Tree of Codes: the making of a die-cut book

Last year, Jonathan Safran Foer’s die-cut novel Tree of Codes proved to be a triumph of print and production from publishers, Visual Editions. They recently released a short film showing some of the processes that went into making this unique book

Last year, Jonathan Safran Foer’s die-cut novel Tree of Codes proved to be a triumph of print and production from publishers, Visual Editions. They recently released a short film showing some of the processes that went into making this unique book…

The die-cut technique is central to Safran Foer’s novel. In it he creates a new story from cutting text out of an existing work, namely Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles (a favourite book of Safran Foer’s).

To create Tree of Codes each page featured a different die-cut. Visual Editions worked with Die Keure in Belgium to produce the book, having been turned down by every other printer they approached – frequently with claims of “this book can’t be made” ringing in their ears.

So here’s a little film about what happens when you decide to make an extremely unusual book: one that despite the odds, can indeed be made. More on the book itself, here and The Trees of Codes’ microsite is here.

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  • http://www.jodsn.com Jonny

    Just glanced at this quick with no time to take it in. At first glance this looks pretty heavy.

  • http://www.iwantdesign.com iwant John

    immense, absolutely brilliant!

  • Bork

    I wanted to say something worthless, so that it’d be know that I said something pretty deep.

  • http://Www.Quiqcorp.com Mike Coker

    Looks like a great book, well done. I have tried to make similar die-cuts in the past but found that the page turn would pick up the previous page, how did you get around this?

  • Gavin Day

    Amazing shot of the falling die-cuts and the hollow columns on the paper palettes.

    Never get tired of watching this stuff, it’s still magical!

  • http://www.seamlessmedia.co.uk/news Rob Pratt

    Wow, this is epic.

  • http://www.eustondoyoucopy.com Johnny Cullen

    So then Mr Kindle. How do you like them apples?

  • http://www.tricornbooks.co.uk Gail Baird

    Our book designer is torn between wanting to give up and er….wanting to do something like that one day.

  • http://www.squidishere.com squid

    just watched the video and thought .. how amazing..! and all these people involved in making this beautiful item.. and had to purchase it immediately.. i need to stop reading things like this or i’ll become really poor!

  • http://www.vintagebeadery.co.uk Ley Holloway

    I’m with Jonny Cullen on this one! How will it survive Library use I wonder?

  • http://Www.Quiqcorp.com Mike Coker

    Looks like a great book, well done. I have tried to make similar die-cuts in the past but found that the page turn would pick up the previous page, how did you get around this?

  • http:www.sotocreative.com Rick Soto

    Nice.

    Very nice.

    My uncle who passed about 4 years ago was a master die maker, he would have loved this short movie.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.pickle-design.co.uk/ Pickle Design

    Wonderful to see such effort go into a creation like this. Love it.