’s ten years at work, presenting the outlook they commit to carrying forward into their future.