Today we would like to share one of our favorite design books, a monograph on Marian Bantjes: one of our absolute design idols. The Canadian designer specializes in typography, ornamentation and has a recognizable-but-not-repetitive style that really speaks to our sensitivities. This large-scale books showcases her work and is just such a beauty to look at, a true sensual pleasure. As if that wasn’t enough, the works are annotated with witty, honest stories about how they came – or didn’t come – to be.
Bantjes has a wonderful sensitivity for non-traditionally understood calligraphy which she combines with more geometric letterforms.
She has also a true talent (and patience) for filigree ornaments, partly Arabic, partly historic but overall modernized.
And, of course, her work on tangible typography is one of the most impressive out there and inspired our own search many times. Here, for instance, sugar lettering.
We’re not sure if this book is still in stock (probably?) but if you like to look at gorgeously designed letters, this is definitely the coffee table book for you.
A while ago students from our school undertook an action of designing ideological posters against armaments. They invited anyone interested to join. We admired their effort and also we didn’t have a chance to design this kind of poster since maybe even our own school days and so we designed the poster we’re sharing with you today. Peace.
In addition to children’s books, we also love beautiful books about design. This one, for instance, shows the work of Jurriaan Schrofer, a somewhat lesser known Dutch designer (1926–1990). He created modernist typographic designs, experimented with letters and grid, designed typefaces, even tried tangible type. His work has a very distinctive style, which you will love if modernist typography works for you.
The book by Unit Editions showcases Schrofer’s designs, giving basic information about them. Visually, it’s an interesting edition with a vivid orange color used in the middle, black thread for binding and, most strikingly, the open spine (we’re of two minds about open-spined books because, while eye-catching, they are much less durable).
The cover with just the designer’s name arranged of the letters he used illustrates his style particularly well.
As the summer season is slowly approaching, we’re sharing today a very summery book we designed last year for the Museum of Gdańsk. It is a catalog for an exhibition showing postcards and photographs of beaches in Gdańsk before 1939: some of them still exist while others no longer serve as recreational beaches. The catalog included most of the photos shown on the exhibition but we could present them in any way we wanted.
The visual material was very rich and quite exciting once you really delved into it (all the old swimwear!) but in its mass seemed a bit monotonous so we decided to make it more modern. We created a sunny, cheerful color palette to color the photographs and added illustrative, geometric elements: stripes, waves, birds etc.
On the cover we used varnished stripes on an old photo that the Museum wanted to use. The stripes – inspired by old swimsuits – are the main visual motif organizing the entire layout, including its geometry.
Beginning of a chapter.
Page numbering close-up.
Sometimes we chose fragments of photographs to use.
While the sheer amount of photographs to edit made it an intense publication to work on, we’re very happy with the final results.
Last week we shared with you a book by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud about the ocean. But the first time we encountered a book by these artists was In the Forest, their beautiful and sad story about deforestation (and, luckily, re-forestation). It uses very ingenious techniques of paper engineering to talk in simple ways about the destruction of forests, still ending on a hopeful note. While the ocean book is probably more cheerful, this one, we feel, works more strongly.
(Also, as a not-irrelevant side note, consider not buying products with palm oil, if you feel the need to do something.)
Today let us share a beautiful book called Under the Ocean by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud.
The book is a mastery of paper book engineering, with each spread unfolding in two steps: first to show the situation on the surface of the ocean, where the boat Oceano is traveling. Then, with more impressive sculptural effects, we’re shown what’s underneath it. The 3D extravaganza is paired with beautiful, subtle illustration whose strength lies in just enough detail combined with subtle painterly effects and sensitivity.
It takes you on a journey through the richness of the ocean and while not as directly focused on the ecological message as their previous book about a forest (we’ll show you that one, too), it still manages to convey the beauty and the vulnerability of our oceans.
The cover of the Polish edition.
The boat is starting its journey.
Whales (the minimalist spread offsets nicely more busy spreads around it.)
Seals in the Arctic.
This is probably not exactly like seeing the coral reef but what a beautiful approximation.