Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art

Consensus says Paul Rand (1914-1996) is one of America’s, if not the world’s, most important graphic designers. He famously developed posters, corporate identities, and logos for the likes of IBM, UPS, and ABC. He also taught at Yale for 30 years. The good people at Princeton Architectural Press have just published this new edition of Rand’s critically-acclaimed, and long out-of-print hardcover monograph, which is the best account of his important work. A Designer’s Art includes two hundred illustrations, twenty-seven essays, and a new afterword by Steven Heller. [Read More]

Hitman Anders

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All is the latest novel from talented Swedish author Jonas Jonasson, whose work I’m a big fan of. This is his third novel and it continues in the same vein as the previous two – with a tall tale, chock full of unlikely coincidences and surprising outcomes. Jonasson relies heavily on satire once again – this time, somehow, managing to poke fun at both organized crime and organized religion. It’s a relatively fun and lightweight read which is a nice change from some of the heavier books I’ve been tackling lately. It’s no surprise he’s sold over 14 million books, and that is very impressive when you consider Jonasson’s first novel was only just published in 2010.

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Grids & Guides Gray

Grids & Guides Gray: A Notebook for Visual Thinkers is the latest in a series of useful and inspiring notebooks from Princeton Architectural Press. Much like the other cloth-covered notebook offerings from the Grids & Guides series, this title includes an assortment of graph paper and grid varieties, and it also includes nice charts, infographics, and tables… [Read More]

Psychobook

Studies show that about 1% of the population display the characteristics of a psychopath, but if you believe television, you already know everyone even slightly weird is a potential major psycho. There are shows about psychopaths who hunt psychopaths, so obviously they must be absolutely everywhere. Maybe you’ve even worked for or dated one! But how can we be sure? The term “psychopath” was first used in 1847, and its meaning has evolved somewhat over the years since – as have testing methods. British author Julian Rothenstein has compiled many of them in Psychobook: Games, Tests, Questionnaires, Histories – a fun new title from Princeton Architectural Press which looks at classic testing methods, from word-association games to inkblots to personality tests. Interestingly, it also presents some brand new reimagined tests created by contemporary artists and writers. [See More]

Zugzwang

The latest book from Los Angeles-based artist James Jean is now available in his online store. The 1st edition is limited to 2000 copies, 12¼″ × 9⅛″ × ½″, hardbound, 80 pages, with gilded edges and an embossed bookplate. Also includes a chance to win 1 of 3 original drawings by James.

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The Smiths

For such a short-lived group, it’s impressive that The Smiths are considered one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. Certainly here in East Los Angeles, you’d think they were still going strong, based on their enduring popularity. New from Rizzoli, The Smiths is an impressive hardcover which features the photography of Nalinee Darmrong, who was lucky enough to travel with and document the group on their tours in the mid-’80s. The bulk of her work seen here has never been published before, and as such, offers an invaluable look at the band’s live performances, backstage shenanigans, and even ephemera such as set lists, backstage passes, concert tees, and more. A fitting and carefully considered time machine back to a group at their peak, which any serious fan would want to own. [See More]

Digital Design Theory

Digital Design Theory: Readings from the Field is a a new title from PA Press, edited by Helen Armstrong, with a foreword by Keetra Dean Dixon. It tracks the development of digital design, ushered in by the advent of personal computing. Divided chronologically, Helen Armstrong introduces key texts from the ’60s & ’70s, the ’80s & ’90s, and 2000 through to the present, from influential designers and programmers, including Ladislav Sutnar, Bruno Munari, Sol LeWitt, Muriel Cooper, Paola Antonelli, Keetra Dean Dixon and John Maeda. Of course the Digital Design Theory boasts top notch design & layout, with excellent typography, and a lovely color palette. [Read More]

The Build

The Build: How The Masters Design Custom Motorcycles is a beautiful new title on the art of custom built motorcycles by Robert Hoekman Jr., out recently from Octane Press. The 192-page book documents custom bike building in detail, by looking at different bike styles, finding the right bike, and how to customize it; including selecting and building parts, painting,finishing, and performance mods. Hoekman rounded up expert advice from John Ryland (Classified Moto), Alan Stulberg (Revival Cycles), Jared Johnson (Holiday Customs), Jarrod DelPrado (DP Customs), and Max Hazan (Hazan Motorworks) too. [See More]

Duke Ellington

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Duke Ellington was one of the most important figures in American music history. The prolific musician, composer, and bandleader was an absolute giant in 20th century music, especially jazz. He accomplished just about everything you could possibly imagine a musician doing and more: perfecting his own skill at the piano, composing hundreds of songs, working with dozens of record labels, surrounding himself with talent & producing other artists, leading world tours, scoring films, achieving huge commercial success, and ultimately influencing popular music for five decades and beyond. DUKE ELLINGTON: An American Composer and Icon is an impressive new 9″ x 12″ hardcover from Rizzoli, edited and designed by Steven Brower, follows Ellington’s career as it progressed from the ’20s right through until his passing in the mid-’70s. [Read More]