Practice Theory is a design studio based in Singapore, they designs brand identities, campaigns, publications, websites and environmental spaces for clients who value the communicative and discursive power of design.
One of their project is the editorial and packaging design for Dark Cities – a trilogy of photobooks by Shyue Woon that reimagines fringe spaces in Singapore, Tokyo, and Seoul. In his daily practice as an architect, Woon turns aspirations into constructible reality. In Dark Cities, he reverses this process – using images as clues – and deconstructs reality and spaces into fiction and figments of imagination, creating alternative narratives and realities.
Presented like a detective case file, the packaging refers to the investigatory lens that Woon puts the spaces through. The three locations and a short blurb are quietly indexed, alongside a title that is partially readable, giving an impression of cities that are clean, orderly, and sanitised. The inner packaging contrasts this with suggestions of a grim dystopia, setting the tone for the three books that investigate the underbelly of these cities.
Maintaining a dark art direction throughout, Dark Cities beautifully blends atmospheric grainy photography with clean typographic pages with ample white space. Its contrasting yet cohesive, resulting in a quite brilliant series of books.
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