Author Archives: Buzz Poole

About Buzz Poole

Buzz Poole has written about design, books, and culture for numerous outlets, including Lit Hub and Playboy. He is the author of Workingman's Dead, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, and the co-author of Camera Crazy. Keep up with him @buzzpoole.

The History of Graphic Design

Laurence King Publishing recently released two “mini format” editions of books originally published ten years ago: “American Modernism” by R. Roger Remington and “No More Rules” by Rick Poynor. The two books pair well because they make clear how, and why, approaches to graphic design, particularly in America, developed between 1920 at the end...

Long Live Illustrated Books!

Last week on The New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog, Sam Sacks demanded: “Bring Back the Illustrated Book!” As far as I’m concerned the illustrated book never disappeared. If nothing else, today it is more alive than ever. Providing a brief history of how novelists of yore often worked closely with artists, Sacks writes, “the interplay...

An Interview with Talking Covers Founder Sean Manning

As the author of a memoir and editor of a few anthologies that feature some of today’s most prominent writers, Sean Manning knows something about the book business. In May 2012, he started Talking Covers, a fascinating site dedicated to telling the stories about how book covers come to be, soliciting commentary from authors,...

Robert Burley Photographs the End of Analog Photography

In 2010, the Canadian photographer Robert Burley, and others, traveled to Parsons, Kansas, to commemorate the end of an era, and to get film developed. At the height of Kodachrome’s popularity, according to this New York Times article, the film was processed at 25 locations around the world. In 2009, when Kodak discontinued the...

Modern Dog, Copyright, and the Burden of Proof

True story: Back in 1990, a cow from Edgerton, Minnesota, ended up at Walt Disney World, grazing away the rest of her life at places like Grandma’s Duck Farm and Magic Kingdom Park. The Holstein was named Minnie Moo because of a marking on her side that very much looked like the Mickey Mouse...

What Is the Essence of a Book?

Over the last couple of months, I have been picking my way through I Read Where I Am, “82 reflections on the future forms of reading.” In the book, some contributors claim that we read less than we used to, while others suggest the opposite—though the definitions of “reading” and “text” differ. Is reading...

The Importance of Impossible Structures

Two new, and very different, books—Sky High and Architectural Inventions: Visionary Drawings—each rely on illustration and imagination to make the case for how impossible architectural structures raise, and isolate, ideas that demand attention. Sky High is a children’s book for adults, and especially for architects who have children. The slender volume, first published in...

Ultimate Expression: Polaroid, Google, and A New American Picture 

Say the word “Polaroid” today and it evokes genuine nostalgia that reaches back to 1948, when the Land Camera, the first camera capable of providing pictures more or less instantly, hit the market—and it simultaneously conjures a contemporary retro-chic aesthetic that seems like it will be in vogue for the foreseeable future. In the...

The Graphic Canon: An Anthology to Read and Look At

In his introduction to the middle volume in the planned three-part The Graphic Canon (out this month from Seven Stories Press), the series’ editor, Russ Kick, writes, “Classic literature is more exciting, relevant, and subversive than it generally gets credit.” Agreed. If people really believed that great literature was irrelevant, books wouldn’t still be banned from schools...

"We Hate Everything": A Visual History of Punk

“A Punk Etymology,” slipped into the back of Punk: An Aesthetic, informs readers that Shakespeare used the word in Measure for Measure—“My lord, she may be a punk, for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.” That was in 1623; the Bard also penned it into The Merry Wives of Windsor more...