When words fail

'102 Hours' tells the story of the Boston Marathon bombings through iconography alone.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s certainly true of one new book recalling the events at last year’s Boston Marathon.

On the eve of this year’s marathon, Cambridge design firm Tank Design is releasing 102 Hours, an entirely iconographic book that tells the story of that day and those that followed. “The tragedy at the finish line, paired with the response from our local and federal governments over the next few days, was unlike anything we’d ever seen before, and it was happening in our neighborhoods, outside our windows and pouring out onto our phones, televisions and computer screens,” says senior designer Elanie Blais. “We thought it would be an interesting challenge to simplify the story to its core, strip it down to just a series of events, with no words. Iconography is the simplest human language we have; it transcends all language barriers, and most cultural ones, too.”

All profits from the book sales will benefit Youth design, a Boston-based nonprofit that educates and empowers urban youth to become the next generation of designers.

“Something clicked when I found out how young the two Tsarnaev brothers were,” Blais explains. “It resonated with me how important it is for us to provide mentors for our youth. It seems that every time there’s an incident like the one last April, it happens because people feel rejected, as if their community doesn’t care about them. This project is more about solving the problem from its roots.”

102 Hours ($20) is available for purchase at 102hours.com.

Plus: Check out our roundup of even more new books commemorating the Boston Marathon!

Comments are closed.