The Lost Book of Lanny Sommese

Lanny Sommese: X-Ray Vision edited by Fang Chen is not lost, per se, but it cannot be found – anywhere in the United States. Published in 2010 by Huazhong University of Science and Technology Press in Whuan, China, its is a 252 page celebration of posters and logos by Lanny Sommese, a teacher and mentor for designers too numerous to mention. His work for social issues – war, peace, civil rights, reproductive rights, etc. – was made in the wilderness, before the vogue for social “innovation” reared its head.

Mainland Chinese publishers, often edited by designers and design educators, have produced many monographs of American designers. In a nation where design is in its infancy, but maturing fast, the models are not Mao’s socialist realists but the modern and postmodernists from Europe and the United States. Perhaps once they’ve absorbed all these teachings Chinese designers will rise to the top of the contemporary pedestals, and American publishers may be doing more monographs on them.

Sommese is the guiding force behind the PennState graphic design undergrad department. Read more here and see more here.

(Editor’s note: Owing to a technical glitch, the image on Friday’s DH went missing. View the post here. And check out Saturday’s DH on the all-American food and typeface, Chop Suey.)

(And check the DH archive here.)

2 thoughts on “The Lost Book of Lanny Sommese

  1. Stephanie Knopp

    Thanks for this great post. Lanny was my professor in graduate school and has been an incredible influence on my work as a designer and design professor. His posters are amazing. I personally think his Rape Line poster is his most brilliant. I’ve also seen it ripped of quite a bit. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

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