work riso
Clarence Laughlin and his Contemporaries

Getting the opportunity to work on this exhibition guide featuring Louisiana’s pioneer ‘southern gothic’ photographer and his mail-art/letter correspondence was a dream.

Client: The Historic New Orleans Collection
Texts: John H. Lawrence, Jude Solomon, Mallory Taylor

28 Pages
7 x 9.25 in.
Edition of 2000

Typographically, this was a more exciting project, not only due to its dark subject matter, but because the assignment allowed for a more playful approach, all the while retaining an archival look and feel nature that represents the Historic New Orleans Collection. Clarence John Laughlin’s photography of the era of pre-modernization decay of Louisiana’s architecture and his repudiation of those who ‘didn’t understand his intentions’ created a particularly intriguing figure to illustrate for the museum.

Captions in the publication were designed to reflect the typed-up explanations he often affixed next to his work during exhibitions. While his dream-like work was easily left up to interpretation, these ‘explainers’ often were too literal and often conflated importance.

The exhibition guide contained these noted-filled correspondence letters of rejections and critiques, which he often did not accept. In a few select spreads, the design attempted to reflect this maximalist mind-map text usage, while remaining in the museum’s preset design language. I do appreciate this mixture that contained academic texts, further bloating the amount information the reader received.

Twelve of many attempts of examining a wordy show title as a mark for the catalog and for usage as wall text

Exhibition view image courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection.