The Icon Handbook

What do hieroglyphs, washing machines, clothes, tweeting and satellites all have in common? At one point or another they have made use of icons to communicate one thing or another. Whether it’s what temperature water to wash your t-shirt in or how to find earth amidst the other planets in the galaxy, icons are amazing tools of communication that can work even outside the barriers of language itself. The Icon Handbook sets out to give designers all the tools that they need to begin...

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Bracket

Brackets, when writing, are usually used to contain extra information that may support one subject or another. The publication Bracket takes a look at some very serious issues that are often neglected in our every day lives and usually overlooked when writing about designers, illustrators and artists. It takes a look at these in-between issues by asking a curated selection of artists and designers a short series of questions centered around a specific topic. (Click to enlarge) The ideas are...

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The Avant Garde Applied

I have read a fair amount about avant garde design, as any self-respecting designer should, but I’ve never come across a text as thorough or well produced as The Avant Garde Applied (1890-1950). The book was created as a companion to an exhibition of the same name curated by the FundaciĆ³n Juan March in Madrid, Spain. The exhibition ran earlier this year and you can get an up close look at via video at their website. (Click to enlarge) Between the covers there are almost 700...

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Eric Gill: Notes on Postage Stamps

< p>The second book in the Kat Ran Essays in Philatelics series, Eric Gill: Notes on Postage Stamps, provides interesting insight into the history of Gill’s not-so-successful career as a stamp designer. The essay is relatively short, spanning about 20 pages, but does an excellent job of illustrating Gill’s stamp designs, as well as his personal character. (Click to enlarge) The book consists of a historical record of Gill’s history of designing postage stamps, which...

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Shaping Text

Shaping Text by Jan Middendorp boldly and concisely describes itself right on its front cover. This book will show you how shaping text can help you grab, hold, direct and manipulate the reader’s attention. Within its pages you will find a wealth of information about reading behaviour, design strategies, typefaces, typesetting, technical challenges and possibilities The books contents accurately match its description. (Click to enlarge) Divided into six sections, the book follows the...

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A Smart Guide to Utopia

There’s a horrible cardboard car on a rubber band wrapped around this lovely book. Ewww. What’s that doing there? Never mind, I’ll chuck that and just get on with admiring an exquisitely designed thing. The sort of printed thing with so much attention to detail (well hello there yellow page edges) and physicality (and hello to you, silver bookmark ribbon) that you remember there is still plenty of life in books, if designed with love. So what is this glorious yellow and...

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Jazz Covers from the 1940s to 1990s

If you’re a fan of jazz music or design in any shape or form it is worth your time to take a look at Jazz Covers, a recent release from Taschen. The huge two volume set contains an immense amount of visual and historical information about a wide variety of jazz album cover art created between the 1940s and the 1990s. (Click to enlarge) The books are in a square format, are nice and large, and are quite heavy, which gives you a good preview of the quantity of images inside. The covers...

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The Print Handbook

(Click to enlarge) In the world of graphic design there comes a point when your skills are really put to the test, and that’s when your work comes rolling off the press completing the transition from digital to tactile. Hopefully things go great and everything looks just as it did on screen and exactly as you expected it, but that’s definitely not always the case. To help you cut down on those times when things don’t come out looking just right you might want to pick up a...

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Sleepwalkers

(Click to enlarge) Sleepwalkers was a multimedia art experience created by Doug Aitken and presented at the MOMA in 2007. The exhibition was comprised of a series of 8 moving images that were broadcast on the exterior of the MOMA buildings and consisted of the stories of 5 individuals who represented every day citizens of New York City. Five years after the exhibition, Princeton Architectural Press has produced the Sleepwalkers Box documenting the monumental exhibition. (Click to...

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An interview with David Sherwin on Creative Workshop and Success by Design

As part of a new series of interviews with authors, Andy Polaine interviews David Sherwin about the background to the writing of his successful and extremely useful book, Creative Workshop and the development of his new book, Success by Design to be published in November, 2012. David Sherwin has also reviewed several books for The Designer’s Review of Books in the past. Andy Polaine: What was the inspiration for writing Creative Workshop in the first place? David Sherwin: The idea for...

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