Massimo Vignelli Makes Books (video)

massimo vignelli makes books

All this week on the blog I’ll be writing about books, so I thought it would be a great idea to start thing off with this lovely video with Italian designer Massimo Vignelli discussing his approach to book design. The video – which was designed and animated by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Aron Fay – shows Vignelli explaining his design process and his particular reverence for the grid.

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Philip Kennedy

May 6, 2013 / By

‘Jörgits & the End of Winter’ – An Interactive Kids Novel by Tank & Bear

Jorgits title

Over the last few nights I’ve been stealing my girlfriend’s iPad and reading Jörgits & the End of Winter. It’s an illustrated and animated novel for children written by Anders Sandell and created by Tank and Bear. I had never read an interactive novel before and the adventure of the Jörgits was a wonderful introduction to the format.

Beautifully illustrated and designed by Anders, the book is filled with fantastic illustrations and the story is rich in interactive elements, allowing you to learn more about the characters, the environments and the story. You can get a good introduction to the book by checking out the video above.

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Philip Kennedy

April 26, 2013 / By

‘Hysteria’ – A Look Inside Nobrow 8

Nobrow 8 covers

You probably know by now that I’m a big fan of Nobrow Press. Yet despite my enthusiasm for the indie publishers, it wasn’t until recently that I got to check out their self-titled flagship magazine. Already up to issue 8, each publication is a fantastic compendium of contemporary graphic art, bringing together a wonderful collection of comic creators and illustrators.

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Philip Kennedy

April 17, 2013 / By

‘Encyclopedia of Nature’ exposes the tenuous existence of flowers in a new book by Lars Müller Publishers

Encyclopedia of Flowers - Flower Works by Makoto Azuma, photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers - Flower Works by Makoto Azuma, photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

The older I get the more I gravitate toward plants. It started about two years ago when I visited Joshua Tree for the first time. While hiking around the desert I began to notice the variety of plant life, and how a lot of it looked like things you would find under the ocean. The plants reminded me of seaweed, of urchins… and this was a crazy concept to me, that the desert and the ocean would have plants that could look so similar.

Encyclopedia of Nature, a new book released by Lars Müller Publishers, explores the breathtaking floral arrangements by Makoto Azuma. You could describe Azuma with the general term of a flower arranger, but that would be a serious over-simplification. Azuma takes the idea of flower arranging and turns the potentially mundane practice and completely flips it. He takes flowers and plants and creates what can only be called works of art.

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Bobby Solomon

April 16, 2013 / By

Book Review: ‘Icelander’ by Dustin Long

Icelander cover design by Josh Cochran

Icelander artwork by Josh Cochran

Upon pondering posts for Iceland week, I immediately thought of one of my favorite books, Icelander by Dustin Long. Though it was published by McSweeney’s in 2006, it has remained in my conscious ever since. Not that I’d want to compare Mr. Long’s work to anyone else—because it’s assuredly singular and original—but his lackadaisical murder mystery is like Agatha Christie meets Vladimir Nabokov meets Haruki Murakami with pop culture and magical realism thrown in. There’s so much to love here including the cover design by Josh Cochran.

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Andi Teran

March 14, 2013 / By

‘Flying Eye Books’ – Nobrow Press’s Exciting New Children’s Book Imprint

The Flying Eye Books Tree by Emily Hughes

Last month Nobrow Press launched an exciting new children’s book imprint called Flying Eye Books. Over the last 4 years Nobrow have been producing some really incredible books and comics and it’s exciting to see that they’re now bringing their talents to the world of children’s books. Focusing solely on publications for kids aged 4 to 11, the new imprint isn’t just exciting news for Nobrow fans, it’s exciting news for kids everywhere!

Over the course of the next year they aim to release 12 new titles, ranging from picture books and comic books, to fiction and non-fiction. Some are generated in-house while others are translated versions of handpicked French and German titles. Looking at their upcoming releases it’s clear to see that these new books will be just as good as their parent publisher’s output.

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Philip Kennedy

March 7, 2013 / By

Print is Not Dead: A Look at ‘Fully Booked: Ink on Paper’

Fully Booked: Ink on Paper by Gestalten and Andrew Losowsky 2013

Fully Booked: Ink on Paper, copyright Gestalten 2013

Imagine that the internet is dying and everyone is moving back to print. (Yes, the opposite of now.)  And imagine that both older and younger people are the ones spearheading and embracing this change. Imagine that you’ve only ever known digital books and physical ownership is a new concept. Your world has only ever consisted of using, swapping, and sharing images and words online. You’ve never actually received a book as a gift with a handwritten inscription nor cut books into pieces then collaged them back together again gaining rights to your remixed work. This is the ethos behind the fantastic new Gestalten design book, Fully Booked: Ink on Paper. It’s a tongue-in-cheek yet serious (and necessary) ode to the concept and design of printed matter in our accelerating digital age.

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Andi Teran

March 7, 2013 / By

Ursus Wehrli Organizes Everything

Ursus Wehrli The Art of Clean-Up

Ursus Wehrli The Art of Clean-Up

Last week, after several years and two talks about organizing art, Ursus Wehrli published his latest book The Art of Clean Up, wherein he attempts to organize… just about everything. Bowls of soup, a single pine branch, or even a sky full of star, it seems nothing is immune from his penchant to introduce order. His process (photographed by Geri Born and Daniel Spehr) is carried to absurd extremes, where flower arrangements are made into tidy stacks of detached petals and stems, convoluted train maps are turned into neat stacks of lines, text, and dots, and even type itself is broken down into useless stacks of lines and curves.

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Alex Dent

February 26, 2013 / By

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