This is a hard act to follow. The Sweets Catalog design system was developed in the 1950s by Ladislav Sutnar, who worked with Knud Lonberg-Holm. Together they devised a totally modern system of catalog design that involved striking covers and accessible information hierarchies that prefigure data viz today. That was history. In recent years, Sweets shed Sutnar’s overall structures, and in 2012 published the last print edition of their essential building product guide. They continue to produce mind-numbingly complex directories online.
In fact, looking at the online catalogs makes one wonder what Sutnar, whose graphic architecture prefigured the web, would do in this medium. But this is about the last print catolog and Misha Beletsky, who had the unenviable job of admirably rekindling the Sutnar spirit.
For those who don’t know, the red below is Sutnar, and the green approach is Beletsky.
Beletsky was brought in as a freelance art director by McGraw-Hill Professional to work with creative director William Taylor and designers Jason Scuderi and Chelsea Hunter. “My solution reinstated their famous logo designed by the modernist pioneer Ladislav Sutnar in 1939 as the keystone of the visual identity,” he told me.
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