This series of limited edition series of monographs and books on the projects and process of Shepley Bulfinch reflected on the contributions of the firms’ Principal architects, expertise and milestone projects. As a form of visual storytelling the books let photography, sketches, diagrams and other visual material tell the stories while the typography and writing are largely limited to introductions and captions. The design of the books were inspired by the work of the late Massimo Vignelli, especially his books for Richard Meier.
Also, just was I had started working with this firm I acquired a copy of Projects for Prada Part 1 (2001) an architectural process book of sorts on the work of Rem Koolhaas—which both surprised and inspired me by its focus on process over product. Then, Rob Roche the Shepley Bulfinch archivist presented me with a beautiful monograph from the Shepley Bulfinch archives—the book was Katsura: Tradition and Creation in Japanese Architecture by Walter Gropius, Kenzo Tange and Yasuhiro Ishimoto. It was designed by Herbert Bayer around 1960. The layout and image proportions within the book are masterful and the photos themselves are wonderfully flat, poetic and masterfully composed. Overall the book is graphic (which is obviously appealing to a graphic designer) but also “moody.” The printing is exquisite and the cover is adorned with lovely embossed symbol.
The art direction and design of these books helped shape the overall art direction of the firms materials—which is still evident to this day.