Design Books

How do visionary designers like Chip Kidd, Rodrigo Corral, and Barbara deWilde create such consistently memorable book jackets? A great book cover design showcases a designer’s ability to refine an idea to its essential visual expression, and Imprint surveys the best of jacket design in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, and experimental work, revealing the strategies top designers use to tell a story with images and type.

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Post-Modern Storybook Illustrations

I consider myself very lucky to have been exposed to children’s books as a kid that were published way before my time—it gave me a wonderful perspective on everything from design and illustration to historical content. A good example is “The Modern Storybook” from the 1930′s. I grew up reading my father’s copy of...

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France on the Right

The terms Right and Left were coined during the French Revolution (1789–99). They referred to where lawmakers sat inside the French parliament–on the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were supportive of the monarchist Ancien Régime. Today the right–or rather the ultra right–is not necessarily in parliament but on the streets fighting...

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...

Hand Drawn Design from Cover to Cover

In 1927, Samuel Welo published his first edition of “Studio Handbook: Letter And Design For Artists And Advertisers.” But this collection of fonts, ornaments, logos and other ad elements was not only meant to provide specific examples of design to the user. It also reminds the reader of the importance of composition—hand drawn composition....

New-York

Christian Acker Flips the Script on Graffiti

“We tap keyboards far more frequently than we touch pen to paper,” designer and author Christian Acker says in his introduction to Flip the Script: A Guidebook for Aspiring Vandals and Typographers (Ginko Press, 2013). “Graffiti may well be the last great execution of highly practiced penmanship in popular culture.” Flip the Script seeks...

Illustrated Aviation Books By Assen Jordanoff

As a kid, whenever I’d visit my Grandmother’s house in Columbus, OH, I’d make a beeline to her bookshelf. It consisted of books on public health and education (she worked with the Ohio State Department of Health), as well as books my Dad had gotten as a kid. Books like original Edgar Rice Burroughs...

Li'l Abner's Al Capp: A Monstrous Creature, a Masterful Cartoonist

No doubt about it: Al Capp engaged in depraved behavior. Most disgraceful was his attempted rape of a number of women, from college co-eds to Grace Kelly. And, as the interview below suggests, there may be more. Capp also created Li’l Abner, once one of America’s most acclaimed comic strips. It began in 1934,...

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...

Mind Your Manners

Gentlemen, where are your manners? You may not have any at all, so take this ten question test and find out.  Do you: 1. Stand up when a lady enters a room? 2. Stand up when a lady stands? 3. Offer a lady your seat if no others are available? 4. Retrieve dropped items...

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,...