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Tuesday 04|23|02
The Russian Avant Garde Book

The MOMA does it again. A beautiful flash piece explores the depth and breadth of the Russian Avant Garde book.

The site is divided into three major sections:

A Slap in the Face of Public Taste 1910 - 1924
Transform the World 1916 - 1933
Building Socialism 1924 - 1934

There are tons of examples in each section of books shown with mulitple spreads and enlargements. The interface is easy to use and allows for exploration as well as linear reading of the historical information. There are explanations of terms, full bibliographic information about the book with listings of the author and designer.

In the Reading Room section - there are three books offered. Selecting one of them shows stills that you can page through as if you are reading the entire book one page at a time. This is a great idea to show flow of spreads, scale and length of the book. I wish the images were larger though for more detail.

One of the more interesting parts of the site is the Book index. Shown in various forms, the books are arranged on a time line with rollovers of mini covers that show a larger version on the right with it's bibliographic data. The time line has some bold call outs of political events that happened which in turn affected the work of the book authors and designers. In addition there is a pulldown with a complete list of all the book authors and another that lists all the publishers. Too bad there isn't one listing all the designer/artists as well since not all the authors were designers. This is a very innovative way to show a large matrix of information in a small amount of space. It is very beautiful, useful and usable.

This is a design history goldmine.

Posted by erin at 08:38 AM | in History

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