Robbie McLaran is a Portland photographer who at the time was getting a lot of editorial assignments for some our largest news magazines who were writing about right-wing extremists that were in the news at the time. The list of subjects included imprisoned Timothy McVeigh right after the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Robbie enlisted the help of Johnson and Wolverton, the design shop where I was working at the time, to design the book. We wanted to create a compelling environment for Robbie's amazing portraits that didn't go as far as to distract the viewer from his work. I thought it would be interesting to create a formal color study on "whiteness", using a cheap polaroid camera to create a series of icky backgrounds in various fleshy tones.
The degraded typography is set and positioned with awkwardness and tension-building geometry. The feeling of deconstructed news helps maintain an editorial feel, but with an edge. The text surrounding the images are often feature the subjects' own words.
The result was a multi-award winning little book that is as much disturbing as it is moving.
Design: Jeff Dooley, Robin Muir, Hal Wolverton
Agency: Johnson and Wolverton