Books We Like

Louise Fili’s Typographic Love Letter to Paris

GraphiqueDeLaRue_1
Over the past four decades, New York-based designer Louise Fili has returned often to Paris, camera in hand, to document the signage of the Parisian streetscape. Graphique de La Rue is what Fili calls her “typographic love letter to Paris.” From the classic neon that illuminates bistros and cafes to the dramatic facades of the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergere to Hector Guimard’s legendary art nouveau metro entrances, Fili shows us the sensuous elegance and dazzling beauty of Paris street signs. This book is a sequel to her Graficadella Strada: The Signs of Italy, which is equally sumptuous.
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Book Excerpt

Jonah Lehrer’s Five Tips for
Reaching Your Creative Potential


From the bestselling author Jonah Lehrer comes “Imagine: How Creativity Works” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Lehrer explains that his latest book “is about our most important mental talent: the ability to imagine what has never existed. We take this talent for granted, but our lives are defined by it. There is the pop song on the radio and the gadget in your pocket, the art on the wall and the air conditioner in the window. There is the medicine in the bathroom and the chair you are sitting in…” He gives real world examples from Pixar and Second City to Bob Dylan and Yo-Yo Ma. He goes on to say that “creativity is not a gift possessed by a lucky few; it’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.” Here he offers five tips from his book on how to increase your creative potential.

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Book Excerpt

How to Spot Amateur Clients — and Avoid Them.

The Creative Professional's Guide to Money

Editor’s Note: This snippet is from “The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money: How to think about it. How to talk about it. How to manage it.” By Illise Benun, founder of Marketing-Mentor.com. Published by HOW Books, 2011. It’s a book we highly recommend because it is filled with practical, knowledgeable advice, and encourages designers to respect what they have to offer and to find clients who feel the same. From time to time, Ilise has said we can reprint sections.

Book Excerpt

An Aesthetic Look at Business

In his book “The Designful Company,” Marty Neumeier, director of transformation at the brand marketing firm, Liquid Agency, argues that business management itself has an aesthetic component. “Of course, everyone knows you can apply the principles of aesthetics to the curve of a fender, the typography of a web page, or the textures in a clothing line. Yet you can also apply them to upstream strategy, organizational change, and marketplace reputation,” he says. In the chapter “The Rebirth of Aesthetics,” Neumeier charts the elements of aesthetics and attaches questions to them that all types of businesses – even design firms, large and small – should ask themselves to become more innovative, identify how the parts relate to the whole, operate more creatively, and arrive at a strategy that will lead to market distinction and long-lasting growth. It’s good to end the year by taking stock of what you’re doing and where you want to go.

Book Excerpt

The Story of Graphic Design

“For all graphic design’s importance, it is only within the last three decades that the subject has been considered worth studying in the round…” relates UK-based designer/historian Patrick Cramsie in the introduction of his newly released book, The Story of Graphic Design (Abrams, 2010).

“Part of the reason for this lack of attention is that graphic design’s role as a service provider masked whatever artistic merit it might have possessed. However, much artistic skill was brought to a particular design, the design always had a job of work to do. It was either selling or informing, or sometimes doing a bit of both. This lack of clarity about the status of graphic design has been compounded by its ephemeral nature. Are posters really meant to be hung in galleries long after the events they promoted have passed? Is there really any social value in collecting beer mats or luggage labels? …The range of objects under its purview is vast and with every innovation in information technology the range only increases. These factors make graphic design a rich and rewarding area of study, but they also make it a difficult one.”

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