Recently released is The Word It Book, a collection of visual submissions to the blog Speak Up. “Word It” is one of SpeakUp’s most popular and original features. Each month, a different word is posted on the site, and anyone who so desires can submit a visual/verbal interpretation. (Selections from Word It are on view in Design Life Now: National Design Triennial.) The Word It Book presents some of the editors’ favorite responses to words including oops, green, giant, and parody. (Disclaimer: I wrote the foreword.)
Speak Up has been collecting high-resolution files of all the submissions since the project started, with the idea of a book in mind. But why read a book, when you can go on-line and see all the Word Its there? The book is a curated selection, not a flat database. It uses pacing, scale, and sequence in ways the web site cannot. It has interviews and commentary that bring us inside the brains of some of the creators.
Oh, and it’s a book, and books are still wonderfully seductive objects. Books and blogs are not such strange bedfellows. As a broader cultural phenomenon, blogging is driven primarily by writers, and many writers are using blogs to develop new content for books (and to promote them after the books are published). The Lulu Blooker Prize is given to authors who have created “blooks“—books based on their blogs. Blogging is digital, but it naturally flows towards the world of print.