Books

Logo Modernism from Taschen.

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailpngOver the last seven years, Jens Müller has been collecting and compiling modern logos created from 1940 to 1980. As Müller puts it, this was the golden age of the modernist aesthetic in design, architecture, art, product design. And to a point he is right. Some of the most visually memorable brand marks and logos come from this four decade period. Müller’s collection is what makes up the content of Aachen’s 6000 page tome  Logo Modernism.

The book covers pretty much every business and organization of note, and represents a sweeping retrospective modernism and how the style changed over time. Broken into specific sections the book’s main chapters cover Geometric, Effect, and Typographic. Each sub-chapter breaks down each style even further into sections such as dots and squares, overlays, alphabet, color, etc.The book features an introduction from Jens Müller on the history of logos, and an accompanying essay by R. Roger Remington on modernism and graphic design. In addition there are series of designer profiles on masters of the craft Paul Rand, Yusaku Kamekura, and Anton Stankowski focusing on their legendary work.

In typical Taschen heritage, the book is physically huge. at 10 by 14 inches in size and 432 pages of content. And as always from Taschen, the book is multilingual. It’s available for pre-order and this just made my list of books to add to the reference library. Oh and it’s affordable. Just $69.00 on the Taschen site.

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Choppers.

Gestalten has a new book out chronicling the history of the Chopper. Even if you aren’t into motorcycles, the book and the video below are worth taking a look at. The motorcycle, and in this case the chopper are an iconic part of American culture. The video below is an interview with Paul d’Orléans aka the Vintagent, author of the book and gives a really nice insight into the history of the bikes and the culture surrounding them. It’s a great set up for the book, and is definitely something I’ll be checking out in the near future.

How To Make A Book.

Most of us don’t really think about what goes into making a book when we pick one up. The beautifully shot and edited video below shows in exquisite detail the art of making a book by hand. This video has such a nice look to it, and it really let’s you appreciate the craftsmanship of something made by hand.

Cabins

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Cabins / Huts is a new book from Taschen that combines beautiful photography, illustration by Marie-Laure Cruschi, and insightful text about the idea of what a small refuge building is. I absolutely love the style of the illustrations, which remind me of classic Charlie Harper works.

Over the past decade, as our material existence and environmental footprint has grown exponentially, architects around the globe have become particularly interested in the possibilities of the minimal, low-impact, and isolated home.

This book explores how this particular architectural type presents special opportunities for creative thinking and showcases some of the most inventive and forward-looking contemporary architecture today. The book features works by Renzo Piano, Terunobu Fujimori, Tom Kundig and many fresh young professionals all embracing such distilled sanctuary spaces.

The cabins selected for this publication emphasize the variety of the genre, both in terms of usage and geography. From an artist studio on the Suffolk coast in England to eco-home huts in the Western Ghats region of India, this survey is as exciting in its international reach as it is in its array of briefs, clients, and situations.

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“Criterion Designs”, Thirty Years of Movie History in 300 Pages.

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For more than three decades, The Criterion Collection has released a steady stream of important classic and contemporary films. The Criterion Collection has been dedicated to collecting films from around the world and offering them in editions that feature high technical quality and award winning stories and content.

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The Criterion Collection which began in 1984 started by offering laserdisc’s and VHS tape, moved to DVD, Blue-ray and now online streaming. With that they have amassed a massive collection of promotional and packaging materials which are now being offered in a lavish coffee table book.

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The book features an illustrated look behind the scenes, that includes sketches, mockups, mood boards and reference materials, all pulled from the The Criterion Collection‘s in-house design department’s archives. The book was the brain child of Criterion Art Director Sarah Habibi and Staff Designer Eric Skillman, who assembled 300 pages of material into a hardbound visual feast creating a lush tactile experience for the true movie fan.

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For me this is a must have book. It is a beautifully designed archive of thirty years of visual history, that documents changing styles, influences, and trends, from the movie industry and graphic design world.

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“Wall”

With yesterday marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I wanted to post images from illustrator Tom Clohosy Cole‘s book “WALL”. The illustrated book tells the story of  a family torn apart when their father was stranded in the West following the division of the city in 1961.

The book is filled with gorgeous illustrations  that help tell the tale of the family’s attempts to reach each other and reunite. The visuals add a beautiful human element to this complex political event that spanned decades.

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The Iconic NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual Reissued.

By the mid 1960’s the New York subway way finding system was a visual mess. It was a mix of signage and styles with no apparent order to any of it. In 1967, the New York City Transit Authority asked designers Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda to design a uniform identity and way finding system for the subway that would give riders a sense of direction that was easy to follow and use.

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Completed 3 years later in 1970,  was the NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual. This was the way finding system bible that became the face of the subway and is still in use today. Vignelli and Noorda gave us everything from color-coded route discs and line routes to the modernist sans-serif typeface ( the original font was Standard Medium, later switched to Helvetica) This design bible was distributed to designers, sign makers, and anyone else who needed help in designing, styling, and building a piece of the subway’s identity.

This iconic piece of work became a design classic in it’s own right, known to pretty much anyone that has studied or practiced design in the last 40 plus years. The manual was never intended for public distribution or consumption. Over the years as the NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual was updated and revised to meet changing needs and habits, fewer and fewer of the original copies remained. Many of the original copies found their way to a landfill or were lost in locked closets and cabinets within the many NYC Transit Authority offices.

A few years ago, two designers for Pentagram’s New York office, Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed, found a single copy. Knowing the importance of what they had they  digitized the manual, and now they’re reprinting it with the blessing of the MTA for a very limited time. For the next thirty days, you can purchase a copy of the 1970 NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual on Kickstarter. Pretty cool, and yes I’ll be buying one.