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.
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.
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.
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.
A couple weeks ago I rather uncouthly declared on Twitter that our last Re-Covered Books contest, featuring The Hobbit as the subject, was a flat out disaster. I shortly after received an email from Adam Busby taking me to task about the comment. He had worked hard on his cover and it wasn’t fair to sweep the contest aside. He was right, and I was wrong. He sent me a copy of the cover design he created, and if you ask me, it was quite a winner.
I think what Adam did right with his cover is that he made it feel contemporary but still with a nod to the book because of the hand-made nature to the map in the background. It’s got all sorts of distressed print marks around the edges of the cover which makes it feel like the map has been used numerous times on a number of adventures. The font he chose/created for the title is also full of character, with a lopsided H and an I that’s shorter than the T. The back cover is simple and well organized, exactly what you’d want to see.
Overall I think Adam nailed this and absolutely had a chance of winning the contest. This cover is so spot-on you could imagine it being sold at Anthropologies and Urban Outfitters everywhere. You can see more of Adam’s great work by clicking here.