The Open Road

The Open Road


An enduring symbol in American culture, the road trip has represented a sense of possibility and freedom, discovery and escape. As photographers have embarked on trips across the United States, they have created some of the most important photographs in the history of the medium. The Open Road explores the photographic road trip as a genre. Each chapter explores one body of work in depth through informative texts and a portfolio of images, beginning with Robert Frank, and including such renowned work as Garry Winogrand’s 1964, Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects, William Eggleston’s Los Alamos, and Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississippi.

The book design was inspired by historical road maps and Americana. It uses two typefaces – the first, a punchy condensed grotesque, would not have been out of place in one of Ed Ruscha’s works. The second, on the other hand, is decidedly more low brow and nods to hand painted signs found in diners. The cover design brings them together in a shape reminiscent of motel signs.

“The Open Road, a book about photography and the American road trip, was a tough design brief. Handling the work of so many different photographers, Atelier Dyakova’s treatment is elegant and sensitive. The striking cover design is a brilliant condensing of decades of road iconography, from maps to gas stations. It’s one of the most distinctive looking books of recent years.” — David Campany

Publisher: Aperture
Contributors: David Campany