Archive

Tag Archives: books

more-books-01

As we keep working on our not-yet-to-be-shown projects, we use the opportunity to continue with the awesome books we have recently bought. We could be doing it for a year and more but we’re planning to actually return to showing our creative efforts soon. However, for today enjoy these.

In one of the previous book-related posts we showed you a catalog for Gierymski’s exhibition in Warsaw but that wasn’t all we brought from that show. The museum also published quite a charming companion publication for children. Now, we’re great fans of this kind of part-educational, part-entertaining materials accompanying exhibitions (hint, hint, we’d love to make some) and are often a little disappointed by their quality and lack of original ideas. But this one is actually what we might expect, with nice design and illustrations, tasks that make sense and even a pleasant kind of paper.

more-books-02 more-books-03 more-books-04 more-books-05

Alice in Wonderland and the Moomin series are some of these books that you don’t even have to come across in early childhood and you will still enjoy them and then the magic just stays with you forever. They are even not so much about storylines – though we love those too – as about the atmosphere. So finding a combination of both in Tate’s bookstore in the form of Alice illustrated by Tove Jansson left us dumbfounded with delight. Apparently this was originally a Swedish edition then published by Tate in English and Jansson’s illustrating style matches wonderfully the dreamy nature of Carroll’s story. We’ve seen many versions of Alice‘s illustrations and normally we will always pick the classic version by John Tenniel, but this one is definitely worth having. Maybe because it has this nostalgic quality that books from childhood will have for adults.

more-books-06 more-books-07 more-books-08 more-books-09 more-books-10

And the last book is perhaps the most stunning of all. The High Street by Alice Melvin apparently won some sort of award for best new illustrator and no wonder at all. We also found it in Tate and fell in love with it but when we read it our fascination increased even. It tells a story of a girl gone shopping through an array of old-fashioned little shops, each selling one type of products rather than everything, mall-style. In this it basks in the passing (or maybe returning? that would be awesome) glory of small shops. The illustrating style is lovely in that it combines a bit of theme-becoming old-fashioned-ness with modern clarity. This is exactly what we love, especially seeing as each illustration has a lot of details and you can look at it over and over. But the best part is that the illustrations showing shops can be folded out to reveal the inside of the shop! Now, I’m quite secure in saying that many of you must share our fascination with the inside of buildings that you only see from the outside. As children we loved this kind of drawings and we still do. So, this is a perfect little book, both in idea and execution (it even has a plot twist!), and we encourage you to buy it, should you have a chance (no, no one is paying us for all these recommendations though they may, if they want to).

more-books-11 more-books-12 more-books-13 more-books-14 more-books-15 more-books-16

re-popups-01

We didn’t see as much of London as we had planned but we did visit a whole lot of museum gift stores and today we’ll show you how our collections of pocket pop-up books is growing. We bought the first ones in Paris but Britain has more of them: we found five (to Paris’ three). However, sorry but the French name Petit pop-up panoramique wins with English A Three-Dimensional Expanding Guide. No challenge there.

Still, the illustrations are just as charming (by the same illustrators, mostly) and we were thrilled each time we found a new one in a bookstore. We’re easily amused people.

re-popup-02 We didn’t see a whole lot of royal palaces but we liked the book.

re-popup-03 re-popup-04

We did manage to visit Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey (the square quite a few times because we went to the National Gallery twice and also you always seem to end up there when you start doing touristy things).

re-popup-05

And of course we’ve already told you about Tate Modern a few times. We enjoyed the bookstore there too.

re-popup-06

We didn’t hope for much from the Tower of London but we were pleasantly surprised: what an entertaining place it actually is. And the ravens were awesome.

re-popup-08

But our favorite was the last find, Shakespeare, which we only discovered at the Globe, where we just dropped in for a few minutes on our last day. One side shows places connected with Shakespeare’s biography but the other one shows scenes from various plays, which is very refreshing after all the architecture of the other volumes. It helps that we’re currently re-reading all of Shakespeare, probably.

re-popup-07 re-popup-09 re-popup-10

_MG_1015_0093

Things are so hectic here these days (or, you know, just exhaustingly, monotonously filled with work, which is not the same as hectic, I guess) that we didn’t even get to show you the books we bought during our recent trips. We bought a lot, especially in London, but for today we only shot catalogs for two amazing exhibitions we saw.

Matisse’s cut-outs in Tate Modern (more info here) is possibly the best exhibition we’ve ever seen or definitely up there with the best. It’s still on till September so if you can make it to London by then, you won’t regret it. It’s emotional, exciting and just freaking great. There is also a huge catalog published for the occasion, which tells you a lot about Matisse’s late years and the process of the cut-outs (we’re assuming; it’s not like we have time for reading or anything) and it has plenty of pictures: everything you see on the exhibition and some more.

_MG_1000_0078 _MG_1001_0079 _MG_1002_0080 _MG_1005_0083 _MG_1008_0086 _MG_1010_0088 _MG_1019_0097

In Warsaw, on the other hand, we saw a more locally known painter, but one of Poland’s best, Aleksander Gierymski, whose impressively comprehensive collection is on show in the National Museum. This exhibition is also accompanied by a large catalog, very professionally assembled, presenting a large collection of his works with such interesting details as the paintings’ background  (and such uninteresting ones as the history of all exhibitions where they were shown; TMI for us but I’m sure it’s useful for someone). We also like the layout of the catalog – it might be a bit too modern for the subject matter, from a puristic point of view, but it’s refreshing and makes the catalog a pretty object to look at.

_MG_1020_0098 _MG_1022_0100 _MG_1026_0104 _MG_1029_0107 _MG_1030_0108 _MG_1035_0113 _MG_1040_0118 _MG_1041_0119 _MG_1046_0124

re-innercity-00A while ago we had a pleasure of designing a PhD publication analyzing the development of old districts in Gdańsk. This is a very technical study, full of maps, graphs and subject interviews – in other words, precisely the kind of challenge we enjoy designing.

We chose to work with a serif typeface, because it was less obvious than a sans-serif and because we felt it would make the technical subject matter more reader-friendly. Because of the budget constraints only some pages are full color. In a book so full of various kinds of data layout needs to  help organize it clearly. We used a broadened left margin for navigational purposes where all the chapter, figure, footer numbers etc. are aligned. Sometimes it took a bit of typesetting magic but in the end we feel it worked well.

re-innercity-05

(Cover photo by the author.)

re-innercity-02

As the format is relatively small, sometimes it took some ingenuity to fit all the data onto pages.

re-innercity-03 re-innercity-01

Designing maps: a special kind of fun.

re-innercity-06 re-innercity-04

re-cowgirls-02Every now and then we get a little… bluesy, shall I say, because we don’t get nearly enough books to design. Quite a while ago in one of such moods, we designed and set a whole novel: Tom Robbins’ extravagant Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

Even though it’s a single copy printed for us so I guess you could call it a unique book, we wanted it to be rather practical and entirely readable. It didn’t have to, however, pander to any publishing standards, and so the cover is only a cream sleeve with a few holes punched through to show the red cover from underneath.

re-cowgirls-01The title appears on the spine and on the title page. We went with our love for Futura and paired it with a more scripty, old-school typeface for all the display purposes but the text is set traditionally, in a serif typeface.

re-cowgirls-09 re-cowgirls-10 re-cowgirls-08 re-cowgirls-07Each new part of the novel starts with a motto that we printed on fold-in pages with black circles suggesting both punch holes and bullet holes.

re-cowgirls-04 re-cowgirls-05Obviously the circles on the external side of the part intro align with the ones inside to create a more realistic impression of holes.

re-cowgirls-06And finally, for the climactic shoot-out scene, we did something we wouldn’t be able to do with a novel meant for mass publishing and punched holes in the page:

re-cowgirls-03And frankly, we suggest you read the book if you haven’t already. If its tone doesn’t put you off from the start, you’ll probably enjoy it quite a lot.

Did you miss us? We’re back from our awesome trip to Paris, where we loved absolutely everything (even the crazy rain and swarms of tourists and that waiter that laughed at my French). One of the things we loved the most, though, were Parisian librairies (or bookstores, if we’re not being pretentious). We visited tens of them and bought so many books that we seriously worried about excess baggage. Here’s a few of our purchases, limited to those more Paris-related.

We fell in love with these two books of watercolors by Fabrice Morieau, Paris Sketchbook and Gardens of Paris: they are better than any photo album at capturing that charm of Paris (which we didn’t find overhyped at all).

paris-livres-05 paris-livres-06 paris-livres-07

A view of Paris with our beloved Notre-Dame in the distance.

paris-livres-08

La Defence, which we visited towards the end and that’s why it probably made an even greater impression after ten days of 19th century tenant houses all around. We wouldn’t like to live there, but with a good weather and for a short time that modernism certainly works.

paris-livres-09

Parisian parks are very orderly. We’re used to a little wilder ones.

paris-livres-10

The Louvre is definitely one of our favorite places in Paris.

paris-livres-11

But Notre-Dame is probably the favorite one.

paris-livres-12 paris-livres-13 paris-livres-15

We lived in a charming little apartment nearby fashionable Canal St-Martin (though, I think, in the less fashionable part of the area), just next door to a great boulangerie.

paris-livres-16

Surprisingly enough, the Père Lachaise Cemetery was one of the most charming places we visited during the whole stay.

paris-livres-01

Parisians are obsessed with greenery: parks, garden, window pots, you name it, it’s all there and it looks amazing.

paris-livres-02 paris-livres-03 paris-livres-04These series of books illustrated by Sarah McMenemy presents Paris in general, the Louvre and Versailles as small pop-ups with all the important monuments. Even before we found the watercolor albums, we bought these as a personal souvenir of all the wonders of the city.

paris-livres-17 paris-livres-18 paris-livres-19We actually did not climb the Eiffel Tour (again), seeing the insane lines beneath it. It’s shaping up to be our thing, apparently, because we did a similar thing last time (then it was wind that deterred us).

paris-livres-20 paris-livres-21 paris-livres-22The Mesopotamian and Assyrian art in the Louvre is actually one of the most fascinating things to see there.

paris-livres-23 paris-livres-24 paris-livres-25We spent a lovely Sunday in Versailles, with all the fountains, hedges and tourists.

This was a spontaneous purchase because the sheer practicality of the idea surprised us so much: this book is a list of free, allegedly tested toilets around Paris. We didn’t need to try out the suggestions but the books seems knowledgeable and actually well-designed, complete with the appropriate yellow Pantone.

paris-livres-26 paris-livres-27Paris is full of brilliant, small artsy books. They are like student diplomas, only published. Miss Lisa by Delphine Perret (who is probably not a student, but we don’t really know) is a story of Mona Lisa, who gets bored, leaves the painting and starts a new life. We bought it both for humor and illustrations.

paris-livres-35 paris-livres-36 paris-livres-37What is the one thing Mona Lisa always wanted to do? Sell shoes, of course.

We spent most time in children sections of bookstores because of all the fascinating printing techniques employed for the books and here are two examples (not so much Parisian but at least French). Ma Petite Savane by Xavier Deneux is like those books for two-year-olds printed on cardboard so you can’t tear out pages. But these pages have raised and lowered parts on two pages of a spread, which combine intelligently.

paris-livres-28 paris-livres-29Zebra’s stripes – trees.

paris-livres-30Finally, Après l’été by Lucie Félix tells a charming story of a girl’s orchard in autumn, employing intelligently designed die-cuts. Great part about both this and the previous book is how the fancy techniques tell the story, not just increase production costs.

paris-livres-31paris-livres-32paris-livres-33 paris-livres-34 Of course, there was much more to our stay in Paris than just books (I mean, there were croissants for one thing) but the books were amazing.

Fourteen Books to Love Here at re:design we heart many things – LEGO blocks, huskies, bacon, The Good Wife, Christmas Eve and I could really go on – but books are definitely in our top three. And now that Valentine’s Day is upon us again we profess our love for literature with a series of (literally) heart-centered covers.

Memoirs of a GeishaHeart is a fun shape to work with and surprisingly versatile. Each cover uses the shape as the center of the composition around which a symbolic illustration and typography are arranged. The books range from pulp romances through venerable classics to postmodernist experiments but all feature some version of the eternal love theme.

LolitaLolita by Vladimir Nabokov, an ambitious and rather pervy, if read literally, take on love.

Bridget Jones DiaryBridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, a decidedly unambitious take.

The Vagina MonologuesThe Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (a more physiological interpretation of the theme).

The Hunchback of Notre-DameFatalistic view of love and life in The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo.

Quo VadisQuo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

In Search of Lost TimeIn Search of Lost Time or in love with the past, by Marcel Proust.

Cinder House RulesCider House Rules by John Irving.

Ireland: a NovelIreland by Frank Delaney.

A Good YearA Good Year by Peter Mayle.

Homer's DaughterHomer’s Daughter by Robert Graves.

NanaNana by Emile Zola, a socially critical anti-love story.

One Hundred Years of SolitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The GamblerAnother classic, The Gambler by Dostoyevsky.

Memoirs of a GeishaMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, love in Japan.

Title page of LolitaTitle page for Lolita, with the logo for the series.

Books to LoveSeries of spines. For typography we chose a combination of Scala and Stag. We picked a limited color palette of reds and grays with some greens and yellows.

re:design loves booksThe logo of the series, consisting – predictably – of 14 hearts.

And we wish all of you a happy Valentine’s Day (either spent with your beloved person or with your beloved book).

in-her-garden-redesign-poster_01Today we have finally gotten down to cleaning up all the post-Christmas decorations (which we know is late-ish but we just love having Christmas lights around) and decided to do some creative recycling of the dried up holly leaves littering our room because we found them quite pretty and intriguing. What precisely we decided to do is another typographic poster to include in the Theatre of Literature series.

Unlike with the previous posters, we didn’t have a selected novel title to use and couldn’t think of one so we actually resorted to Google once we came up with the ideas that this book should include. We wanted something about old age and nature, nostalgic and on the serious side, and found a seemingly perfect match. In Her Garden by Jon Godden is a 1981 novel about an elderly widow who falls in love with her young gardener and dies under suspicious circumstances, a cross between a psychological and a gothic story – at least according to the Internet sources as we’ve yet to read it. (Again, this is not how we normally work but since the perishable material was ready, we seized the opportunity.)

in-her-garden-redesign-poster_02 in-her-garden-redesign-poster_03

We built simple, cursive-like letters from the leaves so that the leaves’ curves reinforce those of the letters. We used the rest of the leaves to make an ornament, the kind whose structure can be found on a wallpaper in an old house. We picked a somber color that does not contrast strongly with the design to create a rather melancholy atmosphere.

in-her-garden-redesign-poster_04

in-her-garden-redesign-poster_05With the Christmas decorations gone, at least we have the satisfaction of having turned a part of the chore into more enjoyable work.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 11,913 other followers