Virgil Abloh ‘Figures of Speech’ Book Receives Award for Design

Obi Anyanwu

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Virgil Abloh has a new award under his belt.

The Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director’s book, “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” has won 2019 AIGA’s 50 Books Award, a competition that identifies the 50 best-designed books and book covers of the year.

The title, produced by Abloh and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, is in a three-books-in-one format, with a catalogue section by Michael Darling, who gives an overview of Abloh’s work, and features essays and interviews from Taiye Selasi, Rem Koolhaas and other experts in art, fashion, design and architecture. The book also has an archive section of more than 1,800 images from Abloh’s personal collection.

“Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” is a blue hardcover that features an image of Abloh holding a special edition copy of the book with a plain cover and the word “Artwork” across the top. The back cover has the name of the MCA Chicago exhibit from 2019 and the book’s ribbon marker is a gold measuring tape. In addition, the book is designed with Swiss binding to show the spine of the book and the raw boards that encase it. When opened, the front cover lays completely flat and is not attached to the book’s front pages.

In June, MCA opened its “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” exhibit, which was the first museum exhibit devoted to Abloh’s work in fashion, architecture and art. Darling also organized the exhibit. Also, Louis Vuitton celebrated the exhibition opening with a monthlong pop-up in Chicago.

Abloh also teamed with Kid Cudi to release a “Pulling Strings” graphic T-shirt on the Kid Cudi web site for the music artist’s new single “Leader of the Delinquents.” The T-shirt bears a sketch from Abloh that references one of Cudi’s memorable run-ins with the paparazzi, and the track title on the back. The shirt’s artwork is also the front cover for the “Leader of the Delinquents” single on vinyl, CD and cassette.

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