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Second Look: Shelf Life

Designer Thatcher Wine turns book jackets into high art...

It has been just 13 years since Thatcher Wine started curating distinctive libraries, and already the Colorado-based designer and owner of Juniper Books counts such names as Philippe Starck and the Kiehl’s skin-care brand among his clients. The idea to treat rows of books as the ultimate blank canvas occurred to him, he says, as an alternative to sourcing rare first editions. “It started off very simple, with changing the color of book [covers] without the expense or delay of rebinding them,” he says. “Then it evolved into more creative installations.”

For the members’ lounge at the Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, a project commissioned by Waldrop+Nichols Studio, he used a golf course image taken by Cody Curry to create covers for hundreds of books that together make a stunning design statement. What is hidden under the jackets? “They are all law books,” says Wine, noting that they were chosen to be seen, not read. Fewer volumes were used in a Park City, Utah, space (see “Peak Performance“), but the spines’ sloped-mountains effect is no less arresting: “I used images from a fantastic adventure photographer, Tyler Stableford,” he says. “I feel like I’ve barely started on the potential of what can be done with our covers.”

Juniper Books, 303.946.1494, juniperbooks.com

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