Events are a key part of an institution’s ongoing engagement with the public and private sectors. Some events are small in scope while others mark major milestones. Documentation is always part of the process, photography and/or videography playing the largest roles. A majority of events are re-lived on the web or in member’s magazines, depending on the importance and/or size of the event and the capabilities of the institution’s communications office. For large milestone events, a professionally designed book is the ideal platform to elevate the event, and for use as a gift to important supporters and friends.
Our work for VSA, a commemorative book documenting an international arts event, is a lasting, multi-purpose visual record of a once-in-a-lifetime celebration that took place in multiple venues in Washington DC. As described in the book’s introduction, “VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, hosted the largest celebration of arts and disability in the world. Artists, educators, researchers, and policy makers with and without disabilities gathered in Washington, D.C., in a spirit of creative camaraderie that crossed all boundaries of gender, ethnicity, age, ability, and artistic genre.”
Structure and Layout
Full bleed section dividers paired compelling performance and fine art images with key descriptive words.
The event featured music and theater performances, visual arts exhibitions, and readings from poets and writers. We used poetry excerpts on the cover of the book, and relevant passages for chapter breaks.
Text pages included large body copy to aid in clear legibility, an important consideration for people with varying degrees of vision loss, along with colorful photos and artwork. As an aid to blind constituents, the title on the cover’s dust-jacket was translated into braille and embossed, and the text was read aloud, recorded, and posted on VSA’s website.
Text pages depict some of the highlights of the event, with pull quotes from performers and artists describing the impact VSA has had on their lives. Photo captions provide performance descriptions and artist credits.
The book ends with a timeline illustrating key moments in VSA’s history, making a strong case for support and endowment.
“The print quality is outstanding, the cover very impressive, and the stock looks and feels super. More than the individual technical aspects, though, the piece has a real overall beauty, and a powerful integration of words and images. It’s exactly — and far more — than we envisioned…”
Robert Sacheli, VSA Publications Manager
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