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Inside Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Unmakeable” Interactive Book

Book printers said the award winning author’s design “could not be made.” Belgian publishing house Die Keure proved them wrong.

Inside Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Unmakeable” Interactive Book

Author Jonathan Safran Foer has been called many things: literary wunderkind, conscientious vegetarian, pretentious dweeb. (OK, that last one was just me.) Now, with his latest book Tree of Codes, he may earn another label: book design genius.

The book is actually a kind of interactive paper-sculpture: Foer and his collaborators at Die Keure in Belgium took the pages of another book, Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles, and literally carved a brand new story out of them using a die-cut technique.

According to Foer’s publisher Visual Editions, Tree of Codes was turned down by every printer they approached: “Their stock line [was], ‘the book you want to make just cannot be made’.”

Luckily, the printers at Die Keure decided to prove their competition wrong and took the project on. Here’s a video showing how they did it:

The luscious results, designed by Sara de Bondt, will fly in the face of anyone who says that physical books are passé. Tree of Codes is tactile, interactive, immersive–and it won’t ever run out of batteries.

You can see more pictures of the Tree of Codes on Visual Editions’s Flickr stream.

[Read more at Visual Editions]

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.



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