Books 2

As the first summer reading list was well received, I thought I would throw in a second collection of art+design books that every artist should read. Enjoy.

Context, history and theory are all wrapped up in a very digestible format. When I purchased my first copy of this book (I am on my 4th) back in grad school, I was intimidated by its size and subject matter, but I really have to credit this book with opening up my interest in Art+Design history. The book is West-centric but it is a very good introduction. I mentioned this book in another post but, I have to list it again for you: Meggs’ History of Graphic Design by Philip Meggs

I have been very very fortunate to have met, studied with and worked alongside some great designers, and one thread that connects them all is that if they are not writers themselves, they are definitely bibliophiles who have shared many of the important books that affected them. Two such books are both by Kenneth J. Hiebert, Graphic Design Sources, ISBN-10: ‎ 0300074611  and Graphic Design Sources. , ASIN: ‎ B01BIHCN6C

Both of these were recommended to me by Christine Celano when I started my first teaching gig as the head of the design program at the Delaware College of Art+Design. These books dove-tailed perfectly with the work that I did in grad school and greatly informed my teaching for 20 years. These are two books that I would recommend to anyone who teaches design. Dorian, what about a pic of the second book?

Another great book for design teachers and students, this one written by Kim Elam called simply, ISBN-10: 1568984650. This is the most concise book about grid systems, which I know doesn’t sound sexy to the average person but, if you have a drop of modernist blood in your body, you have got to appreciate grid systems. Particularly interesting about this book is that it uses transparent overlays so that the reader can see firsthand the grid systems used in various works.

Sachlichkeit begets entropie. Order begets disorder. The Bauhaus begat David Carson and this brings us to another book that every designer should already have in their collection (if you don’t own this book, your design friends are laughing at you behind your back) – The End Of Print: The Grafik Design of David Carson by David Carson –  ISBN-10: 0811830241. Carson’s intuitive skate-punk aesthetic work ran parallel to the more academic work being explored by faculty and students at Cranbrook and CalArts. To paraphrase Carson’s words, “I couldn’t figure out why so many were upset by my work but it turned out that a lot of people worked real hard to define systems for graphic design and when I came in not knowing any better, they weren’t happy.” Again, that is paraphrasing, but you get the gist. The End Of Print is not so much an actual declaration of the end of print, but rather a salvo across the bow of conventional modernist typographic traditions.

I could go on for pages just talking about books. But, I still need to write about five more of these so I will bid you adieu, until next time.



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