books: 3 design books

by kath_red on 24/11/2010

in Books

As a creative / maker / artist / designer / crafter / writer (yes I am all of those things – aren’t you?) I love to read and look at books on design – I am a visual person, and I thrive on new visual input. Three books on design have wondered into my house over the past few months that I felt that I couldn’t keep to myself any longer.

I have a few favourite design books that I keep handy for when inspiration is needed – or when I just need some visual stimulation – like Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art and Hand Job: A Catalog of Type and The Handy Book of Artistic Printing. Mmmm just realised these are all published by Princeton Architectural Press – I love their books!

But these next three books I want to introduce you to are soon to become new favourites on my creative inspiration bookshelf. If you are interested in typography, print, or textile design then these might become favourites for you too.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield and published by Profile Books Ltd (October 21, 2010) and distributed in Australia by Allen and Unwin

This book contains just enough visuals to illustrate the fascinating stories of fonts. Who invented the most popular fonts and why were they named? What are the best and worst fonts in the world? And what does your choice of font say about you? – don’t you really want to know? And seeing as everyone wants to know, my favourite fonts are Albertus and Bodoni Ultra Bold, with Georgia for text. My most loathed is Papyrus (the Avatar font) and the typeface for the London 2012 Olympics. That’s this week anyway. Simon Garfield. Amongst the stories of font controversy are amusing and sometimes sad font stories – if you love your font – then you must read this book.

1950s Fashion Print by Marnie Fogg. Published in the UK Batsford Ltd (16 Aug 2010) due out in the US in the new year. Marnie Fogg, a textiles and print historian and writer has a whole series including the 1960s , the 1980s and Print in Fashion.

Luscious images of textile prints from the 50’s. This lavish book takes a look at postwar nostalgia – gone are the drab utilitarian years of the war – and along comes the fresh excitement and and optimistic desire for originality, modernity and contemporary designs in architecture, fashion and art. Find out all about the post war transformation in textile design from necessity to experimental, find out about this eras fascination with structure and motion and the natural form. Paul Klee and Joan Miro were big influences on design in this time, and early designs by Liberty, Horrockses and Christian dior are on view. Anyone interested in textiles, print or fashion will find this a very interesting series of books.

New Illustration with Type by Martin Dawber. Batsford (July 6, 2010).

Visually stunning, this book showcases how graphic designers use type in their designs – showcasing the union of art and type – this book profiles artists and designers who use type in visually interesting, unique and strange ways. Poster art, computer art, stencils, 3d, cartoons, graffiti, neon signs, detailed pencil drawings, food as a medium … love type? love design? love this book!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate November 26, 2010 at 7:53 am

Ms comic sans is a far more hideous font than papyrus. Papyrus greatest soon is that people use it completely in appropriately and with absolutely no discretion. Comic sans is just ugly.


2 Kate G November 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I’m just a reader not a publicist, but there is one book I am head over heels for this season. Just My Type is a brilliant, witty read and I’m so happy to see it tagged here. Simon Garfield is the perfect type gossip, only with heart. The chapter on comic sans is a highlight. Who knew that humble font had such a history?


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