Ben Shahn’s The Shape Of Content is hands-down the best book about making consequential art and design and the pitfalls thereof.
The book is comprised of essays for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures 1956-57 at Harvard and are so melodically written you’d swear you were listening to a live narration. “I have come to Harvard with some very serious doubts as to whether I ought to be here at all,” Shahn writes in the essay “Artists in Colleges.” “I am a painter; I am not a lecturer about art nor a scholar of art. It is my chosen role to paint pictures, not to talk about them.”
But talk he does. And brilliantly too. Especially the lecture “The Biography of a Painting,” about the rationale and turmoil over the painting below titled “Allegory.” The critic and ally Henry McBride (The New York Sun) had launched into “a strange and angry analysis of the work,” noted Shahn, “attributing to it political motives, suggesting some symbolism of Red Moscow, drawing parallels which I cannot recall accurately, but only their tone of violence … recommending that I, along with the Red Dean of Canterbury, be deported.” Shahn proceeds to trace the symbolism of “Allegory” in ways that astutely explain all conceptual art that is rooted in current events.
Rather than reprint or excerpt more here, I urge you to find and order a copy.
Logo Design and Branding: Expert Guide
In “Logo Design and Branding: A New Approach to Better Logo Design and Branding for Designers and Managers,” Dr. Bill Haig explains the process of applying credibility principles to a company’s logo, branding and advertising to create an image that has both longevity and value. Moreover, he explains exactly how to do it—and proves that with some planning and an understanding of the process, any designer can create a logo that truly sells.