Image by Jake Longstreth
Loose Leaf is a new publication from San Francisco that celebrates the city’s creativity. It comes as a series of unbound prints that can be hung on pegs and shuffled according to taste…
“We spend so much time discovering great work online and hitting the ‘bookmark’ button but never really experiencing a connection to the work in a more physical way,” says Tom Crabtree, creative director of Manual, the design studio who are behind the project. “In a sense, Loose Leaf is bookmarking in a permanent way.”
Loose Leaf is a print edition complete with pegged hanging system that allows for the work to be exhibited and shuffled as the viewer likes. Each issue comes with three aluminium push pins and the look, says Crabtree, is “very much a utilitarian format inspired by loose leaf dividers you would see in a stationery store.”
On the reverse of each individual sheet, each contributor also lists what hangs on their walls, offering a glimpse of their own inspiration. “I guess that’s the whole idea behind Loose Leaf,” says Crabtree. “It’s about being inspired by work that surrounds you. It’s also about permanence – not storing something on a shelf or on a hard drive, but living with it.”
“Over half of the work in Loose Leaf has been created specially for the edition and while there’s certainly diversity in the visual content, it’s all been filtered through the eyes of this graphic design studio, so we hope there’s an interesting angle to the selection of works,” says Crabtree. “Being a commercial design studio, we’re accustomed to answering our clients’ briefs, and there’s something very enjoyable with being able to give visual artists a theme and get a response, or talk with them about what they might produce.”
The contributors range from established names to lesser-known talents, from both in the fine arts and commercial arts, design, and fashion. The theme of this first edition is the San Francisco Bay area.
“We’ve also kept everything local, from the paper company and printer, and even the shipping folders we had made to specification,” says Crabtree. “Sustainability is also something we’ve thought about. Even though we’re only printing 1,000 of these, it’s a pretty big format for a publication so we selected a local paper manufacturer and printer that place sustainability at the core of their business. With each edition we will also be donating a portion of sales to a San Francisco arts-based non-profit.”
Manual plan to print Loose Leaf biannually and may set up a subscription-based model in the future. Themes will vary each issue. The edition measure 16″ by 23.5″.
To buy an edition of Loose Leaf ($80), go to looseleafeditions.com.