Taschen

James Lovelock’s Tool Kit For The Future

Well this will definitely be going into the personal library. When I was a kid this is the kind of book I would spend hours reading and re-reading, especially if it was filled with gorgeous illustrations like this one is. ” The big picture James Lovelock’s tool kit for the future.” By Taschen is illustrated by Jack Hudson, a British illustrator with a particular interest in scientific subjects and the interaction of macro and micro scales, and features contributions by quantum physicist Lisa Randall, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist Edward O. Wilson, and Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel. The book was Conceived by James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory, this illustrated essay collection brings together an all-star lineup of thinkers and scientists to offer essential understanding about who we are, how we live, and where we might be going.

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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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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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Advertising from the Mad Men Era.

I love Taschen books, and one of their latest Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era looks to be another one that I’ll end up buying when it drops later this month.

Edited by cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann the two volume set has more than one thousand images,and supporting text. This companion set of books offers a curated look at the best of American print advertising in the age of the “Big Idea.” (roughly 1955 to 1969)

Available in February 2012, this book will appeal to anyone involved in design, advertising, or interested in the cultural history of the period. The book will retail for $59.99. You can pick it up from Taschen or Amazon via pre-order.

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The Letter Fountain, from Taschen.

OK Type junkies, available this month is a new release from Taschen that chronicles the history of man’s quest to communicate with letter forms.

Beginning with our first efforts to communicate with visual signs and drawings, the book “Letter Fountain” is a unique typeface handbook that examines the anatomy of every letter, punctuation mark, and ligature in the alphabet. The book goes into detail cross referencing type designs with important works of art and art movements from the Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type to the digital font revolution of today. Taschen renders impeccable levels of detail and attention to aesthetics, and type styles, including a an in-depth comparison between sans-serif and serif typefaces, an essay about measuring systems and indications, advice about typographic rules, plus a manual for developing digital fonts.

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The book covers over 150 typefaces, their origin, and the characteristics of each, explained in rich visual detail highlighting items like scale, weight, and useful alternatives in dynamic reference tables. The extensive appendix contains a general index, a typeface index featuring more than 300 and, an index of over 250 type designers. There is an exhaustive index of type foundries, a graphical dictionary, and a bibliography for further reading.

Looks pretty awesome if you are into all things type. You can get the book here at the Taschen website.

Stanley Kubrick in 2874 Pages, Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made

Lately I have been on this limited edition kick. Especially when it comes to books and audio-visual packaging. I’m a huge fan of Taschen, so I’m not sure how this slipped past me earlier this year but I’m glad I found it now. Unfortunately this book is sold out, but if I’m lucky maybe it will show up on ebay at a reasonable price some day.

“Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made”, was designed by MM Paris. The firm is best known for art direction and collaborations with musicians, fashion designers, and contemporary artists, including Björk, Madonna, Yohji Yamamoto, Balenciaga, Pierre Huyghe, and Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, as well as magazines including Vogue Paris, Interview, and Purple Fashion. Based on the photographs and the un-boxing video below you can see why they are held in such high regard.

This book documents Kubrick’s film on Napoleon Bonaparte. Slated for production immediately following the release of 2001 in 1968. Kubrick’s vision for the film was to present a character study of Napoleon and a sweeping epic film chronicling his rise to and fall from power. The film was to feature thousands of extras, and massive battles all shot on location. To write the screenplay for the film, Kubrick embarked on a two-year research journey that employed dozens of research assistants, and an Oxford specialist in Napoleonic history. Through painstaking research Kubrick amassed 15,000 location scouting photos, 17,000 slides of Napoleonic imagery, and took copious amounts of notes for the film. In the end M.G.M. and then United Artist decided not proceed sighting cost and production issues for such a large undertaking.

Taschen’s book, designed by MM Paris presents Kubrick’s vision of his unmade masterpiece. The book is a series of books within books, encased in a huge leather hard bound volume. Readers are presented with a selection of Kubrick’s correspondence, various costume studies, location scouting photographs, research material, script drafts, and more, each category of material in its own book. Kubrick’s final draft of the screenplay is reproduced in facsimile, and the other texts are neatly bundled into one volume where they do not interfere with the visual material. All of the individual books are nested inside of the main volume, a carved-out reproduction of a Napoleon history book.

MM Paris has done an amazing job with the design of this book. You can see why it had a $1500.00 dollar price point when you watch the video.

Click image to see the un-boxing video

Design Find of 2009 Taschen Brings It, I wish I could Afford It.

I love Taschen. They are truly one of the best book publishers in the world, taking risks that others don’t and publishing limited edition books that are always raising the bar. I own a number of large format books that they have put out, and if I had an extra 95,000 Euros (136,000 American) lying around I’d buy a copy of this.

Limited to a production run of 12, Taschen brings us Norman Mailer’s “Moon Fire” Lunar rock edition. The book comes with an actual moon rock which probably accounts for most of the cost here, but true to Taschen’s ability to take things to the next level they give you much, much more.

Limited to just 12 copies, numbered 1958–1959, the Lunar Rock Edition of Norman Mailer’s MoonFire has been designed by Marc Newson. The concept was inspired by the Apollo 11 LEM (Lunar Excursion Module). Each book is contained in a case made from a single piece of aluminum where the surface an actual 3-D topographical map of the Moon, and each edition comes with a unique piece of lunar rock.

The Lunar rocks are actually meteorites from the Moon which are exceptionally rare. To date there are fewer than 70 lunar meteorites known to exist, and their  total combined weight is approximately 55 kilograms ( roughly 2 ounces), making them millions of times rarer than the highest quality gem grade diamonds. Most lunar meteorites however reside in museum collections and research facilities, leaving only 15 kilograms or so available to individual collectors worldwide. Since acquiring an Apollo moon rock is virtually impossible, the only realistic way to own a piece of the moon is by acquiring a lunar meteorite which Taschen provides for the individual that is actually in a position to own this book.

Almost more than the Lunar rock, I am absolutely blown away by Newson’s design of the case. The legs that extend from  the bottom of the container look like the landing gear of the LEM. The case itself is laser etched with the title of the book and the edition number. From the photos it has a dense and substantial look to it, and there appears to be so much detail in  the topographical surface. In addition to the case, the book contains a Plexiglas-framed print, signed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Oh and based on the images below, the content and page spreads look pretty amazing as well.

From the Taschen website.

Marc Newson is one of the most accomplished and influential designers of our time. He has worked across a wide range of disciplines to create everything from chairs, household objects, a concept car to restaurants, interiors of private and commercial jets and a spaceplane, designed for EADS Astirum, the fulfilment of a lifelong personal ambition.

The design concept for the Lunar Rock Edition is inspired by the Apollo 11 LEM (lunar excursion module). Each book is contained in a LEM-inspired case whose surface is an actual 3D topography of the Moon made from a single piece of aluminum, and is accompanied by a separately packaged, authentic and documented piece of lunar rock, all ranging in weight, size and coloration.

The Lunar Rock Edition is limited to 12 copies only (edition no. 1958-1969). Copy no. 1969 includes a complete Lunar Meteorite weighing in at 348 grams. One of the largest lunar meteorites ever found on Earth, this is an extremely rare item as nearly all meteorites have been cut into smaller portions for sale or for study.