Sam Samiee — Footnotes to Life (Best Dutch Book Designs 2020)

Cover picture by ©De Monsterkamer, Justina Nekrašaitė

In many ways Sam Samiee’s way of working could be typified as ‘extended painting’. Samiee is connecting physical and virtual perspectives of painting, influenced by his background in psycho-analysis. To emphasize Samiee’s break from the tradition flat painting, I decided the book itself should be experienced like a three-dimensional painting. Therefore, it was important that the painting on the cover going around the book, would be partly influenced by the three-dimensionality of the book. So, I asked the artist to use the dummy of the book as a 3D canvas for a painting which could be later scanned for the printed cover. By doing so, it seems that we are the first to use the druk-op-snee technique via a 3D mock-up.

The interior of the book consists of parts with different approaches in layout, reading direction and paper choice, but their pages are connected with each other via a system of footnotes. Pages 13–85 give a structured overview of past exhibitions in a formal way and pages 85–153 allow access to the background of Samiee’s work and exhibitions in a narrative and intuitive way. This part functions as an archive treated as a sketchbook where sources and ideas come together. Here you’ll find texts, conversations, images and theories that inspires the artist, and that he wants to share with the reader via his work.

The book is among the Best Dutch Book Designs of 2020


Order a copy here


Pictures of interior taken with iPhone by ©COUP