Ladislav Sutnar‘s book design in while in America is not as well known as the books and book covers he designed while he lived in his native Czechoslovakia. Here’s a splendid example of his American work: a selection of the AIGA’s 1950 Fifty Books of the Year, Franz Kafka and Prague by Pavel Eisner is a masterpiece of simplicity — his design acuity is in the nuance.
Using a raw, sketched abstract icon for the cover, he repeats it as a geometric refinement for the frontispiece. Sutnar‘s type is elegantly and widely line spaced. But the minimal tour de force is the way he handles the subheads in brackets in the middle of paragraphs. The brackets are reminiscent of his signature parentheses for the telephone area code.
Print’s February Issue
Don’t miss the newest issue of Print, the Sex & Design issue, which takes a tasteful look at issues surrounding sex and design. Read even more by Steven Heller, such as his feature article that explores the relationship between sex and advertising through the years, as well as his Dialogue and Evolution columns.