Chris Coekin – The Hitcher – Book Layout Research

The book ‘The Hitcher’ by Chris Coekin stood out to me due to it’s interesting and engaging page layouts. The cover and text pages are immediately interesting and give an insight into the rest of the book. I love the use of hand written text, making the whole book very personal and engaging. The hand written text links to the subject of hitch hiking, Coekin’s design decisions have helped to link the whole subject together.

It is the layout of the book here I am mainly focusing on here rather than the images themselves. The layout of the images is varied, he has used white borders and negative space on most pages, but some images are full bleed across one page or across a double page spread. I like the use of one full bleed image on one page and then on the other a smaller image in the centre with lots of white space. The layout is interesting and doesn’t have a strict structure, which again reflects the subject of hitch hiking across the country.
My favourite parts of the book however is where he has included scans of the the cardboard signs and rubbish and other bits and pieces he has found along the way, and added them into the book. For example, in the third double page spread above you can see a bit of the torn, and scribbled on cardboard which is coming out from the centre of the page. I think this is really successful and works especially well with this project, and is another way of documenting his journey. These scans of bits and pieces he has found on his travels are similar to the archive images I am including in my own book, they are a way of adding more context and information in to the narrative.
I really like how Coekin has laid out the photos in this book, I like how on one double page there is one large image that is full bleed and on the opposite page, two much smaller images are presented next to one another. I want to do something similar to this in my book design, however the larger images will be my own whilst the smaller images are Jo’s photos that she has either taken herself or from her old family albums. I think this is a good way of determining the difference between my own photography and Jo’s images.


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