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Daniel Eatock: Imprint
Begin with ideas
Ad-lib and make things up
Eliminate superfluous elements
Make something difficult look easy
Be first or last
Believe complex ideas can produce simple things
Trust the process
Allow concepts to determine form
Reduce material and production to their essence
Sustain the integrity of an idea
Propose honesty as a solution”
Daniel Eatock visits the Princeton Architectural Press warehouse in Indiana and thumbprints the spines of each and every copy of his amazing new monograph
Daniel Eatock: Imprint.
By Daniel Eatock
Princeton Architectural Press
New York, NY
British designer Daniel Eatock seems to have mastered what many artists have not-the ability to edit himself. In his newly released monograph Daniel Eatock: Imprint, he communicates his powerful concepts in the most clear-cut and pure forms, devoid of unnecessary flourish. Always arriving early and sitting in the front of the class as a student, Eatock was never one to break the rules. While he admits to being “much less intense” now, Eatock still enjoys structure. Today, however, his enjoyment comes from challenging a project’s “givens” and seeing how far he can take them. Imprint hopes to trap the reader inside the world of Eatock’s obsessiveness: catching ironic moments by digital camera, inventing systems that create artwork on their own, counting, listing and collecting, establishing world records for categories that don’t exist, captioning pictures and drawing a perfect circle by hand.
The design of the monograph is just one more project that Eatock has thrown himself into and it is his favorite to date. He describes the creation of Imprint as “forming a new work consisting of previous works.” In accordance with his fascination for the intriguingly mundane -a selection of items from Eatock’s list of favorite archetypes include: Sharpie, tea light candles, wire coat hanger, plug socket, door knob, denim, post-it note, Google-the size of the book was chosen to match the most common paper size in Europe: the A4.
As a visual creator, Eatock has a rare amount of patience; as well as an insatiable hunger for documenting unusual statistics. His work is simple, yet brilliant, making Eatock an extremely complicated young designer. Employing his love for playful associations into the seemingly arbitrary format, Eatock sparks and engages the reader’s imagination. Unfortunately, the structure of the book is somewhat tedious-the reader needs to clear his or her schedule before taking on this giant catalog of work. Individually each of Eatock’s works-highly saturated conceptually, but rather simple in appearance-packs a huge visual punch; however side-by-side, they begin to overwhelm. The mesmerizing character of Eatock holds more excitement than his overall monograph. Most people couldn’t be this oddly cool if they tried.
The most straight-forward portions of the book lie just within the front and back covers. Columns of Eatock’s unique personal facts, odd collections, small and mighty accomplishments, wishes and plans for the future are in themselves small yet vivid portraits of the clever designer. From these one-liners we learn that Eatock pays a tedious attention to detail, which would make most people exhausted. For Eatock however, he seems to gain his excitement for life in each tiny discovery. Along with investigating the common things in life, Eatock is also fully engaged in an ongoing exploration of himself: a full interview “by Eatock, with Eatock” is written in the first 20 pages (on a quest to finding out the strangest details about himself, he writes “I would like to know how many times I can write my name in one hour.”).
As if to solidify the uniqueness of the book, each one comes complete with a Daniel Eatock original hand-drawn circle, and his thumbprint stamped onto the spine, which he completed for every single book at the Princeton Architectural Press warehouse. Overall Imprint is a lovely addition to the world of design that reminds us to never take ourselves too seriously.