The first, astonishing 3D-printed book cover

Published:  January 17, 2014

On Such a Full Sea, a futuristic novel by Korean-American writer Chang-rae Lee, features a cover sleeve design which is a bookshelf first, that come straight out of the imagined futuristic dystopia of its story.

Created in collaboration between Riverhead Art Director Helen Yentus and 3D-printing firm Makerbot, Lee’s raised book sleeve slides over a yellow 2D-printed copy, the lettering aligning fluidly .

“What I like about this project is that it re-introduces the idea of the book as an art object,” states Lee. “Content is what’s most important, but this [3D edition] is a book with a physical presence, too.”

The first book cover to be produced in such a way, it still feels a wholly human piece of craft, the care and process of the piece as apparent as its raised letterforms. Art Director Helen Yentus explains the importance of alluring book cover design, as the publishing industry moves in a digital direction.

“We’ve talked a lot about what’s going to happen to books and cover designers if covers aren’t necessarily going to be the focus anymore,” said Yentis. “We’re looking for new ways to present our books.”

Only 200 copies of the 3D-printed book cover will be available. Chang-rae Lee’s On Such A Full Sea was launched on January 7, 2014.

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