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Bonia Shur
Life and Work
We did: Everything
Bonia Shur is known as America's premier composer of Jewish liturgical music. His life was an extraordinary one, especially the years he served in the allied Russian army fighting the Germans WWII. He kept a diary during his years in service and knowing he would never escape with the diary he memorized each entry. Some six years after escaping to Israel he rewrote it from memory.

We were tasked with designing the printed and digital version of this diary for publication. We chose to keep the original diary format and enhance it with simple abstract illustrations and imagery. Almost impressionistic in nature, the graphics weave into the story and enhance the reading experience with visual breaks and cues. Knowing the book would be read on the Kindle, we intentionally worked in black and white and pushed the graphics to be as simple and engaging as possible.

Once the book was designed we were tasked with creating a website that not only memorialized Bonia Shur's life but also served to make his music available to the general public. The site has unique storytelling features, comment sections and a music player. Again, a simple and reductive design approach was developed to allow the viewer to be immersed in his amazing story and powerfully moving music. Our intention was to allow the story to lead and allow the audience to discover this musical master's work and legacy.

In 2013, “The Diary of Bonia Shur” won the International Design Award for printed book.