Design Transitions – author interview

With its obsession with creating the new and improving the old, design is naturally a field that is in constant flux. In the past decade, design has been grappling with its identity somewhat. Whilst traditional skills are still important, increasingly sub- or über-disciplines such as design thinking, service design and strategic design have marked a significant shift in the roles designers and their clients and partners play on projects. Design Transitions documents this flux, by...

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Push Start: The Art of Video Games

Review by Andy Polaine I grew up with video and computer games. When I was a young child, I remember my father coming home from the pub telling me about the fantastic game he had played there. He described it as a TV mounted in a box with a knob you could rotate in order to control a ball in a kind of tennis game. The game was Pong, of course. It seems like only yesterday… A couple of Christmases later in the late 70s the “family present” was a Prinztronic Tournament...

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Critiqued: 5 Questions with the Author

When fellow Designers Review of Books author Christina Beard contacted me about her new book I was of course very interested to see what one of our own had come up with. The book she has produced however, Critiqued: Inside the Minds of 23 Leaders in Design, was a much more impressive undertaking than I had imagined. The book is focused on gaining design insight from some of the most well recognized designers in our profession today by constantly iterating on one project based on their input...

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Ken Garland: Structure and Substance—review and interview

The smell of Cow Gum rubber cement and the fascination of stacked Letraset trays form a large part of my childhood memories of afternoons spent at my father’s graphic design and advertising agency. The bookshelves were also a place of wonder for me. I would leaf through Graphis annuals, reference books and other monographs and frequently come across the work of Ken Garland. Of course, I did not know his name back then, but reading through Ken Garland: Structure and Substance from Unit...

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The Vintage & Classic Style Guide

In order to deal with the ever-growing pile of design books on my desk, I have become more choosy about what to review. Some design books are simply gorgeous design objects, others contain insightful content. All of them vie for attention. Even when I find an engaging book, that there are very few that are destined for my coffee table. The Vintage & Classic Style Guide, published by earBOOKS (Amazon US|DE), might just make the grade. The Vintage & Classic Style Guide is a collection...

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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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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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2012 Holiday Wish List

Here at the Designers Review of Books we all have lengthy Amazon wish lists. While the holidays are a time of giving, they are also a good excuse to pick out one or two of the top books on our list and reward ourselves for another year of hard work, study and accomplishment. Listed below are some of our reviewers most desired reads. Any of them would make great gifts, whether they’re gifts for someone else or just for yourself. Happy Holidays and Happy Reading. Eames: Beautiful Details...

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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 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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