Surfing in the USA

DJ Stout has designed the layout and cover for a new coffee-table book that looks at the surfing culture in Texas.

From the Series

Texas has an enthusiastic and devoted surf culture that has not been fully documented… until now.

Pentagram partner DJ Stout teamed up with lead designer Barrett Fry from the world’s largest independent design consultancy’s Austin office to design the layout and fonts for Surf Texas, a new book of photographs by Kenny Braun that documents surf culture in the Lone Star State.

Braun, who grew up surfing the Texas Gulf coast, has been documenting the landscape and culture of Texas beaches for over a decade. His images are not the typical, high-octane colour photographs taken with a long lens that populate most surfer magazines. The images rather focus on action shots, images of the Texas Gulf coast landscape and the people who make up its rag-tag surfing culture.

Stout and his team decided to add a real-time element into the design of the coffee-table size book by incorporating tide table of the exact day that an image was taken.

Because Braun has been photographing the Texas surf scene on and off now for so long and because he has a record of when he shot each picture, it gave us the idea to include a small tide chart with each photograph in the book. It’s interesting to see the relative surf activity that corresponds with the day an image was taken, explains Stout.

The unique tide data was retrieved from an international surf report titled, and gave precise details of the Texas Gulf on each day featuring in the book.

Surf Texas is published by the University of Texas and includes a foreword by writer Stephen Harrigan. In his foreword Harrigan says this about the rarefied Texas surfer:

A sense of hope, an understanding of the need to be patient—that’s the emotional heart of this book. The photographs that I find myself returning to the most are those of people staring out at the horizon with confidence and expectation. Perfect sets of waves are few and far between on the Texas coast, but Texas surfers know that and have made the necessary psychic adjustments. And, in observing them, Kenny Braun has the advantage of being one of them. He knows what they are looking for, he knows what they’ll settle for, and he knows what they dream about.

Watch the Talk with DJ Stout