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Creativity  (
May 2006

The Best Work of 2005
Books: The Works: Anatomy of a City, Penguin Press

By Terry Kattleman

The Works: Anatomy of a City, a hardcover by Kate Ascher, 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, which delineates virtually every aspect of the infrastructure of New York. 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.”

© 2006 Creativity

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