The CalArts Illuminated Manuscript

calartscat.jpg

O, is this object of great beauty really a catalog? It’s too pretty to be a catalog. But, you see, it’s not just any catalog–this publication serves as an index of the offerings at the hallowed California Institute of the Arts. And like CalArts, it’s one intense visual experience.

Since CalArts is made up of six schools (Art, Dance, Music, Theater, Film/Video and Critical Studies), designers Mr. Keedy and Penny Pehl created six individual books and one school overview with completely different design strategies. But for continuity’s sake, they’re all united by a standard layout, common patterns and ornaments, and a Keedy-designed type family.

So, should you want to check out CalArts’ offerings, you can ask for a sewn-and-glued volume of all seven books, or one of the mini-books which can be doled out individually. After pretty much reading it cover-to-cover, we simply can’t prevent ourselves from picking the thing up and casually flipping through its pages to see what else we might have missed. At this point, we might just have to enroll.