In 2014, musician Brian Laidlaw reached out to Paper Darts to produce an artful coffee table book that would blur the lines between songwriting, art, and poetry.
He told us that it would feature poetry and an LP of live recordings of music inspired by Bonnie and Clyde. But he didn’t want it to appear to be a period piece —
He wanted it to feel modern, but not necessarily reference any one particular era. He also asked us to avoid depicting Bonnie and Clyde themselves.
We happily accepted that challenge.
To evoke the violent, messy drama of a couple on the run, we reached out to illustrator Allegra Lockstadt and asked her to contribute a series of organic, black-and-white ink drawings.
To convey a sense of moderness, I then overlaid the drawings with simple, neon shapes — many resembling the abstracted form of a road.
A strict, modular grid was used to establish harmony between multiple disparate elements on the page. And it enabled me to displace Bonnie and Clyde’s rather gritty life against a much more contemporary, clean backdrop.
The sheer scale of the book — spanning more than two feet wide when open (and a foot tall!) was also a frequent asset for conveying the vastness of rural America.
Client: Brian Laidlaw
Production and Strategy: Paper Darts
Illustrations and Photography: Allegra Lockstadt
Printing: Shapco Printing
My Role: Art Direction and Editorial Design
This project was made possible by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.