Brian O’Neill’s Beach Boulevard, Immaterial Books, is a mixed material look at Huntington Beach, California. Surf City is an interesting place and this publication takes aim at the artery that is Beach Boulevard itself. Being local, localism is a dominant theme in the range of books that Brian produces. (Worth a look at the book site linked above.)
One of the things I love about this object is that it feels totally approachable. This is NOT a precious object. You see, you pick up, you flip. Pretty simple but you would be surprised how many folks over-design their pubs. But don’t get the wrong idea. This baby has some street, publishing cred because it also contains a beautiful set of mixed pages. See below.
Spiral-bound but containing subsets that create the visual hierarchy of photography vs education and historical context. Having spent copious time in this part of the world, the work felt homey. Orange County is an odd place of somewhat sterile locations broken by the might of nature and the slightly offbeat population who lives there. I love the idea of personal, mini-publishing houses producing work like this.
You might think spiral-bound is an odd choice but talk about the original layflat option. Spiral is inexpensive, durable and truly allows for showcasing work that needs to be seen full frame. The color is nice, the printing is nice but this is a story-driven publication, not Brian saying “Hey, look how great I am.” This is Brian delivering a concept, story, and idea.