The challenge for creating a book cover and art book for Pat Steir is trying to figure out the category the amazing painter fits in. She doesn’t feel as if her paintings are abstract, but as if they are very calculated. Her paintings seem complicated and yet they are made with a simple idea; gravity. I want to design something that compliments these enormous painting in a beautiful manner. 

pat steir cover
pat steir spread


Gravity was the source of inspiration for creating this book on Pat Steir. She would calculate the density of her paint and she had an idea of what her painting would turn out to be, but in the end gravity had full control. Her paintings always have this very dominant verticallity and it brought your eye from the very top of the canvas all the way to the bottom. That was the idea of what the layout needed to be and how the type needed to act. I needed to stay true to what Pat Steir believes in.

pat steir spreadpat steir spread


Inspired by the Artist's waterfall paintings I created a layout that had large vertical type starting from the top of the page falling to the bottom, resembling as if the type is “dripping”. The type was paired with body copy that was placed in thin columns which continued the theme of gravity/vertical. Some photos were long strips that were a cropping of her large paintings and all together the design of the layout became part of her paintings. In the end the type became art itself.