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Collectable Sketchbooks That Double As Portfolios

The new Brian Paul Lamotte-designed books for The Collective Shift agency are as exceptional as the artists they represent

TextNatalie RiggPhotographic EditorHolly HayPhotographyAdrian Samson

It is not often that the Royal Mail provides an unexpected bout of inspiration on a routine Tuesday. Yet, this is precisely what happened when a pocket-sized series of promotional books by progressive New York agency The Collective Shift arrived at the doorstep of AnOther's east London HQ. Designed by Brian Paul Lamotte, a graphic designer and the co-founder of cult New York imprint Pau Wau Publications, each of the ten books serves as a unique distillation of the individual artist they represent. "Initially the idea was to create sketchbooks that represented each creative, but work together as a set," explains Lamotte. "There was also the intent to make something that is both collectable and functional. We used a lot of blank pages and uncoated paper to create that option."

Lamotte's creative treatment implements generous negative space and decisive splashes of colour to reflect on each subject’s specialism – be it editing, illustration, performing arts, photography or styling – with each allotted their own typeface, carving out distinct identities. "I approached each book in a slightly different manner, allowing room for flexibility and individualism. With a project such as this, I attempt to create something that feels collectable rather than promotional, and I think The Collective Shift saw that in my publishing work," he reveals, adding. "I think my personal favourites would have to be the Nan Goldin book because I've always loved her work. Plus, Penny Martin for the colour and strong typographic elements, and Stephen Galloway for the motion." 

Those who don't have the pleasure of leafing through each volume can examine each more closely below through the lens of photographer Adrian Samson, who has captured the series on a variety of tactile surfaces, especially for AnOther.