Ian Whalley
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Archive projects

A selection of archived projects from the studio of Ian Whalley

Number 54

 

A book of overheard conversations from a 'greasy spoon' café, in Bedminster, Bristol. A personal project investigating the role of the designer as reporter – exploring the use of the book as a sound-stage.

 
 
Number 54 a book of conversations from a greasy spoon café – Designed and published by Ian Whalley
George's Restaurant, the greasy spoon café where Number 54 was recorded – Designed and published by Ian Whalley
 

The book was bound using the same melamine as that of the café's table tops.

 
The book was bound using the same melamine as that of the café's table tops – Number 54 – Designed & Published by Ian Whalley
 

And packaged in a recycled take-away bag – with authentic HP sauce stains

 
The book was packaged in a recycled take-away bag – with authentic HP sauce stains
 
 

The french-folded, screen printed, limited-edition book sold out in the first 2 weeks. And was added to the permanent collection of artist books at Tate Britain.

 
 
The book was screen printed and french-folded
 
 

The format of the book acts as a sound stage, with 15 seconds of dialogue being recorded on each page. Conversations with me are recorded horizontally. Overheard conversations are recorded vertically; people talking to my left are recorded on the left side of the page, conversations to my right are recorded on the right side of the page.

The louder people talk the larger the type. Half heard, distant dialogue is broken up and distorted. The personalities of the cafés patrons are reflected in the choice of typeface used.

 
 
Lovely conversation about the men of the royal family – one of my favourite snippets

Lovely conversation about the men of the royal family – one of my favourite snippets

Number 54 a book of conversations from a greasy spoon café – Designed and published by Ian Whalley
Number 54 a book of conversations from a greasy spoon café – Designed and published by Ian Whalley
Ian Whalley