Whoever said print is dead forgot to check with 3D printing. Acclaimed author Chang-rae Lee, winner of the Hemmingway Foundation/PEN award for first fiction, and Makerbot have collaborated to produce a unique take on the book cover. Only 200 copies will be available, each signed by the author. The release date is currently scheduled for January 7th, 2014.
Using the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, Helen Yentus and part of the MakerBot team designed the slipcase for the new novel, On Such a Full Sea. Heralded as a harrowing and insightful ecotopian take on a near-future America, it seems fitting that the science-fiction genre would embrace the Yentus’ design. The slipcase not only covers and protects the hardbound book, it also expands the title by literally taking the words out in a 3D form. The slipcase extends out and toward the reader, the title expanding with literary force.
MakerBot’s design team re-imagines the cover as part of the book, not merely the case for content. Lee embraced the idea, “What I like about this is that it revisits the book as an object rather than only content. Content is what’s most important ultimately of course, but this is a book with a certain movement to it that regular books don’t have.”
In an age when e-readers and tablets bully print media, it is refreshing (and rejuvenating as an aspiring writer) to see cutting-edge technology embrace the novel. A perfect bound book with pages the reader has to turn is now covered in a 3D printed slipcase that accentuates the book itself transforming the cover into art. It is with models like MakerBot’s that we see a harmonious braid between content and form.