There are few who seem to understand the concept of the coffee table book as well as photographer Simon Griffiths, who today releases Boat – a “celebration of the humble vessel that symbolises escape, trade and travel” – as the press release aptly puts it. The beautifully designed book is one you can judge by its cover, on which sit two beautiful boats and the book’s title – in a fancy typeface, naturally. Yes, this is a book about boats, and really there isn’t much more you need to know about the book than that.
Griffiths has previously brought us books like Shack and Shed, so he understands how to take a simple concept and make it accessible and interesting. Obviously the photography and subsequent curation is paramount. You need to maintain simplicity while containing enough variety to make the book interesting; and he achieves this with flying colours. From jetties to docksides, rowboats to ferries, Griffiths has created a stunning love letter to our floating friends.
But it’s the design that sets this book apart from others. Stunning typefaces layer the book, that will excite even the most avid fan of the art. The colour schemes are eye popping and the copy is simple though fascinating. The stories make smallest rowboats, owned by your unknown neighbour seem as important as the historical ones on display, like Defiance, the first eight-metre yacht designed and built in Australia.
Ultimately, the book has taken on the formula of the coffee table book and done it incredible justice. The photos are, of course, beautiful, and be you a boat enthusiast or just a curious observer of the craft, it’s an enticing read that belongs on every coffee table in the country. And if you have a boat, put it on a table on your boat!
Boat is available through Lantern / Penguin Random House from today at a RRP of AU$39.99.