A Way to Learn to See: The new Interaction of Color iPad app

Reviewed by Carolina de Bartolo In my 2010 review of Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color, I summarized this most excellent volume as “an eternal gift to the world of design.” I stand by that statement. I’d now like to add that the new Interaction of Color iPad app is yet another beautiful gift to the world of design. This app is brought to you by Yale University Press, The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation and the NYC design agency, Potion, on the 50th anniversary of the...

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Design Anthropology: object culture in the 21st century

Design Anthropology: object culture in the 21st century, edited by Alison J. Clarke Publisher: Springer, Vienna, 2011. Review by Maria Blyzinsky ‘This book describes a seismic shift in the way experts and users conceptualize, envisage, and engage in object culture.’ Lofty claims like this always catch my eye because I’m in the business of trying to understand material culture. I work in museums and my curiosity regarding objects is twofold: as something to collect...

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Cause and Effect: Visualizing Sustainability

Lester Brown, an American environmental analyst and founder of the Worldwatch Institute said: The communications industry is the only agency possessing the capacity to convey the knowledge necessary for sustainable development to the required extent and in the timeframe we have at our disposal. These words inspired the editors at Gestalten press to publish Cause and Effect: Visualizing Sustainability, a book that showcases effective communications projects that educate people on the...

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An interview with Andrew Shea on Designing for Social Change

Identified as a “place to start” by renowned designer and social entrepreneur, William Drenttel, Designing for Social Change by Andrew Shea, is an insightful guidebook and designer’s co-pilot containing a compilation of case studies that illustrate project concepts, funding resources, processes, strategies, and outcomes. It is a go-to resource for any designer interested or engaged in community-based work. A first-of-its-kind, Designing for Social Change is marked by ten strategies, an...

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Comparison Review: Graphic Design Theory

For those interested in graphic design theory, there are two compelling books on the market with nearly identical 
titles: Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field, by Miami University professor Helen Armstrong, 
and Graphic Design Theory: Graphic Design in Context by NC State professor Meredith Davis. 
Although the books sound similar, they take different yet complementary approaches to the subject. Armstrong’s book is a collection of excerpts from groundbreaking texts written...

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Little Big Books

The holidays are a time for family and that includes children, of all ages. With that in mind I thought it would be great to take time out and review Little Big Books, a great new collection of illustrations for children’s picture books published by Gestalten. Sorted by illustrator, the book takes a thorough survey of the modern industry of children’s book illustration letting the reader visually explore the vast variety of aesthetic differences contained within. (Click to...

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Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili

Designers, typographers, illustrators and letterers the world over will already be familiar with the work of Louise Fili. Her book covers, restaurant identities, food packaging labels and lettering have defined excellence in typography since the mid-1980s. No matter how much of her work you may have spent countless hours reviewing it is unlikely that you understand her as well as you will after reading Elegantissima: The Design & Typography of Louise Fili. (Click to enlarge) Elegantissima...

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Los Logos 6

Gestalten recently released the sixth book in the infamous Los Logos series. This is actually the first of the series that I have had the pleasure of owning, and it definitely does not disappoint. After thumbing through it for several days and then making my way back through more thoroughly, I understand why the books in this series have become a staple on many designers bookshelves. (Click to enlarge) The premise of the book is quite simple, it’s a compendium of logo and branding...

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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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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 Fundación 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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