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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Designers Don’t Have Influences by Austin Howe

I had better start by owning up to not having read Designers Don’t Read by Howe – I had seen lots of press for it but never got round to picking up a copy. So I have come to his second book without reading the first, but Designers Don’t Have Influences (Amazon US|CA|UK|DE) is stand-alone and can be picked up without any prior knowledge of Howe or his writing. Designers Don’t Have Influences is a collection of short essays on people that have influenced Howe throughout his...

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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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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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Meggs’ History of Graphic Design

Review by Patrick Holt Because the design industry is populated not only by the well-educated, but also by the self-taught and the self-tutored-after-a-mediocre-education (I fall into the latter), it’s likely that many of us missed an opportunity to read Philip Meggs’ A History of Graphic Design (Amazon: US|CA|UK |DE), now in its fourth edition, during our formative years. And since textbooks rarely find a place on the bookshelf after one leaves school or if one never attended in the first...

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