written by:
April 18, 2013
London-based Russian graphic designer Sonya Dyakova is making us rethink the notion of judging a book by its cover. After studying in San Francisco, the typography specialist moved to London to work for interdisciplinary graphic designer Vince Frost and Kerr | Noble, before joining visual art book publisher, Phaidon Press, in 2005 as design director. She now runs her own multidisciplinary studio, Atelier Dyakova, where she consistently churns out designs that are "strongly rooted in conceptual and tactile details, as well as typographic experimentation." Dyakova is also the art director of contemporary art and culture magazine, frieze (re-designed in May 2012) and Frieze Masters magazine. Dyakova is currently working on a catalogue raisonné for Ron Mueck to coincide with his new show at the Cartier Foundation in Paris and come late April, will host a 5-day workshop at the Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne for graphic design students. Click through to see a bevy of picks from Atelier Dyakova's portfolio.

Sculpture Today by Judith Collins—The designer created the bespoke, award-winning typeface, Paper Alphabet, for this comprehensive and beautifully illustrated overview of contemporary sculpture, published by Phaidon. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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The yellow 464-paged tome without its book jacket is still quite the looker. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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A look inside. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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Nobuyoshi Araki: Self Life Death—A beige matte pebbled surface and camouflaged text beautifully covers this overview of arguably Japan's greatest and most controversional living photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki's, profilic 40-year career. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park


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A robin's egg blue block provides a little breathing room in between photos (the book contains 800 colour and 400 black and white photographs!) Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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I Know How to Cook by Ginette Mathiot—Hailed as the "bible of traditional French home cooking," I Know How to Cook contains over 1,400 recipes, like boeuf bourguignon and tarte tatin, with colorful, lively illustrations by Blexbolex. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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A bag of mussels ready to be brushed off. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec: Works—Much like the renowned French design duo, Dyakova's design for their monograph is simple, yet incredibly intricate upon further inspection. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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Twelve products each float in their cream square. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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The back. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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Creamier—Frustrated on having to keep the content the same, but still have an innovative design, Dyakova abondoned the traditional book format and transformed it into a large format newspaper. Inspired by the Financial Times, 300 pink unbound pages come packaged in a gray bespoke portfolio. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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Two gray loose flaps envelope the pink paged newspaper containing 100 of the most exciting contemporary artists emerging today. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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The back. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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Tuscany—This cookbook contains 50 recipes, like crunchy crostini and mouth-watering desserts, from the tables of Tuscany, the birthplace of Italian cuisine and one of the finest gastronomic regions of Italy. Specially commissioned landscape and product photography of Florence and Siene to Pisa and Lucca paint an illustrious scene. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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A beautiful portrait of a field in Arezzo, a city and comune in Central Italy. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich—The most famous and popular art book ever written (it has sold over 7 million copies in the past 50 years!) used to weigh in at 3.5 pounds with 668 pages, but the classic has been transformed into a handy pocket edition with text printed in black on off-white bible paper to reduce the bulk of the pages. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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A black block creates emphasis and breaks up each chapter. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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Luc Tuymans, Phaidon Collector's Edition—A beautifully bound clamshell box and book containing the work of contemporary artist, Luc Tuymans, and perhaps the best contrasting color combination in existance. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park


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Painting Today by Tony Godfrey—This global documentation of painting over the last 40 years contains works by 240 artists from more than 30 countries and Dyakova's skewed typography in Yves Klein Blue. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park


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Photo Trouvée by Michel Frizot and Cédric de Veigy—"An anthropology of the ordinary," Photo Trouvée houses 285 carefully sequeneced amateur photographs found, collected, and edited by French photohistorian Michel Frizot and film/photography researcher Cédric de Veigy. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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sculpture today phaidon

Sculpture Today by Judith Collins—The designer created the bespoke, award-winning typeface, Paper Alphabet, for this comprehensive and beautifully illustrated overview of contemporary sculpture, published by Phaidon. Photo credit: Sonya Dyakova and Edward Park

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