Grids: The Official SPD Blog
49 is a magic number, a figure resonant with great meaning.
Throughout history, the number 49 has been linked to traditions and historical events that represent enlightenment, achievement, fame and success, technology, creativity, community, and the road to nirvana. The book you now hold in your hands is a collection of work from the 49th annual SPD Publication Design competition.
[The first sentence in this introduction has 49 characters. The second paragraph has 49 words. Unfortunately, I couldn't limit this introduction to 49 sentences. You'd probably be a lot more likely to read the whole thing if I had.]
Many years ago in Bodh Gaya, India, Siddartha Gautama sat under a pipal tree and meditated, vowing to stay seated there until he found truth. According to legend, after 49 days Gautama attained enlightenment, and from that time was known to his followers as the Buddha, or "Awakened One." Since that time the number 49 has had a prominent place in Buddhist rituals, and is also considered a significant number in Chinese and Taoist cultures. In China 49 is particularly prized because it's the sum of 7 squared, and as in many societies (including the U.S.), 7 is considered a very lucky number.
This Publication Design 49 book honors the best editorial design created in 2013. Book annuals were published erratically in SPD's early years. It took 10 years before the first competition book was created, in 1975. In the years immediately following, SPD design annuals were sporadic; sometimes several years were combined into a single book, and in other years no book was published at all. Since Publication Design 20 in 1985, SPD has published a design competition annual every year, and the book remains the definitive documentation of the art of magazine making.
The evening would not have been possible without the following stars picking up the baton and continuing the legacy of such a respected and inspiring speaker series on the left coast:
Amy Feitelberg, Cat Jimenez, Audrey Landreth, Maren Levinson, and Chris McPherson.
SPD-U Spotlight 08.03.15