Bibliographic

While graphic design does not have as long of a history as some of the other visual mediums, say sculpture or painting, it has certainly come a long way in establishing itself through the work, writings and published thoughts of the designers, typographers, artists and writers involved in its evolution. There have been many books published about the work, ethos and personas associated with the different aspects of graphic design. Bibliographic is a book that chronicles some of the most...

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Studio Culture: The Secret Life of the Graphic Design Studio

What the public eye sees most often is the finished design work – beautifully printed posters, books, websites, packaging, and signage. But little is known or said about the studios that labor day and night to deliver something creative and coherent, beautiful yet functional, all while earning enough money to survive. Studio Culture: The Secret Life of the Graphic Design Studio by Adrian Shaughnessy and Tony Brook is the first book released by Unit Editions, and offers to shed light on this...

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Euro Deco: Graphic Design Between the Wars

(Click to enlarge) My initial reaction to the book Euro Deco: Graphic Design Between the Wars was disappointment. But it wasn’t because of the book itself, it was because of my own ignorance. On a previous book buying escapade I managed to track down all eight of the books in the Chronicle series on Art Deco design, which include Dutch Moderne, British Modern, Deco España, Italian Art Deco, German Modern, Streamline: American Art Deco, French Modern, and Japanese Modern. I even bought...

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Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig

Having only recently been exposed to the work of Alvin Lustig I was very excited to learn of the publication of the monograph Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig chronicling his life as a designer, teacher and author. I was only aware of some of his earlier experimentations with printers’ ornaments, but I was already extremely interested. I had high hopes of learning much more about the work, the man behind it, and the environment in which it was created. The book did not...

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Jun’ichirō Tanizaki: In Praise of Shadows (谷崎 潤一郎: 陰翳礼讃)

I came across this slim book (which is more an extended essay) while looking into texts on aesthetics. I was particularly interested in books about the differences in perception. Not specifically from a design point of view but more general ideas on cultural differences in the perception of everyday objects, the spaces we occupy and how we interact with them. I call this book an essay – I could easily call it a mild rant. A personal plea against homogeneity. In Praise of Shadows...

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We, Me, Them & It

We, Me, Them & It by John Simmons can be summed up by an endorsement on its front cover: “For weeks, [the book] rested with many others, then something intrigued me about the title. I read it in one sitting. Fascinating.” – Niall FitzGerald, Chairman of Unilever Though a rewarding book due to the description of how Simmons approaches writing, as well as the book’s tone, the potential to have it sitting on your bookshelf for weeks is real, because, it is such an...

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Interaction of Color by Josef Albers

Review by Carolina de Bartolo I’ve long thought of Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color as the one and only book you’ll ever need to understand how to use color as a designer. Originally published in 1963, Yale University Press published a lovely revised and expanded edition in 2006, which is 3.25 cm (1.25 in) taller and includes a number of additional color plates. (Click to enlarge) Designers tend to think of Josef Albers (1888–1976) only as a color theorist because Interaction of...

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Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss?

James Victore has never been one to mince words or images in his goal to communicate, and this book is no different. He starts by telling us that this book is not about graphic design, it is about ideas and opinions, more specifically, his ideas and his opinions. For better or for worse. “At a lecture I gave, a designer plaintively explained to me that while he wanted to do creative work, he had rent to pay. “Fuck rent!” was my loud response. To give a damn is a personal...

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Talent is Not Enough: Business Secrets for Designers

“Long term success requires both creative ability and business acumen.” In one succinct sentence, Shel Perkins gets to the point. Author of Talent is Not Enough: Business Secrets for Designers, Perkins is a design educator, chairman of the AIGA Center for Practice Management, and has more than twenty years of experience managing the operations of creative firms in the U.S. and U.K. Perkins understands this business. Practical and approachable, there is a reason the book is currently in its...

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Graphic Design: A User’s Manual

Graphic Design: A User’s Manual is a book I wish I had when I started out as a designer. In the follow-up to his previous work, How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul, Adrian Shaughnessy focuses less on the nuts and bolts of the studio and is more contemplative, drawing upon his significant experience as a working designer to offer equal parts direction and discussion. The book is visually striking, set in a monospaced typeface and very deliberately accented with one...

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