Create: Beach Boulevard, Book/Zine

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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.)

Read Brian O'Neill's Beach Boulevard photo-zine from Immaterial Books.
The hook….

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.

Read Brian O'Neill's Beach Boulevard photo-zine from Immaterial Books.
Pure pleasure looking at this subset of historical pages.

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.

Read Brian O'Neill's Beach Boulevard photo-zine from Immaterial Books.

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.

Comments 9

  1. gosh I remember my college’s Cerlox Binding machine being this mythical beast that cost way too much for me. I printed fibre based 8X10’s, dry mount them together and then cerlox bound them, that was fun! I still have those story books from 35 years ago!

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      Ian,
      Those old methods, many of them anyway, seem to last. My mother has picture books from her grandmother and the print look like they were made yesterday. But, they have also been kept in the dark.

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  2. I love how some of the longer pages are printed only on the outer half, leaving a blank area along the gutter for the smaller inserted sections to lie on. What a great design note.

    Totally stealing it.

    1. Thanks for all the kind comments Scott, Ian, and Andrew! To Andrew – I’m so happy you found that to be an interesting choice. That decision was a bit of serendipity. We initially wanted to do transparency sheets of text printed over images, but after trying different versions, sizes, (and yes, prices) this just seemed to work! Sometimes what starts as a limitation can create new opportunities. And, steal away! That’s awesome!

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      Andrew,
      You would love this thing. And it feels good in the hand. The insert pages are addictive.

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