Diagramming New York

By Tk Published on .

A fascinating new book called The Works: Anatomy of a City is a tour de force of graphic representation, engineered by Alexander Isley Inc., where CD/AD Isley and designer George Kokkinidis led a team of designers, illustrators and production artists on the complex project. The $35 hardcover, from Penguin Press, is written by Kate Ascher, but the graphic elements, delineating virtually every aspect of the infrastructure of New York, comprise the backbone of the book. The intricacies of power, transportation, sanitation and communications are illuminated via a plethora of graphs, charts and illustrations; indeed, as Isley notes, "Our challenge was to take material gathered over five years of research and organize and present it in such a way as to make a welcoming, informative and compelling book." After working with Ascher to edit and organize the material, "we sketched out the entire book, conceptualized every illustration, then commissioned the artwork from a team of artists and designers whose mission was to render our sketches according to the guidelines we'd established. While the artwork was being created, the writer prepared the text so that it would mesh with the graphics. This is a quite unusual way of working, and it enabled us to consider the book as an integrated whole."



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