Morla : Design
Title: Morla : Design
Author/Editor: Author: Jennifer Morla; Editor: Jennifer Morla, Leslie Roberts, Lucie Parker / Letterform Archive
Publisher: Letterform Archive
Design Firm: Morla Design
Creative Director: Jennifer Morla
Book Designer: Jennifer Morla; Raymundo Perez
Jacket Designer: Jennifer Morla
“Morla : Design” is a dynamic monograph spanning Jennifer Morla’s 40-year career. Recipient of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and an AIGA Medalist, Morla illustrates her creative process and design philosophy in the book, and shares the inspiration behind more than 150 projects. With an introduction by Paula Scher and prologue by Erik Spiekermann, “Morla : Design” vividly demonstrates why design matters.
The objective was to create a book that speaks meaningfully to a non-design audience. The cover should entice viewers to open and discover, though essays, project descriptions, and design reflections, how design affects and reflects our culture. It was important to make the content vibrant and accessible, allowing viewers to open at random and be engaged in the narrative of design.
Morla’s intention was to make the book a design object in its own right. The tactile cover invites inquiry and discovery. To identify sections, essays are printed in dayglow-ink spreads; full bleed details appear on recto (right side) pages; and Morla’s “designisms” are printed with white ink on vellum. Ribbon bookmarks allow the reader to mark their place and resume easily. The last section of the book highlights Morla’s interest in and appreciation of the characteristics of specific letters in her favorite typefaces, making for a bold conclusion.
The cover design comes from a pattern for a textile designed by Jennifer Morla but never put into production. Entitled “Mitosis,” it emulates the biological division of a mother cell into two daughter cells — an apt metaphor for a mother with two daughters.
The vacuum-formed, thermoplastic polycarbonate cover was inspired and informed by work Morla did on a previous project. She was intrigued by what she learned during that project's fabrication and looked forward to using the process again when the appropriate opportunity arose. “Morla : Design” was that perfect opportunity.
- 50 Covers Winner