Designing Design

“Creativity is to discover a question that has never been asked. If one brings up an idiosyncratic question, the answer he gives will necessarily be unique as well.” – Kenya Hara, Designing Design. This philosophy is the thread that runs through the entire text of Kenya Hara’s deep and thoughtful book, Designing Design (Amazon: US|CA|UK|DE). The book begins with several exhibitions that Hara organised and for which he devised the question that should be answered. For...

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Designing Universal Knowledge: The World as Flatland – Report 1

Given that it is a book about classification, Designing Universal Knowledge: The World as Flatland – Report 1 (Amazon: US|CA|UK|DE) by Gerlinde Schuller is oddly difficult to classify. Schuller is head of the Information Design Studio in Amsterdam and begins the book by reminding us of the relationship between knowledge and power: “Knowledge is power. If one possesses a collection of the ‘universal knowledge’ of the world, one has ultimate power. Establishing...

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The Design Entrepreneur: Turning Graphic Design into Goods that Sell

Guest review by Colin Ford Clients blow. Designers the world over know this to be the unfortunate truth. Clients come to you for your artistic vision and then try to drag your design back into mediocrity by insisting that 12-point Times New Roman be used for all body copy, or that their second cousin thinks chartreuse would be a better color for the packaging. With their new book, Steven Heller and Lita Talarico tell you to say to hell with clients and their second cousins – you should be...

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Designing the Mentoring Stamp

In an age of Twitter, texting, e-mail and barcodes, the humble postage stamp is in danger of dying out. Yet the stamp has been a tiny canvas for artists and designers to disseminate their work to one of the largest and certainly the broadest of audiences for decades. Designing the Mentoring Stamp by Lance Hidy is designed, delicately typset and published by the independent Kat Ran Press. Much like the stamp itself, this slim volume is an insightful journey into Hidy’s creative process.

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Tauba Auerbach: 50/50

(Click to enlarge)Guest review by Andrew Shea. Tauba Auerbach manages to distill the content of her latest book, 50/50, into one brief summary: 100 Pages 100 Patterns, 50% Black 50% White. True to her word, there is no text in this book, the 100 pages to follow contain only black and white patterns. Auerbach is on a roll; 50/50 is her eighth publication since 2003 (each chronicling her progress as an artist), an impressive record for any 28-year-old visual artist. While Auerbach’s last...

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Victor & Susie

Brighten the Corners sent me a copy of their very cute book, Victor & Susie. It is a short story book about a girl, Susie, who meets a snail called Victor that has a hole in his shell and isn’t feeling too well. She takes him in and looks after him and… well, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. (Click to enlarge) The credits list Brighten the Corners’ partners Billy Kiossoglou as the Writer and Illustrator and Frank Philippin as the Typographer. Given that...

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Tangible: High Touch Visuals

“Remember the small, cheeky, hand-scribbled notes that were reproduced on a photo or poster design? Those with the simple message: “I was here!” Indicating that someone actually worked with the photo and that these are their thoughts.” – from the Preface to Tangible: High Touch Visuals. In such a digitally dominant world, Gestalten’s new book, Tangible: High Touch Visuals, is a reminder of the pleasure of the physical. Tangible is the third in a series of books...

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Sizes May Vary: A Workbook for Graphic Design

(Click to enlarge) If you are the kind of person who walks into stationery shop and pauses to inhale the smell of fresh paper or spends hours trying to find the ultimate sketching pens, then you will enjoy opening up Mark Boyce’s book, Sizes May Vary: A Workbook for Graphic Design, published by Laurence King. Similar, in some respects, to The Little Know It All, it is a book of sizes and forms for almost everything a designer might need to design for across a range of disciplines. It is...

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Three Books on Colour – Part Two: An Eye for Color

(Click to enlarge) An Eye for Color by the fantastically-named Olga Gutierrez de la Roza is the second in our Three Books on Colour series following on from Kelvin: Colour Today, which we reviewed in Decemeber. I was initially a bit skeptical about yet another book on colour, especially these days with sites like Adobe’s Kuler and Dr. Woohoo’s In The Mod and because Gutierrez de la Roza has created a set of Rolodex cards for each palette, which seemed to be an almost quaint touch...

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