Author Archives: Buzz Poole

About Buzz Poole

Buzz Poole has written about books, design, art, and culture for numerous outlets, including Print, The Village Voice, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Millions. He is the author of the story collection I Like to Keep My Troubles on the Windy Side of Things; the New Statesman named his examination of unexpected iconography, Madonna of the Toast, one of 2007’s Best Underground Books.

SONIC FABRIC Needs Your Help

I met Alyce Santoro in 2006, in Brooklyn, not too long before she moved to Marfa, Texas. Filled with curios and the materials of her multimedia artwork, her basement studio made an impression on me as a place of cramped enchantment. I was there to learn about Santoro’s SONIC FABRIC, an equal parts blend...

The Social Context of Reading: Five Questions for Bob Stein

I first learned about The Institute for the Future of the Book while working on a magazine assignment that eventually became this piece for The Millions. In getting to know Bob Stein, his colleagues and the projects they championed I became convinced that concerns about the death of reading and writing were deeply misplaced....

Destroy All Monsters Magazine: The Book

In the summer of 2009, the venerable Printed Matter in New York City exhibited “Hungry for Death,” a riot of ephemeral kitsch propaganda created by the Ann Arbor, Michigan, band Destroy All Monsters. I made several visits to the show, interested in how the founding members – Jim Shaw, Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagra...

What Do You Think of Illustrated E-books?

You’re reading this, so on some level you consider yourself a visual person. On sublime spring afternoons, you sit through long, foreign films; when out to dinner you comment on the design of restaurant menus; you critique the composition of stupid cell phone ads; you make sure your socks always match your suspenders. Me...

It's a Multilingual World

As a student at Central Saint Martins in London, Rana Abou Rjeily devised the font family Mirsaal, which comprises Arabic and Latin alphabets that work together in typographic harmony. Growing up in Lebanon speaking Arabic, French and English, she found Arabic, her first language, the hardest of the three to learn. In her design...

Where We Know

On September 14, 1722, Diron d’Artaguiette, inspector general of Louisiana at the time, wrote in his journal, “We are working hard here to repair the damage which the hurricane has caused.” Two days earlier, a hurricane had ravaged the city. Like with any event that attracts the media, Hurricane Katrina dominated our attention as...

Beyond Process

As a topic, “process” is arguably more popular than ever. There are countless books about artists’ sketchbooks and studios; more than one book exists that is dedicated just to Francis Bacon’s studio. But a distinctive artistic vision cannot be taught in a classroom or learned from a book, though it certainly can be honed,...

When Graphic Designers Become Publishers: A Conversation with FUEL

Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell comprise the brain trust that is FUEL. As a design house, they have worked for Virgin Records, Diesel, Penguin, and even created the title typography for Lost In Translation. As publishers, they craft bold and informative illustrated books that, on every level, are a pleasure to read. Best known...

Noma Bar in New York at GallerySeven

I can’t take credit for “discovering” Noma Bar’s work, but I will take credit for instigating his two books that exposed him to a wider audience. By the time he pitched his first book, Guess Who?, Bar had already worked for high-profile UK clients like The Guardian and Penguin, but since then his work...

Do We Need Design Annuals as Books?

Google “graphic design annuals” and up pops a list of design-related magazines (with Print and How high atop the list), publishers, organizations, and online outlets that sponsor competitions for the year’s best design, divvied up into all sorts of categories and classifications, from regional and age-related rubrics to various disciplines: posters, books, book covers,...