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A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.



Posts tagged "design"

Oct 06, 2014
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Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig

“In our fragmented times we must seek for wholeness… For the artist the primary problem is to find some balance between his own personal creative integrity and the still undefined wants of society.”

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Sep 30, 2014
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Mike Monteiro, You’re My Favorite Client

Mike’s last book, Design Is A Job, was so good I put it on the reading list in the back of Show Your Work! Here’s what I wrote about that one:


  Jim @Coudal really had it nailed: “Thank God @Mike_FTW didn’t write “Design is a Job” ten years ago. If we had read it then we’d probably still have clients today. #phew” If I had this book only 3 months ago, I might’ve stayed at my agency job. If I had this book four or five years ago, I might still be doing web design…


So it was a real pleasure for me to write the foreword to the great sequel, You’re My Favorite Client. Here’s a snippet:


  Disasters of design usually spring from the faulty notion that design is art, not craft. Mike’s first book, Design Is A Job, gave designers a swift kick in the pants, admonishing them to wake up, ditch their artsy-­fartsy egos, and start taking responsibility for their work. In this new book, Mike demystifies design for non­designers, showing them that good design is not the product of “creatives” pulling rabbits from a magical hat, but a rigorous process of problem ­solving, performed by professionals.


Recommended.

Filed under: Mike Monteiro, my reading year 2014

Mike Monteiro, You’re My Favorite Client

Mike’s last book, Design Is A Job, was so good I put it on the reading list in the back of Show Your Work! Here’s what I wrote about that one:

Jim @Coudal really had it nailed: “Thank God @Mike_FTW didn’t write “Design is a Job” ten years ago. If we had read it then we’d probably still have clients today. #phew” If I had this book only 3 months ago, I might’ve stayed at my agency job. If I had this book four or five years ago, I might still be doing web design…

So it was a real pleasure for me to write the foreword to the great sequel, You’re My Favorite Client. Here’s a snippet:

Disasters of design usually spring from the faulty notion that design is art, not craft. Mike’s first book, Design Is A Job, gave designers a swift kick in the pants, admonishing them to wake up, ditch their artsy-­fartsy egos, and start taking responsibility for their work. In this new book, Mike demystifies design for non­designers, showing them that good design is not the product of “creatives” pulling rabbits from a magical hat, but a rigorous process of problem ­solving, performed by professionals.

Recommended.

Filed under: Mike Monteiro, my reading year 2014

Sep 28, 2014
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Sep 14, 2014
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Alvin Lustig’s book covers

I was killing some time in South Congress Books the other day and the clerk showed me some original New Directions books with these Alvin Lustig covers and they really knocked me out. (The images above are via Cooper Hewitt Collectionthis is what they look like IRL.) I ended up buying this edition of Miss Lonelyhearts, because, sure, it was the cheapest they had (Kafka’s AMERIKA was $600+), but it’s also one of my favorite books.)

While I wait on my copy of Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig to get here, here’s his official site, here’s more on his work, a collage of his author names, an exhibit of his work with his wife, and a huge Flickr set of his work.

Oh, and New Directions also sells a postcard collection of these covers.

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largeheartedboy:

Gorgeous new editions of Italo Calvino’s Collection of Sand and Into the War from Mariner Books.

Wonderful covers by Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday. Dig also The Complete Cosmicomics.

largeheartedboy:

Gorgeous new editions of Italo Calvino’s Collection of Sand and Into the War from Mariner Books.

Wonderful covers by Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday. Dig also The Complete Cosmicomics.

Aug 29, 2014
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Jul 02, 2014
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The Electric Information Age Book: McLuhan/Agel/Fiore and the Experimental Paperback

A history of the context in which classics such as The Medium Is The Massage and I Seem To Be A Verb were spawned. (More over at Brain Pickings.) Recommended to me by Frank Chimero.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Jun 14, 2014
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I Seem To Be A Verb by R. Buckminster Fuller

From Print:

I Seem To Be a Verb focuses on what’s now known as “sustainable design.” The book is a collage of images, bite-size facts, and provocative, inspirational notions by an expanse of artists, musicians, astrophysicists, mathematicians, politicians, and others… which is why my copy’s pages came to fall out of their binding over the past 40-plus years. Fuller himself provides the main narrative, which includes his philosophies—such as “When man learned to do more with less it was his lever to industrial success”—his predictions, such as “When automation frees all workers we will be able to ask, ‘What was it I was thinking that fascinated me so, before I was told I had to do something else in order to make a living?’” And, yes, it’s also a time capsule of 1960s utopian idealism.

Here’s Steven Heller on the designer, Quentin Fiore:

Fiore, who was born in New York in 1920, had been a student of George Grosz (like Paul Rand) at the Art Student’s League and Hans Hoffman at the Hoffman School. His interest in classical drawing, paper making, and lettering attested to a respect for tradition. He began his career before World War II as a letterer for, among others, Lester Beall (for whom he designed many of the modern display letters used in his ads and brochures before modern typefaces became widely available in the U.S.), Condé Nast, Life, and other magazines (where he did hand-lettered headlines for editorial and advertising pages). Fiore abandoned lettering to become a generalist and for many years designed all the printed matter for the Ford Foundation in a decidedly modern but not rigidly ideological style. Since he was interested in the clear presentation of information, he was well suited as a design consultant to various university presses, and later to Bell Laboratories (for whom he designed the numbers on one of Henry Dreyfuss’ rotary dials). In the late 1960s he also worked on Homefax, a very early telephone fax machine developed by RCA and NBC. It was never marketed, but Fiore coordinated an electronic newspaper that would appear on a screen and be reproduced via a sophisticated electrostatic copying process.

Fiore’s acute understanding of technology came from this and other experiences. In an article he wrote in 1971 on the future of the book, Fiore predicted the widespread use of computer-generated design, talking computers, and home fax and photocopy technologies. He also predicted the applications of the computer in primary school education long before its widespread use; accordingly, in 1968 he designed 200 computerlike “interactive” books for school children to help increase literacy skills.

See also: The Medium is the Massage

Apr 16, 2014
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Map of Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type

I made this back in 2008, and it’s sort of amazing how many of the ideas there were things I ran with that made their way into my own work…

Map of Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type

I made this back in 2008, and it’s sort of amazing how many of the ideas there were things I ran with that made their way into my own work…

Apr 02, 2014
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