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Bins is a riot of colour, texture and literal rubbish, this beautiful, limited edition book reassesses bins, acknowledging them as beautiful, humble and horrible, able to see the absolute worst of us and carry on regardless. Each bin comes with its own unique description written by the author when he was drunk. Coptic bound with an exposed, printed spine neatly sandwiched between ‘gay bin bag covers’ – each created with multiple black and holographic foils. Within the 208 text pages lie 78 images of the artist’s favourite bins interspersed with six original paintings of bits of trash.


When Joe approached me to collaborate on designing a book about bins with a cover that looks like ‘gay bin bags’ I was utterly delighted. He was talking about using colourful papers and multiple foils and wanted to make an object that is almost sculptural in its simulation of a bin bag. The cover was a challenge but with some careful thought and a lot of testing, we managed to realise all Joe's 'gay bin bag' fantasies. The result is a book that gently but deliberately pushes at the boundaries of what a book can be. With the edges foiled to make it a seamless block and no clear demarcation on the front of the book it is a 'dumb object' just like a bin bag full of rubbish is. With the trash spilling out of the printed image on the exposed spine. 


The design is a considered balance of the preposterous, profound and punk. It’s deliberately irreverent, using Joe’s handwriting and ripped-up halftones of Joe’s own bits of litter (crisp packets, water bottles, fly-adorned cat food) contrasting with the polite academia of text set in Lyon. And the main event, the photography of the bins themselves with the accompanying musings, is on gloss paper, echoing the materiality of bin bags, with matte and gloss varnishes adding a three-dimensional quality to the pages. The end result is a carnival of colour, camp and public waste. In making it we had a total blast, we chose fabulous Hot Pink colorplan, the thematically relevant Extract (made of recycled coffee cups - literal rubbish) and Real Silver Peregrina Majestic to reproduce Joe’s original artworks on (the silver of the peregrina simulates the foil of discarded bits of litter). We chose no less than nine foils including a holographic black (featured heavily on the cover) and lots of the sparkly 'disco' foils that often get shunned as ‘too naff’.

Joe’s irreverent perspective and joyful approach made this book a total delight to work on. 

Artist & Author: Joe Lycett

Design: Joe Lycett & me 

Contributors: Al Little, Daisy May Cooper, Katrina Navikas

Published by Hurtwood press
Papers: G.F. Smith and Fedrigoni

Foils: Foilco

All images courtesy of Joe Lycett 

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