A History of Graphic Design for Rainy Days

Who can resist a book that provides a paper doll of Saul Bass? Jam-packed, whirlwind, and charming are the three best words to describe A History of Graphic Design for Rainy Days from Gestalten Press. On a rainy afternoon “somewhere in some country” the reader is introduced to the two main characters, Gramps and Kiddo. The young bored Kiddo ventures into the office of his Gramps, who is working on a letterpress machine. Kiddo asks the simple question, “What in the world is graphic...

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Fully Booked: Cover Art & Design for Books

Prepare for this review to become rather meta. Gestalten’s Fully Booked: Cover Art and Design for Books is a design book about book design also containing six essays, three apiece by Katherine Gillieson and Maria Fusco, one of which is an essay about the difficulty of producing a book on books. Phew. As with all of Gestalten’s output, Fully Booked is a well-produced, finely printed and sturdy affair – regardless of the content, their publications never fail on the production...

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Naïve – Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design

Naïve – Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design (Amazon: US|CA|UK|DE) is a recent release from Gestalten, edited by Robert Klanten and Hendrik Hellige. It explores the “extraordinary renaissance of Classic Modernism, from the 1940s to 1960s, in contemporary graphic design” and collects together the work of many of the contemporary designers working in this style today. So far so good. Ever since a childhood filled with early Disney and Tex Avery cartoons I...

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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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Three Books on Colour – Part One: Kelvin: Colour Today

Books on colour must be the new black. We were sent two in a row recently – Kelvin: Colour Today and An Eye for Color. We decided to do a series over the next month or two and include Victoria Finlay’s Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Part One starts with Kelvin: Colour Today. Every designer and artist knows that if you mix every colour in the rainbow together you get white with light and black or muddy brown with paint. So it is with Kelvin: Colour Today, edited by Robert...

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Data Flow

If there is one resource we’re not short of these days it is data. We’re swimming in the stuff and generating it all the time. Making visual sense of all that data requires a fine balance between complexity and simplicity. Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design is an absolutely beautiful collection of some of the finest examples of the art.

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The Little Know-It-All

The Little Know-It-All from Gestalten is either a desk reference or a toilet book, depending on your reading preferences. With the tag-line of “Common Sense for Designers” it’s a book full of all the things you didn’t bother to pay attention to in design school and wish you had. Forgotten your colour theory? Can’t remember paper sizes? Don’t know your flexo from your gravure printing? This is the book for you.

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