Today, I came across a post that made me remember my earlier comments on photo books: Alberto Hernandez’s Hybrid Novels (found here). “A hybrid novel can be seen as a hybrid image-text novel, not a children’s book, graphic novel/comic or gift book but a book where written text and graphic devices such as illustration, photography, information graphics or typographic treatments may interject in order to hold a readers’ interest, adding interactiveness to the book and also giving the printed page a multidimensional visual surface.”
Needless to say, Alberto is a graphic designer (check out his other work!), and the hybrid novel starts out with the text, constructing everything around it - but there is no obvious reason why it can’t be done the other way around. Of course, this would probably require a collaboration between a photographer and a designer, maybe a writer…
But maybe that’s one of the issues that photo books face, namely that photo books are usually produced either by photographers or by publishers who use designers specializing on those kinds of books. So it’s no surprise that everything more or less looks the same (I’m slightly exaggerating for effect).
So when will more people like Alberto Hernandez get involved in designing photo books? Hey, Alberto even says on his website he’s for hire - anyone?