Paul Graham – Paris – Book Layout Research

Paul Graham’s book ‘Paris’ documents the attacks in November 2015 on the city. Unlike most of the images from these attacks that show the chaos and tragedy, this short series of images are calming and delicate. Graham found himself, along with his partner and child, in Paris whilst these events occurred and so took refuge in an apartment where he was staying to keep himself and his family safe. They present a calm within the chaos unfolding outside of that apartment.
Looking beyond the subject matter of this photo book, which is very different to my current project, I am interested and inspired by Graham’s layout decisions.

The design of this book is really beautiful, each image is presented on its own on a double page spread giving them plenty of room to breathe and stand for themselves. The portrait shots are all shown on the right hand page with a white border and the landscape shots are interestingly placed, off centre across the two pages. This layout is the same throughout the whole book except from the centre two pages. While the whole book uses white negative space, the centre two pages are black and show an dark and shadowed image of his partner cradling his child. The image is different and stands out against the rest of the shots. It is presented differently in order to show its significance against the rest of the images. I think this is really effective, showing how his wife and child are the centre point of this project, the most important thing to him amongst the chaos of the terror attack.
In terms of my own project, Jo and her story is my main subject. However her husband and his role in the RAF are a central part of my narrative. Therefore this layout has inspired me to use the centre pages of my own book to portray the photographs Jo has taken of her husband in his uniform.


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