Creative Pep Talk

Brand new from Chronicle Books, Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists by Andy J. Miller, is the beautifully-designed...

JUNK TYPE

 Junk Type: Typography – Lettering – Badges – Logos by Bill Rose, is new from Universe Publishing this month. The author is a Minneapolis-based photographer, whose work focuses on documenting vintage Americana, such as neon signs and industrial objects, through his website Recapturist. He puts his unique skill set to work here, capturing incredible examples of postwar American typography and design, by scouring junkyards, yard sales, antique stores, and all the other places that modern-day treasure hunters look to find little bits of vintage magic. He presents 400 images, which tell a visual story through the distinct typography, icons, badges, and branding of America’s industrial heritage. This is an invaluable design/inspiration trip down memory lane, peppered with beautiful Art Deco style fonts, incredible handmade cursive lettering, early industrial logos, eventually moving into cleaner graphic logos of the ’60s. Without the work of Bill Rose, some of these memories might be lost. [Read More]

The Golden Secrets of Lettering

If you’ve been itching to try your hand at lettering, then The Golden Secrets of Lettering: Letter Design from First Sketch to Final Artwork by custom lettering & typography master Martina Flor would be an ideal starting place. The lovely new hardcover title from Princeton Architectural Press includes easy-to-understand instructions and guidelines, covers a wide array of tools and techniques, with beautiful examples of hand sketches, and over 300 illustrations in all. Flor deftly demonstrates how to transform these initial lettering concepts and handdrawn sketches into incredible works of digital lettering. And then, the Berlin-based career lettering artist explains how these creations can be sold and published, with tips on things like showcasing and pricing your work, and how to handle feedback. It’s a pleasure to flip through, admire the beautiful letterforms, and get inspired. This would make an incredible gift for any aspiring typographers.

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]