graphic design posts
I proof color professionally in my job as a museum publications specialist, and I feel like I’m pretty good at it. So I was pleased to get the confirmation of a perfect score in this interesting color test. Give it a try!
Kim Neill at kimcreativestar.com tells you how to bake them.
Project Thirty-Three aims to connect the dots:
The seemingly infinite number of vintage record jackets that convey their message with simple shapes like the dot never ceases to amaze and amuse me. Project Thirty-Three is my personal collection and shrine to these expressive dots along with their slightly less jovial but equally effective cousins; squares, rectangles and triangles, and the designers that make them come to life on album covers.
via Swiss Miss
Tara at Graphic Design Blog lists seven mistakes beginning designers make. It’s a pretty good list — I see the first item a lot.
- Producing two or more design concepts that are very similar
- Adding things in rather than taking them away
- Concentrating on features rather than benefits
- Not targeting the right audience or having enough gravitas
- Not presenting the finished design in the best way possible.
- Not sketching first
- Underselling your design work
Read more at Graphic Design Blog.
Craig Mod makes an interesting case for celebrating the (supposed) demise of “disposable books” — he elaborates at some length a simple distinction between books where the content and form are integral and those where they are independent — and welcoming the IPad as a reading platform. Here’s a sample:
We’re losing the dregs of the publishing world: disposable books. The book printed without consideration of form or sustainability or longevity. The book produced to be consumed once and then tossed. The book you bin when you’re moving and you need to clean out the closet.
These are the first books to go. And I say it again, good riddance.
Once we dump this weight we can prune our increasingly obsolete network of distribution. As physicality disappears, so too does the need to fly dead trees around the world.
You already know the potential gains: edgier, riskier books in digital form, born from a lower barrier-to-entry to publish. New modes of storytelling. Less environmental impact. A rise in importance of editors. And, yes — paradoxically — a marked increase in the quality of things that do get printed.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything in that last paragraph were true! Unfortunately, part of this is fiction writing. Check out the NYT bestseller list and see if you can observe “a marked increase in the quality of things that do get printed.”
To me the most interesting part of Mod’s argument is his vision for booklike content that disposes of the metaphor of the page, as shown in the image above (the image is Mod’s). In this vision the content metaphor is not the bound book but the East Asian handscroll, on which stories were rolled out continuously from one end to the other rather than proceeding page by page.
The book is a perfected technology, but why should the electronic platform inherit the binding metaphor?
These are preliminary design pages for a new book about the art of Bali. The font is Garamond Premier Pro. The image is a cool piece by I Ketut Ngendon (1903–1948) called Goodbye and Good Luck to Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, 1938 (Batuan, Bali. Ink on paper. Mary Catherine Bateson).
The pages are the same, except that in one spread the main text block is ragged and in the other it is justified. I’m curious which version people prefer.
The first post at The Art of American Book Covers, by Richard Minsky, was made on August 26, so this blog is less than a month old. I regret that I don’t remember who directed me to it, but this blog is so rich in knowledge about techniques of book production that it makes me feel like an absolute novice. The blog will apparently focus on fine books of the nineteenth century. The image above is a detail from a book published by L. C. Page, who it seems offered each of their titles in red, white or blue cloth (wow!). Instead of stamping, a white cloth panel was glued onto the red and blue books. Following is a portion of the blog’s commentary related to this detail, but you should check out Minsky’s blog for the full story:
Recently Wired magazine asked a group of designerz to reenvision Craigslist. According to Wired, “Visitors arriving at craigslist are confronted by a confusing homepage cluttered with links most people will never click on. Overall, the user interface is in dire need of an organizing principle that guides you to the details you seek while filtering out extraneous information.”
I have been toying with the idea of starting a little imprint to publish mainly world literature and other titles with international scope. It would be called Hanuman Maximon. (Hanuman is the monkey hero of the Ramayana; Maximon is the cigar-smoking rebel saint of the highland Maya.)
This is a logo for the imprint. I haven’t really decided on the color scheme yet. Any reactions? (Hmmm, maybe the graphics part should be a little smaller.)
Over at Eye blog they’ve pitted Robert Klanten and Matthias Hübner’s Fully Booked against Jan Tschichold’s The Form of the Book in a book design battle.
Over at the Asian Art Museum blog I’ve written a post briefly outlining some of the issues involved in designing Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma, 1775-1950. I oversaw this project; the book was designed by Tag Savage of Wilsted & Taylor.
There are special issues for American designers when working with Southeast Asian subjects. This book demonstrates, I think, how they can be successfully addressed.
I was looking for a video to help explain the Fibonacci sequence to someone who didn’t know about it. There are a lot of them that aren’t especially helpful. This one is okay (apart from the spooky music). Maybe a really excellent one will still present itself.
The design firm Pentagram was recently honored for its long-term collaboration with the Public Theater in NYC. The video includes more than 300 pieces.
Can we agree the whole branding thing has got out of hand? I wish that branding had never left the cattle corral. These days, instead of selling an actual product you sell the idea of the product. So you spend all your time working not on the product but on the idea of it.
Today even whole countries get brands. Consider these national tourism logos.
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“If you do three designs, and there’s one you love, one you like, and one you think is crap, nine times out of ten your client will go with the one you think is crap.”
Or so it says here.
What is wrong with this picture?
Cartoon via Telec Thoughts.
Admit it designers, you’re a bunch of playbabies. Witness:
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John Gall, book designer for B&N, shares some thoughts about book cover design.
Almost a year ago, the excellent India Ink was tagged for excellence in blogging, an award she rebranded as the Charles Montgomery Burns Award. Mr. Burns is the owner of the Springfield nuclear power plant on the Simpsons. Well, India’s blog is hot.
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