The ami­ably spon­tan­eous pic­tures taken by Sam Shaw (1912–1999) are well known: the nat­ive and life-long New Yorker shot count­less cover pho­to­graphs for Life and Look in the fifties and six­ties, and later also took the still images for the films he pro­duced him­self. Shaw and Mar­ilyn Mon­roe were friends, and he cap­tured her unique aura in count­less unpre­ten­tious por­traits. Dur­ing the film­ing of The Seven Year Itch, he staged his prob­ably best known pic­ture with her: Mar­ilyn stand­ing over a sub­way grate, a waft of air blow­ing the skirt of her white dress above her knees.

Sam Shaw also por­trayed almost every major Hol­ly­wood star of his day, con­sist­ently cap­tur­ing the moment in his quest for truth­ful­ness, with enthu­si­asm and from a new per­spect­ive, just as if he were select­ing the cam­era angle for a film sequence. The researcher and author Lorie Karnath, the book’s editor, enhances the pub­lic­a­tion with very per­sonal memor­ies of her long-time friend.

(offi­cial text by Hatje Cantz)

The Sam Shaw book is the most glam­or­ous book I had designed this year. It is about the work of this incred­ible pho­to­grapher, who had cre­ated some of the most fam­ous Hol­ly­wood por­traits ever.

To bring out this glam­our, and the sense of the fifties and six­ties, the dark grey linen cover is graced with the stemped golden title.
The title pic­ture of beau­ti­ful Mar­ilyn Mon­roe is glued dir­ectly on to the cover.

The light beige spine rib­bon matches the golden title and the light beige endpapers.

As a glam­or­ous typeface with an Amer­ican appear­ence, I chose PTL Sko­pex Serif by Andrea Tinnes.

The main idea of the lay­out is to give the pho­to­graphs a much import­ance and space as pos­sible. They are some­times push­ing the text, to get their room.

The body­text is organ­ized in sec­tions that are match­ing the images, so the reader can always find more inform­a­tion about each image, or just the short cap­tions. In this way, he can decide, how much inform­a­tion he wants.

The com­pos­i­tion is very clas­sical, with centered head­lines and cap­tions, but also jus­ti­fied bodytext.

All these beau­ti­ful and hand­some people!

My regards go to Lorie Karnath, the Shaw Fam­ily Archives, Ltd., and Clem­ens von Lucius and Tas Skorupa from the great team of the Hatje Cantz Ber­lin office, Christine Emter (Hatje Cantz Ost­fildern), and to my (now) assist­ant Hannes Aechter.

Eng­lish (ISBN 978–3-7757–2695-5)
Ger­man (ISBN 978–3-7757–2694-8)

2010. 240 pp., 199 ills. in duo­tone
23,5 x 31,5 cm

Hatje Cantz