The Art of Looking Sideways

This week’s “thought of the week” was from Alan Fletcher about his book called The Art of Looking Sideways. The video below is the video we had to watch. It is about Alan Fletcher talking about his book and explaining what it is all about.

Alan Fletcher

Based on the video I think the book sounds very interesting, especially because of how it is a combination of many different things that have been “re-arranged in a way no one has arranged it before”. Also I found it interesting how he said the book doesn’t belong purely to any section in a book shop. Not art, design, nor English literature.

Another interesting thing was the way he had designed the book. Behind him in the video he had countless small thumbnail sketches of layouts. He said that he wanted to make almost like a storyboard out of the layouts, to think about the  book as a story, like a movie. In the video he said that there are many ways to read the book. When I was watching the video I thought I would like to browse though the book and see what he means by that. So I checked the uni library catalogue and found out that there are a few copies of the book in the library.

“A line can run dead straight, be wildly crooked, nervously wobbly, make sensuous curves or aggressive angles. It can meander, wander, track or trace. Be a scribble, doodle, scratch, hatched, dashed, dribbled or trickled. It can be precise or fuzzy, hard or soft, firm or gentle, thin or thick. It can be smudged, smeared, erased – or just fade away. You can push a line, drag it, manipulate and manoeuvre it, make it delineate, accentuate, attenuate, emphasize. A line may be imperious or modest, authoritative or servile, brutal or seductive, passive or active, weak or strong, thick or thin. A line is born, and dies, in a point.”

(Frank N. Furter, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975)

The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher, page 19.

I also read an article by It’s Nice That about The Art of Looking Sideways. I found the quote above interesting. It was from the section called “Tools” in the book. The reason why I was intrigued by it was because I think it describes the importance of every line you draw so well, how every line should be thought through and made in the best and most fitting way possible. And since the quote is from the “Tools” section, it underlines the effect of different tools and how you must use the right tool to get the affect you want. When I went to take a look at the book in the uni library I also found a picture on page 19 that I thought illustrated the quote quite well.

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