The space race was the greatest competition all time: two great nations pushing technological and scientific boundaries for galactic supremacy. Rooted in the necessity to achieve what no nation had yet to accomplish, science and mankind reached new heights. Tom Clohosy Cole’s concertina, Space Race, beautifully illustrates this push to the limits. The efforts of these two great Cold War super powers are detailed on opposing sides of a paper-made Iron Curtain narrating the notable achievements of spaceflight. The highlights of the USSR include Sputnik’s star streak across the autumn sky and Yuri Gagarin’s landmark orbital waltz around the home planet. On the opposing side, the achievements of the United States showcase the Apollo rocket boys. Cole’s concertina crescendos at quite probably the greatest single achievement in the space race – the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. This event technically marks the end of the Space race between the two nations as the Soviet Soyuz and the Yankee Apollo crafts dock together–a cosmic handshake and sign of peace. From my own ethnocentric point of view, the space race narrative (as told here in the United States) ends with Armstrong & his boys’ dance on the moon. Yet in actuality the Test Project, commonly referred to statewide as Apollo 18, is truly the last dance of the great space race. Cole’s depiction in four colors boldly celebrates these adventuresome achievements. And unfurled, it paints a panorama of this time far grander than any Hasselblad shot brought back as a souvenir.
The inspiration for food themed week of posts came from my obsession with Rene Redzepi and his restaurant, Noma. Redzepi pioneered New Nordic Cuisine, which uses only locally and seasonally harvested ingredients. This approach has led many to say that Noma is in fact the best restaurant in the world right now, which is now surprise if you’ve seen the dishes Noma puts out.
What I find inspiring is how passionate Redzepi is about his cooking. It’s not just about putting food on a plate, it’s about creating an experience. It’s about taking an ingredient and pairing it with other ingredients that would grow in the very same area. It’s about taking six weeks to prepare a grasshopper garum. Everything Redzepi does is done with 120% of effort and that to me is where his genius lies.
The video was created by Phaidon for the release of the Noma cookbook they published. It gives a pretty godo insight into the type of foods that Noma is preparing and the dedication Redzepi has to New Nordice Cuisine. Hopefully you’ll find Redzepi as inspiring as I do.
Arden Kuhlman Riordan recently put up a large collection of book cover designs by her graphic designer father, Roy Kuhlman. The covers were designed in the 60’s and 70’s for an extremely wide range of topics, mostly for Grove Press, an indie printing company that’s been around since the early 70’s. The collection is immense, I’m sure you’ll find a ton of inspiration in it.
I think I may be a bit behind on this, but Design Observer has a great list of the 50 best book covers of 2011, many of which are some real jaw droppers. The list was put together by a panel of 35 folks, people like Michael Beirut, Irma Boom and Chip Kidd, who’ve sorted through a ton of nominations to choose the creme of the crop. The picks above are a sampling and feature some of my favorites of the bunch. Looking through the list it also made me realize that physical books aren’t going to disappear any time soon, especially when they’re this beautiful.
If interested, you can also check out a list of nominations for the best book cover of 2012 by clicking here.
Verdens første ballongferd (The World’s First Balloon Flight) is a newly released book for children written by Lena Lindahl and illustrated by Rui Tenreiro. The book is about of the world’s first aeronauts and it tells the true-life story of two brothers in 18th century France who set about building the first hot air balloon. The illustrations really looks terrific and wish I could speak Norweigan just so that I could read this.
It’s illustrator, Rui Tenreiro, is a Mozambican author, artist and editor. Dividing his time between Sweden and Mozambique he creates wonderful illustrations filled with detail and character. Some prints from the book will soon be available from Rui Tenreiro’s online shop while the book itself is currently available online here.
It’s the holiday season. Those dog days of summer where vacations are crammed in before fall hits. Most of us might be escaping to tropical wonderlands, new cities, or to forests and countries across the world. What are you going to read on your trip?
I’ll tell you this much: I’m going to do everything possible to keep you from reading Fifty Shades of Bore, A Girl Who Did Something Weird, or A Game of Bones: Songs of Chicks and Midgets. Never fear, friend. I suggest these four reads, all very different, to occupy some space in your duffle bag or e-reader.
Wool by Hugh Howey
We’ve touted Wool before. This sensation has became a phenomenon. One of the best selling series in the history of Amazon, rumor has it Wool has been picked up by Ridley Scott and will be published by Random House in 2013. I mean, how can we not get obsessed with Hugh Howey’s riveting prose and dynamic, flawed characters living in a silo? Destined to become a modern classic, it’s one of the sparks to the resurgence of sci-fi literature. The best use of 14,000 words in a long time. And when you get done with that one, the sequels are waiting for you.
Swoosh by J.B. Strasser
A great read on the beginning of Nike. What I enjoy the most about this book is the way it examines the shoe business pre-GOAT, back when Adidas and Puma ran the Olympics, back when shoe treads were made on waffle irons. Strasser’s style is easy going and flows well to show how an obsession with running created the iconic shoe company. It reveals the development of Nike since, well, before there was a Nike. Plus it’s about shoes. We all love shoes.
The Last of the Best by Jim Murray
He really was the best. The Pulitzer Prize winner, 14 time sports writer of the year, the treasure of the LA Times. This was a man who drank with Sinatra, golfed with Hogan, and smoked cigars with Steinbrenner. How could a man who was blind for most of these articles get the essence of sports so well? This collection is charming, engaging, hilarious, and tearful all at once. Getting benched in the World Series was “like a fourth-runner up in a Miss America contest.” Hole #15 of the Masters: “Who designed this hole – Dracula?” Los Angeles a “complicated hobo jungle,” Magic Johnson on the court becomes “an iceberg bearing down on the Titanic.” The subject of these final 60 columns ranges from Mike Tyson to a 17 year old Tiger Woods. Each is enjoyable and a lesson as to how to write to your audience with passion and what you believe in.
Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal
I read it once a year. The only book I let ex-girlfriends get away with stealing because it might change their life forever. Rene Daumal was a contemporary of the French Surrealist movement. This allegorical tale blends mountain climbing, adventure, metaphysics, the teachings of Gurdjieff, and spiritual enlightenment. That TV show Lost seems to be based on this, but Damon Lindelof can’t close a story half as well as this obscure, unfinished piece of surrealism. Daumal, translated by Roger Shattuck, crams more meaning per word anyone in years.
Last week I was asked by a friend at work if I could recommend any good books on type. I don’t tend to read a lot about design so I took to Twitter to see what you the readers would suggest. I’ve compiled the suggestions into one larger list along with links in case you wanted to purchase a copy for yourself. I’ve personally only read Jan Tischold’s The New Typography which I would definitely suggest checking out. I hope you find this list helpful.
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type. He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all-type cover of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was so effective. It also examines why the “T” in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House.
Detail in Typography by Jost Hochuli
How is it that text can be set perfectly and yet look insufferably dull? How do you achieve perfect congruence between the type itself and its meaning? In Detail in Typography Jost Hochuli, master book designer and author of the seminal Designing Books, addresses the finer points of setting text. Hochuli begins with a consideration of how human beings read, moving on incrementally to considerations of letter, word, and line as well as word-space and line-space. Hochuli concludes by examining whole paragraphs and how they carry meaning. Produced in Switzerland to the highest standards, Detail in Typography embodies critical thinking and articulate design in its own physical form.
The New Typography by Jan Tschichold
First published in 1928 in Germany and out of print for many years, this text has been recognized as one of the most important statements of modern typographical design. This curious and fascinating work ranges through theories of social criticism, art history, architecture, and the emerging importance of photography as it sets forth very definite guidelines regarding the design of printed materials. The final sections are indeed practical guidelines, down to sheet sizes and appropriate mixes of type, for the day-to-day use of working designers and printers.
Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton
Thinking with Type is divided into three sections: letter, text, and grid. Each section begins with an easy-to-grasp essay that reviews historical, technological, and theoretical concepts, and is then followed by a set of practical exercises that bring the material covered to life. Sections conclude with examples of work by leading practitioners that demonstrate creative possibilities (along with some classic no-no’s to avoid).
A Type Primer by John Kane
Practical and hands-on in approach, this book/exercise manual speaks clearly to beginning graphic designers and others involved with type about the complex meeting of message, image, and history surrounding typography. Focused on intent and content, not affect or style, it makes informed distinctions between what is appropriate and what is merely show (especially in terms of the “junk” often generated unenlightened by computer users). Filled with examples, exercises, and background information–and designed itself to reflect good typographic design–it guides readers systematically to the point where they can not only understand but demonstrate basic principles of typography, and thereby strengthen their own typographic instincts.
Typographie: A Manual of Design by Emil Ruder
Emil Ruder’s Typographie is the timeless textbook from which generations of typographer and graphic designers have learned their fundamentals. Ruder, one of the great twentieth-century typographers was a pioneer who abandoned the conventional rules of his discipline and replaced them with new rules that satisfied the requirements of his new typography. Now in its sixth printing, this book has a hallowed place on the bookshelves of both students and accomplished designers.
The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
Renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst brings clarity to the art of typography with this masterful style guide. Combining the practical, theoretical, and historical, this edition is completely updated, with a thorough exploration of the newest innovations in intelligent font technology, and is a must-have for graphic artists, editors, or anyone working with the printed page using digital or traditional methods.
Basics Design: Typography by Paul Harris and Gavin Ambrose
Effective use of typography can produce a neutral effect or rouse the passions, symbolise artistic, political or philosophical movements, or express the personality of a person or organisation. Typefaces vary from clear and distinguishable letterforms that are suitable for extended blocks of text, to more dramatic and eye-catching typefaces that grab attention and are used in newspaper headlines and advertisements. Basics Design: Typography aims to impart a comprehensive understanding of typography, to explore its history, theory and practice. Aimed at both students and practising designers, it provides a thorough examination of how typography informs other aspects of creative design.
Book designer Peter Mendelsund had one of his cover designs released recently and it’s quite the beauty. The design was created for a book by The Ring author Koji Suzuki called Edge, a story about how “the world is falling apart because things are out of joint at the quantum level.” I think Mendelsund’s cover does a remarkable job of not only making it feel like the world is slipping away, but that it’s slipping away in a mathematical/scientific sense. Really nice work on this one.