Rich illustrations from 24 different artists combine with dayglo graphic design to create The Complete Short Stories: Philip K. Dick, a limited edition book set by The Folio Society and La Boca.
The four-volume hardcover set brings together the 118 short stories of the revered sci-fi author and features illustrations by 24 artists, as well as neon book bindings and a presentation box designed by the UK studio. La Boca.
The project was artistically directed by The Folio companyby Sheri Gee and Raquel Leis Allion. The duo decided that due to the sheer scale of the stories, they wanted to go beyond the usual approach of commissioning a single artist.
To create a contrast to the illustrations they brought to the La Boca design studio, which tends to work in a bold, graphic style, for books and packaging design.
La Boca’s approach to The Complete Short Stories is based on colors, symbols and codes.
âPrimarily, La Boca wanted the books to be mildly mind-blowing when seen in the flesh,â Allion told Dezeen. “Initially, we thought the neon palette wouldn’t play well on screen, but we were surprised that it worked and when books are seen in the flesh, they have that extra level of sensory stimulation.”
La Boca’s design features the book bindings, cover artwork, page edges, and ribbon markers rendered in a four-color palette of pink, yellow, green, and blue highlighter, but arranged differently on each volume.
While the first volume is yellow with green page edges and a pink ribbon bookmark, the next volume is green with blue pages and a yellow ribbon marker, and so on.
The covers are printed with graphic symbols designed to refer to Zener Cards designed by American psychologist Karl E. Zener in 1930.
These were used to test extrasensory perception (ESP) and chosen for book covers as telepathy is a recurring theme in some of the short stories.
The symbols are screen printed with fluorescent inks on the Duchesse canvas bindings. The same symbols are repeated on the corresponding title page and glazed on one side of the box.
Illustrations are also included inside the box on two specially designed papers. There is a glitch-style grid pattern in the same four neon colors on the top of the box, and a glittering black night sky of silver stars inside the bottom, both reflecting the themes of the box. science fiction in the texts.
âThe inside of the box could become a forgotten void of space, which made La Boca think this would likely be exactly the type of place Philip K. Dick would explore,â Allion said.
âThe artwork is designed to be a sort of pixel camouflage that contrasts sharply with the solid colors on the outside of the box,â Allion continued. “La Boca wanted the interior to have a surprise after lifting the lid, as if looking into an unfathomable digital world.”
The exterior of the box is yellow and silver and is intentionally quite heavy, so the lid must be lifted with both hands.
âThe artwork on the top of the box is kind of a diving point; the reader is looking at it while lifting the lid,â Allion said. “It is designed to signify that you are entering the cosmic world of Philip K. Dick.”
There are six illustrations per volume, representing a wide range of styles and mediums. The set includes works by famous artists, such as Dave mckean and Georgia Hill, as well as creations by emerging practitioners.
The Complete Short Stories: Philip K. Dick was published in a limited edition of 750 numbered copies and sold out within three days.
The author is best known for the novels The Man in the High Castle and the short story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Which was adapted into the movie Blade Runner.
The Minority Report, adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg, is one of 118 short stories included in this collection.
The Complete Short Stories: Philip K. Dick was the winner of the public vote for Graphic Design of the Year at the Dezeen Awards.
Other shortlisted designs include the Norwegian Passport from Neue Design Studio and the Magic Canvas, a child psychotherapy tool from Magpie Studio.
The Folio Society is a UK publisher that produces illustrated hardcover editions of classic fiction and non-fiction.
La Boca design studio was founded in 2002, and its previous work includes an illustrated film poster for the movie Parasite.