Archive for the ‘Typography’ Category

The Big Sale. It’s Big, and It’s a Sale.

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Well, it’s finally starting to feel like spring, and we all know what that means:

Cleaning!

No? Okay then, let’s try:

Sale!

That’s right. In honour of the season and its renewing, motivating forces, we’ve decided to comb through our collection at the 401 Richmond store and reduce prices on a selection of products, books and magazines for pretty much all of the next month. It’s the inaugural Big Sale, and it’s aptly named, unlike our former annual Sidewalk Sale (which we were never actually allowed to have on the sidewalk).

Big Sale offerings include Bodoni’s mammoth Manual of Typography from Taschen;
$5 back issues of magazines and annuals such as Communication Arts, Archive and Print; a mixture of classic and contemporary products from Nava, Arzberg, Umbra, imm Living and Rosti; information-loaded digital weather-station clocks designed by Philippe Starck; past issues of the architecturally uplifting 2G Magazine (which has – rather sadly – just gone digital with the newest issue, so grab those printed copies while you can); and some elegant one-off pieces of silverware (because really, who says you need a table setting of four?).

We’ll be discounting these items, and more, right through to Sunday, May 26, when we’ll be open for the final day of Doors Open Toronto. (Another excellent reason to visit the 401 Richmond building, and Swipe in particular.)

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit Swipe at 401 Richmond Street West, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

A Stunning Tribute to the Private Book Collector

Monday, October 18th, 2010

type_a_visual_history_1typevisualhistory2
Click on the image to browse this book’s contents
.

Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 1 : 1628–1900

Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 2 : 1900–1938

? 2009 & 2010: Cees de Jong, Alston W. Purvis & Jan Tholenaar

Taschen has a knack, unrivaled among contemporary art and design publishers, for successfully balancing price against quality and content. By licensing existing text and photography, and through the creative use of out-of-copyright material, the publisher consistently manages to create desirable, yet affordable, books. Unfortunately, such books generally add little to the public record or to a critical understanding of their subject. Every so often, however, Taschen produces a book of grand significance. Drawn from the collection of the late Jan Tholenaar, these astoundingly beautiful surveys of the printed type specimen are probably the most consequential design books Taschen has ever published. The majority of the examples are exquisitely rare Continental specimens from the Nineteenth Century. Typical of Taschen, there is precious little explanatory text. The introductory essays, by Cees de Jong and Alston W. Purvis, are superficial and provide practically no context for the material that follows. Which would be more of a shame if the material that follows were not so extraordinary and otherwise completely unavailable. In fact, the illustrations embedded in the introduction, a Berthold Hebrew script specimen from 1924 and an Arabic and Turkish specimen from Stempel in 1922, are so lovely that it’s hard to even pay attention to the text. What these volumes also demonstrate, quite dramatically, is the continued relevance of of the private book collection as both an intellectual exercise and a cultural record. There are certainly institutional collections that rival the one amassed by Mr. Tholenaar, but such collections are typically not accessible by the public and are virtually never documented in so glorious a fashion. (2009: Taschen; ISBN 9783836511018 & 2010: Taschen; ISBN  9783836515146)

Each: $64.95

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

The Typographic Grid: Essential Framework or Elegant Prison?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The layout grid, in its modern conception, has its origins with a group of Swiss graphic designers and educators working in the early postwar era. Ironically, while the grid was intended to create a modern system of layout flexible enough to accommodate type and image together, and to organize more complex textual hierarchies, it is firmly grounded in the structure and limitations of metal type composition. It could be argued that the enduring success of the ‘International Typographic Style’, as the methods of the Zürich and Basel Schools came to be known, has as much to do with the conventionalized visual vocabulary the typographic grid has imposed on Twentieth-Century publication design as with any inherent superiority of the approach.

In common with another mainstay of the International Typographic Style, the typeface Helvetica, the popularity of the grid approach has followed something of a typical pendulum motion, wherein a once-revolutionary idea becomes mainstream, spawns a backlash, only to be rediscovered by a new generation and readopted with uncritical reverence. For anyone who has been working as a graphic designer for more than a decade, the grid carries unfortunate associations with corporate culture – the graphic equivalent to the ubiquitous office cubicle. And as such, the sight of a psychedelic rave poster that appears to have been designed by Max Bill is simultaneously amusing and vaguely disturbing.

Grid Systems in Graphic Design / Raster Systeme für die Visuele Gestaltung, 4th Edition
? 1961 (1996): Josef Müller-Brockmann

Originally published in 1961, this seminal work on the subject, by the renowned Swiss graphic designer and professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich, covers the process of grid development and the application of grids in modern publication design. A Bibliographic 100 title. (1996: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 9783721201451)

$99.95

The Typographic Grid
? 2000: Hans Rudolf Bosshard

Published in 2000, also by Swiss publisher Verlag Niggli, Brosshard’s sophisticated treatment can be considered a follow-up to Josef Müller-Brockmann’s Grid Systems and is, in many ways, the (obsessive compulsive) last word on the subject. Bosshard, also a professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule and a contemporary of Müller-Brockmann, looks at increasingly complex grids, discusses the limits of the system, and analyses a variety of salient examples from the International Style cannon. (2000: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 3721203402)

$129.95

spacer

Typographie: A Manual of Design, 7th Edition
? 1967 (2001): Emil Ruder

Originally published in 1967 and now in its sixth edition, this classic textbook of the new typography is based on the curriculum that Ruder developed as head of the departments of typography and graphic design at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel (posts subsequently held by Armin Hofmann and Wolfgang Weingart). This edition features an introduction by Ruder’s like-minded friend Adrian Frutiger. (2001: Verlag Niggli; ISBN 978372120043)

$129.95

For a thorough look at the origins and influence of Swiss graphic design in the Ruder, Hofmann, Müller-Brockmann era, see: Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, 1920-1965 by Richard Hollis, available, not surprisingly, at Swipe, for $62.95. (2006: Yale Art; ISBN 0300106769)

The Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books
? 1978: Allen Hurlburt

Published more than 30 years ago, this is the first and most orthodox English-language introduction to the grid as a publication design tool, and has served as the standard (hopelessly overpriced) textbook for several generations of graphic designers. (1978: John Wiley; ISBN 9780471289234)

$89.95

spacer

Designer and the Grid
? 2005: Julia Thrift & Lucienne Roberts

One of the first post-Macintosh reassessments of the grid, The Designer and the Grid examines the work of several leading (at the time) contemporary graphic designers, including Simon Esterson, Vaughan Oliver and Ellen Upton, to explore its renewed relevance in the digital era. (2005: RotoVision; ISBN 2880468140)

$41.95

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
? 2005: Timothy Samara

This very popular title uses case studies to explore the potential and limits of grid-based design. Projects are arranged according to function and structure, and the featured designers provide commentary on their rationale and design processes. (2005: Rockport; ISBN 1592531253)

$34.95

spacer

Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids
? 2009: Beth Tondreau

A relatively simplified introduction to grid layout, this practical guide identifies 100 typographic and layout variables, from typeface selection to optimum leading and optimum measure, that contribute to the success of most grid-based projects. (2009: Rockport Publishers; ISBN 9781592534722)

$43.95

Basics Design 07: Grids
? 2008: Gavin Ambrose & Paul Harris

An accessible, highly visual introduction, this seventh volume in the admirable Design Basics series focuses on ordering the page or screen through the effective use of the grid. (2008: AVA Publishing; ISBN 9782940373772)

$34.95

spacerspacer

Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition
? 2001: Kimberly Elam

Using a clever and attractive system of vellum overlays, Geometry of Design illustrates a range of classic and modern proportioning systems and demonstrates their application in modern graphic design, industrial design and architecture. (2001: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568982496)

Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type
? 2004: Kimberly Elam

With Grid Systems, Elam again uses transparent overlays to make visible the hidden structures of a series of modern graphic layouts. This intuitive form of presentation makes the grid system immediately comprehensible, making this an excellent companion to a more detailed textbook treatment. (2004: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568984650)

Typographic Systems, Rules for Organizing Type
? 2007: Kimberly Elam

Typographic Systems goes beyond the Basel School grid to explore a variety of alternative, rule-based, typographic layout systems (i.e., random, radial, modular or bilateral). In common with Elam’s previous books, this study is disappointingly brief; however, it is currently the only presentation of these ideas that we have to offer and, as such, is essential student reading. (2007: Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN 1568986874)

spacer

Grid Index, Includes CD-Rom
? 2009: Carsten Nicolai

Not strictly a ‘grid systems’ book, Grid Index attempts to codify the range of possible two-dimensional patterns, from the humble square grid to the most complex irregular and unpredictable lattice. Similar to the out-of-print and highly sought-after Neubau Modul, the book features an accompanying CD-Rom containing all of the catalogued patterns as editable vector graphic files free for use in your own layouts. (2009: Die Gestalten Verlag; ISBN 9783899552416)

$74.95

The Grid Book
? 2009: Hannah B. Higgins

For those looking to find deeper meaning in the utilitarian grid, Higgins examines the cultural significance of 10 historical antecedents to this Modernist mainstay. This is a highbrow celebration of the best of the square and the repeating: the brick, the tablet, the gridiron city plan, the map, musical notation, the ledger, the screen, moveable type, the manufactured box and the net. (2009: MIT Press; ISBN 9780262512404)

$34.95

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Bibio: -graphic, -mania, -phile, etc.

Friday, January 15th, 2010

bibliographic

Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books
? 2009: Jason Godfrey

Let us begin by admitting that it is impossible for this book to have been sufficiently good for us not to have found reason to criticize it and, conversely, that the book would have had to have been quite terrifically bad for us not to be thrilled to see it published. We sell books. Specifically, we sell graphic design books. Write a history of live bait and Ned “Dew Worm” Johnson* is gonna love it. And yes, we love Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books. In his introduction Godfrey is quick to point out that this is not intended to be a history of Twentieth Century graphic design nor should it be taken as exhaustive. And, while one might take issue with some of the titles included (Chuck Anderson’s Old Advertising Cuts from A–Z) and be offended by (or feel smug about) the absence of one’s personal favourite (Otl Aicher’s Typographie), there are selections here that demonstrate an unexpected level of thoughtful sophistication. The sight of the Morgan Press wood type samples should be enough to encourage any typophile to forgive nearly any other omission (though, as Canadians, it’s hard to accept that Carl Dair’s Design with Type didn’t even make the Further Readings list!). (2009: Laurence King Publishing; ISBN  9781856695923)
* A real guy (as a teenager I tried picking worms to make pocket money) – David

$62.50

OK, so here’s the list (*asterisks mark the titles that are in print and available from Swipe). Scoff away!

Typography
American Line Type Book
Spécimen Général: Tome 1

Die Neue Typographie
, Jan Tschichold*
Modern and Historical Typography, Imre Reiner
The Letter as a Work of Art, Dr Gerard Knuttel
Manuale Typographicum, Hermann Zapf
The Encyclopaedia of Type Faces, W. Turner Berry, A.F. Johnson & W.P. Jaspert*
Alphabet Thesaurus Nine Thousand
An Atlas of Typeforms, James Sutton & Alan Bartram
Wood 2
American Wood Type: 1828–1900, Rob Roy Kelly
Letraset
A Constructed Roman Alphabet, David Lance Goines
Igarashi Alphabets, Takenobu Igarashi
London’s Handwriting, Colin Banks
Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface, Lars Müller*

Sourcebooks
Handbook of Designs and Devices
, Clarence P. Hornung
Printed Ephemera
, John Lewis
Semiologie Graphique, Jacques Bertin
Letter and Image, Robert Massin

bibliographicspread3

Trade Marks & Symbols, Yasaburo Kuwayama
Label Design, Claude Humbert
Symbol Sourcebook, Henry Dreyfuss*
Handbook of Pictorial Symbols, Rudolf Modley*
Words and Buildings, Jock Kinneir
The Dictionary of Visual Language, Philip Thompson & Peter Davenport
Old Advertising Cuts from A–Z, Charles S. Anderson
Today’s Hieroglyphs, Hans-Rudolf Lutz*
Alphabets & Other Signs, Julian Rothenstein & Mel Gooding (editors)

Instructional
Layout in Advertising
, W.A. Dwiggins
Mise en Page
, Alfred Tolmer
Colour in Advertising
, Joseph Binder
Language of Vision
, György Kepes
Vision in Motion
, László Moholy-Nagy
The Graphic Artist and His Design Problems
, Josef Müller-Brockmann
Typography
, Aaron Burns
Typography: Basic Principles
, John Lewis
Graphic Design Manual
, Armin Hofmann*

bibliographicspread4

Visual Presentation of Invisible Processes, Anton Stankowski
Typography
, Emil Ruder*
A Sign Systems Manual, Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes
Grid Systems in Graphic Design
, Josef Müller-Brockmann*
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward R. Tufte*
Notes on Book Design, Derek Birdsall*

Histories
The New Graphic Art, Karl Gerstner & Markus Kutter
Functional Graphic Design in the 20’s, Eckhard Neumann

bibliographicspread1

Pioneers of Modern Typography, Herbert Spencer
Images of an Era
, John Garrigan, Margaret Cogswell, Milton Glaser, Dore Ashton & Alan Gowans
The Language of Graphics, Edward Booth-Clibborn & Daniele Baroni
A History of Graphic Design, Philip B. Meggs*
Bauhaus: Drucksachen, Typografie, Reklame, Gerd Fleischmann
Typography: When Who How, Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott & Bernard Stein
Graphic Styles, Steven Heller & Seymour Chwast*
Graphic Design: A Concise History, Richard Hollis*

Anthologies
Seven Designers Look at Trademark Design, Egbert Jacobson (editor)
Polski Plakat Filmowy, Tadeusz Kowalski (editor)
Graphic Design: Visual Comparisons, Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes & Bob Gill
Publicity and Graphic Design in the Chemical Industry, Hans Neuburg
Design Coordination and Corporate Image, F.H.K. Henrion & Alan Parkin
Graphis Diagrams, Walter Herdeg (editor)
Top Graphic Design, F.H.K. Henrion
The Liberated Page, Herbert Spencer (editor)
Typography Now, Rick Poynor & Edward Booth-Clibborn (editors)
Carouschka’s Tickets, Carouschka Streijffert & Peter Kihlgard

Monographs
Thoughts on Design
, Paul Rand
Esposizioni e Mostre
, Erberto Carboni
Visual Design in Action
, Ladislav Sutnar
Love and Joy about Letters
, Ben Shahn
Milton Glaser: G
raphic Design, Milton Glaser
The Graphic Design of Yusaku Kamekura, Yusaku Kamekura
Jan Tschichold: Typographer, Ruari McLean

bibliographicspread5

The Art of Advertising, George Lois & Bill Pitts
The Complete Tadanori Yokoo, Tadanori Yokoo
‘Walk Away René’, George Hardie & Storm Thorgerson
Living by Design, The Partners of Pentagram & Peter Gorb (editor)
Forget All the Rules You Ever Learned about Graphic Design. Including the Ones in this Book., Bob Gill
Lo Studio Boggeri: 1933–1981, Bruno Monguzzi (editor)
Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art, Paul Rand
Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer and Typographer, Gertrude Snyder & Alan Peckolick
Cassandre, Henri Mouron
The Left-Handed Designer, Seymour Chwast
Dorfsman & CBS, Dick Hess & Marion Muller
The Art of Graphic Design, Bradbury Thompson
The Graphic Language of Neville Brody, Neville Brody & Jon Wozencroft*
Brodovitch, Andy Grundberg
Siegfried Odermatt & Rosmarie Tissi: Graphic Design, Siegfried Odermatt, Rosmarie Tissi with Jack Waser & Werner M. Wolf (editors)
Nova: 1965–1975, David Hillman, Harri Peccinotti & David Gibbs (editor)
The End of Print, Lewis Blackwell & David Carson
Printed Matter, Robin Kinross, Jaap van Triest & Karel Martens (editors)*

bibliographicspread2

Wim Crouwel: Mode en Module, Frederike Huygen & Hugues C. Boekraad
I Am Almost Always Hungry, Cahan & Associates*
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Peter Hall & Michael Bierut (editors)*
Weingart: Typography, Wolfgang Weingart
Maeda @ Media, John Maeda*
The Art of Looking Sideways, Alan Fletcher*
Sagmeister: Made You Look, Peter Hall*
Make it Bigger, Paula Scher*
Designed by Peter Saville, Emily King (editor)
8vo: On the Outside, Mark Holt & Hamish Muir*
Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography, Emily King*

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

I Know She Should Be an Inspiration But, Damn, on Some Level She Really Makes You Want to Quit. Not Quit to Reinvent Yourself, But Just Quit Designing Altogether and Go Work as a Desk Clerk at a Sleazy Motel or Something.

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

bantjespacereye72

Let’s begin with a bio lifted outright from the credit line of an article Bantjes wrote for the AIGA website (which, in the nature of these things, we will assume is autobiographical):

Marian Bantjes is a designer, artist and writer working internationally from her base on a small island off the west coast of Canada, near Vancouver. She was trained as a book typesetter (1984–1994) and was a straight-up graphic designer from 1994–2003. But it is her more recent, highly personal, obsessive and sometimes strange graphic work that has since brought her international recognition.

If you know her work already then you’ll know what you think of it and whether you want to buy this wonderful little book or not. If you don’t know her work, check out her web-site. Take your time. When you’re done then pop back here (if you can even remember where you started from). We’ll just insert all the price and bibliographic information here in the meantime.

Designer and Design 066: Marian Bantjes
? 2008: Marian Bantjes cdnmapleleaf, Émilie Lamy & Debbie Millman

Marian Bantjes beautiful work integrates calligraphic typography and illustration with astounding originality. So idiosyncratic that it brings to mind everything from the gestural calligraphy of Martin Andersch to Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur to the work of contemporary Iranian designers like Mehdi Saeedi. (2008: Pyramyd Editions; ISBN 9782350171265)

$32.95

Eye Magazine 72
? 2009: John Walters

$37.50

OK, so, she’s insanely talented, obviously highly committed to her craft and uncompromising … and has a career vector so extraordinary* that it flies in the face of virtually all design industry convention (and possibly, if you’re a struggling Canadian designer, your assumptions about the nature of the universe). Reading what Sagmeister, Bierut, Millman, and all have to say about her, it seems like it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. And yes, Bantjes is always very thankful for the support she has received from colleagues and rightly calls attention to her hard work and an undeniably brave decision to give up her traditional design practice to pursue her passion. Seriously though, looking at her website it’s hard not to want to pinch her to see if she is dreaming (and, by extension, that we are all just figments of her nocturnal imagination). A $77,000 Chopard diamond pendant? Really?

Bantjes mentions in her cover story in the current issue of Eye Magazine (oh, did we forget to mention that she has the cover story in the current issue of Eye Magazine?) her regret at not having given up her design practice sooner, but, six months earlier, or later and who knows what might have happened? Chaos theory posits that, when initial conditions are just right, the beating of a butterfly’s wing can start a hurricane. More commonly, however, the butterfly barely succeeds in ruffling a ladybug’s hair. Congratulations Marian but, for everyone’s sake, please don’t pinch yourself.

* I just read the Eye interview and discovered Walters begins with an almost identical observation (he uses “trajectory” rather than vector – which is the word I was looking for in the first place). Damned if I’m going to rewrite now, though it occurs to me that Bantjes is likely pretty sick of the how surprised everyone seems to be by her success. – David

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

… simply the decent setting of type and the intelligent layout of pictures based on a rigorous study of content – DB

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Much has been made of Jan Tschichold’s time at Penguin and his influence on post-war British book design. However, modernist ideas and asymmetric layout only gradually supplanted Victorian and Edwardian design principles (typified by the inexpensive Collins Classic or the prestige editions of A. & C. Black) and did so through the efforts of many British designers and educators. Of particular importance was a group associated with the Central School of Art and Design in London, chief among them was Anthony Froshaug, who, alongside Herbert Spencer and Edward Wright, shifted the focus of the school’s curriculum away from the lettering tradition toward typography in the modern sense, focusing on legibility and a more austere approach, eschewing ornamentation in favour of clarity and subservience to content.

notesonbookdesignspaceranthonyforshaugspacerpioneersmoderntypography

Notes on Book Design

? 2004: Derek Birdsall

Among the most noteworthy of the Central School’s graduates of this period, Birdsall’s dedication to asymmetric layout, sympathetic use of grids, and flawless integration of text and image provide the clearest expression to the ideals of purity and structure inherent in Tschichold’s new conception of the book. Notes on Book Design presents 360 spreads from some 50 books, designed over a span of 40 years, ranging in scale from Penguin paperbacks to brilliant catalogues raisonné for the Yale Univeristy Press and recently, the complete redesign of The Church of England’s book of Common Worship. This is, quite simply, the most useful and inspiring book on non-fiction book design we have ever stocked. (2004: Yale University; ISBN 0300103476)

Derek Birdsall is also one of the coauthors of the lovely illustrated study Paul Rand: Modernist Designer.

Anthony Froshaug: Typography and Texts, Documents of a Life

? 2001: Robin Kinross, Editor

After Anthony Froshaug’s death in 1984 Robin Kinross was asked to help organize his archive, launching a project that would take Kinross more than 15 years to complete. Froshaug is renowned both as a designer and as an educator, first at the Central School, then at the storied Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm with Otl Aicher and finally at the Royal College of Art with John Lewis. An innovative approach to biography, this two volume book traces the life and work of England’s most passionate advocate of modernism in graphic design by presenting nearly 500 pages of original source documents, annotated by the editor. The first volume covers Froshaug’s work as a designer and printer and contains many of his writings on typography, the second volume provides day-to-day documents, from correspondence and personal notes to course outlines. (2001: Hyphen Press; ISBN 090725909x)

Pioneers of Modern Typography, Revised Edition

? 1969 (2004): Herbert Spencer & Rick Poynor

Originally published in 1969, Pioneers remains the only comprehensive English-language study of the multitude of twentieth-century avant-garde art movements in relation to the development of modern graphic design and typography. In the introduction Spencer describes the rationale for the work as follows:

Modern typography does not have its origins in the conventional printing industry. Its roots are entwined with those of twentieth-century painting, poetry and architecture, and it flowered quite suddenly and dramatically in the twenty years following the publication of Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto in 1909. – HS

Interestingly, in a review of Spencer’s work, reproduced in volume 2 of Anthony Froshaug: Typography and Texts, Documents of a Life, his Central School colleague seems less convinced of the influence of these movements:

What is not true, is to suggest that the random placing of letterforms, not ranged in lines, has anything to do with the proper business of typesetting, which is the arrangement of characters of constant body dimension from crown to sole of shoes, in words and sentences and phrases, divided according to the mode of their time – using the punctuation and syntax then accepted. – AF

(2004: MIT Press; ISBN 0262693038)

Unfortunately out-of-print is The Liberated Page, an anthology of articles drawn from Spencer’s ground-breaking journal Typographica.

Notes on Book Design: $64.95, now: $34.95
Anthony Froshaug: Typography and Texts, Documents of a Life: $92.95
Pioneers of Modern Typography, Revised Edition: $41.95

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

A Forgotten Alchemy: Pencil + Paper = Letterform

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Doyald Young has taught lettering at the Art Center College of Design since 1955. Yup, 1955. So, a question that suggests itself: how can any graphic designer be anything more than an historical figure, or worse a nostalgic curiosity, after more than 50 years in the field? In Young’s case, by doing the kind of unique work that elegantly demonstrates exactly what has been lost in the successive waves of mechanization that have characterized the industry. Young’s logotypes and typeface designs are generated by a process of sketching that, while once commonplace, is now an almost complete lost art. Too often today logotype design consists of selecting a font from a three-screen Adobe Illustrator™ menu and then rationalizing the choice with a load of fatuous ‘brand-speak’. Young’s work reminds us that graphic art can be, well, an art.

doyaldyoungbooks

Dangerous Curves

? 2009: Doyald Young

With an introduction by Herman Zapf, this book offers a foundation course in font and logo design. We almost never cut-and-paste on this blog but, in this case, Young describes his work so nicely:

In Dangerous Curves I have attempted to show both emerging and expert designers how, in an age of computer-dominated design, the designer can turn to their very own hands for both inspiration and solution. The only way to create a logotype that is truly unique is for the designer to transcend the limitations of the available fonts and typefaces on the market. Dangerous Curves provides a roadmap for that very worthy endeavor. – DY (2008: Delphi Press; ISBN 9780967331621

Logotypes and Letterforms

? 1993: Doyald Young

In this beautifully produced volume dedicated to the form and design of logotypes, Young examines the development of 169 logos by reproducing some 300 pencil sketches. The highlight of the book, however, is a chapter which analyses the internal geometric relationships of the italic alphabet, using Young’s own Home Run Script as the example. This information is absolutely unavailable elsewhere and could reasonably be regarded as the philosopher’s stone of font family development. (1993: Design Press; ISBN 083063956X)

Fonts and Logos

? 2000: Doyald Young

A tremendously valuable reference, this overview of type design categorizes 377 fonts, analysing the structure, appropriate use and potential for customization of each category. An additional detailed chapter lays out Young’s own design process step-by-step. (2000: Delphi Press; ISBN 0967331609)

Dangerous Curves: $139.95
Logotypes and Letterforms: $99.95
Fonts and Logos: $112.95

 _________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Tehran Calling (the Clash of Civilizations Reconsidered)

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Whether embraced as a valid political paradigm or derided as shallow, anachronistic reductionism, the “clash of civilizations” has received a great deal of attention over the past decade. Yet, despite obvious historical precedent, one aspect of the process has been consistently ignored: the potential for positive cultural exchange of the type that helped pull Europe out of the dark ages the last time these cultures clashed.

Ever hopeful, we look to several recently published English language books on Arabic and Persian graphic design and typography as evidence of the way in which popular commercial culture can pull an end-run on political or religious authority.

arabesqueiraniantypographyspacerarabicfordesigners

talkingaboutarabicurbanirantypographicmatchmaking

Arabesque: Graphic Design from the Arab World and Persia

? 2008: Ben Wittner, Sascha Thoma & Nicolas Bourquin

This is the most important book on a graphic design subject published in the past year. The work and the tradition from which it springs is astounding, as, in retrospect, was our complete ignorance of its existence. Maybe you already know all about the scene in Tehran (in which case you’ll almost certainly want this book) otherwise prepare to have any presumptions you may have about contemporary Arabic typography and design utterly obliterated. (2008: Die Gestalten Verlag; ISBN 9783899552065)

Iranian Typography: 50 Years of Calligraphy and Typography in Iranian Graphic Design

? 2007: Peter Thomas-Hill

Documenting an exhibition held at the Basel School of Design in 2007 and remounted last year at York University by Borzu Talaie and Behrouz Hariri (here is Behrouz’s article on modern Iranian typography for Ping Magazine), this catalogue focuses primarily on poster and logotype work produced, despite the title, in the past five years. The poster work is particularly interesting and recalls Max Bill or Müller Brockman on the one hand and the great Japanese poster designers of the 1980s, Tanaka, Matsunaga, Toda and Katsui on the other. More interesting than the similarities, however, are the profound differences. As Michael Renner, head of the School states in his introduction, there is clearly no need to fear the advent of a globalized monoculture in graphic design just yet. (2007: Nazar Research and Culture Institute; ISBN 9789646994584)

Arabic for Designers

? 2006: Mourad Boutros

A visual showcase of contemporary Arabic commercial graphics, selected by London-based pioneer Boutros. Along with some lovely successes the books offers several illuminating stories of major cultural mishaps by global corporations. (2006: Mark Batty Publishers; ISBN 0976224550)

Dot Font: Talking About Arabic

? 2009: Mourad Boutros

Arabic calligraphic traditions are intimately linked to the sacred text, consequently any discussion of how to adapt this tradition to the computer age inevitably invokes religious and nationalistic sentiment. In this follow-up to Arabic for Designers, Boutros offers a series of themed essays by a variety of expert contributors which examine the cultural, religious and aesthetic issues raised by digitized Arabic typography. (2009: Mark Batty Publisher; ISBN 9780979554667)

Urban Iran

? 2008: Salar Abdoh & Charlotte Noruzi

An odd and personal piece from novelist Salar Abdoh and Tehran-based photographer and designer Karan Reshad, this collection of photography, graffiti and essays taken from the contemporary Iranian cultural magazine Bidoun, provide unique insight into how young urban Iranians view themselves and their culture. (2008: Mark Batty Publications; ISBN 9780979966613)

Typographic Matchmaking: Building Cultural Bridges with Typeface Design

? 2007: Huda Smitshuijzen Abifares

One of the most ambitious (and controversial) projects in Arabic typography, the Khatt Foundation has paired Dutch and Arabic type designers with an eye to extending recently designed Latin typefaces through the addition of the Arabic Unicode character set. Each of the five collaborations is documented and the broader aesthetic, technical and political issues surrounding the creation of Arabic equivalents to Latin ones are discussed. Additionally the book comes with a cd-rom containing 10 Arabic font developed by the project, licensed for non-commercial use. (2007: BIS Publishers; ISBN 9789063691240)

Arabesque: Graphic Design from the Arab World and Persia: $89.95
Iranian Typography: 50 Years of Calligraphy and Typography in Iranian Graphic Design: $54.95
Arabic for Designers: $43.50
Dot Font: Talking About Arabic: $23.95 (not yet published)
Urban Iran: $32.95
Typographic Matchmaking: Building Cultural Bridges with Typeface Design: $49.95

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Tschichold (and let’s not get into a long, boring discussion about how his name is pronounced).

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

One of the most influential European typographers this century, Jan Tschichold (1902-74) also made a remarkable contribution to English typography when he redesigned the entire output of Penguin Books between 1947 and 1949. Here we present a trio of new books (and a couple of classics, one rarely seen) which go a long way toward remedying the surprising lack of English-language commentary on his life and work.

Active Literature: Jan Tschichold and New Typography

? 2007: Christopher Burke

An in-depth, illustrated study of Jan Tschichold’s modernist period by Hypen press regular, Burke, based on extensive archival research drawing on Tschichold’s published books, articles and personal correspondence. (2007: Hyphen Press; ISBN 0907259324)

Jan Tschichold: Posters of the Avantgarde

? 2006: Martijn F. Le Coultre & Alston W. Purvis

This is the first book-length examination of Tschichold’s poster designs, which are, perhaps the clearest expression the ideas presented in Die Neue Typographie. In addition to showcasing the seventy of his posters designs, the book also includes a selection from Tschichold’s own collection, with works by Hans Arp, El Lissitzky, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer and others. (2006: Birkhäuser; ISBN 9783764376048)

Jan Tschichold: Master Typographer: His Life, Work and Legac

? 2008: Cees W. de Jong

In this exhaustive and beautifully illustrated study de Jong attempts to place Tschichold’s work in the broader context of contemporary culture. Unique in its coverage of Tschichold’s entire career, various contributors discuss the designer’s major influences and innovations, including his seminal poster design, his work with Penguin Books, and his later partial repudiation of modernist typography in favour of classical traditions. (2008: Thames & Hudson; ISBN 9780500513989)

Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years

? 2006: Richard B. Doubleday

Though not at all well received, this is the only publication to fully document Tschichold’s years at Penguin and to examine the typographic conventions that he applied to mass produced books. Includes a bibliography and historical appendices including office memoranda. (2006: Oak Knoll; ISBN 1584561785)

The New Typography

? 1928: Jan Tschichold

Widely recognized as the definitive treatise on book and graphic design in the machine age, this long overdue English translation is published in a form that respects Tschichold’s original typography and design. (2006: California University Press; ISBN 0520250125)

Asymmetric Typography, 1st English Edition

? 1967: Jan Tschichold & Rauri McLean

The first (and only) English translation of Tschichold’s 1935 classic, the first of Tschichold’s works to be published in English translation. Designed by the author and typeset at Cooper & Beatty in Toronto. In his autobiography, True to Type, A Typographical Autobiography, translator and Tschichold’s collaborator at Penguin Books, Rauri McLean says of the project: “He asked me to translate his Typographische Gestaltung (Typographic Design) which had been published in Basle in 1935. It was a more measured and persuasive account of his views than his first and epoch-making Die neue Typographie of 1928. This proposed new translation was to be really a new edition: Jan wanted to omit some passages which he considered had been of interest only to Swiss and German readers, and he had also found several new and better illustrations. We called the new version Asymmetric Typography, and it was published, i.e. financed, not by a conventional publisher, but by a highly intelligent firm of typesetters in Toronto called Cooper & Beatty. The book was published in 1967, and we were eternally grateful to Cooper & Beatty. It was the first ever of Jan Tschichold’s books to be published in English, and the only one until the 1990s.” (1967: Cooper & Beatty / Reinhold Publishing Corporation)

Active Literature: Jan Tschichold and New Typography: $82.50
Jan Tschichold: Posters of the Avantgarde: $63.50
Jan Tschichold: Master Typographer: His Life, Work and Legacy $84.95
Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years: $52.95
The New Typography; $39.95
Asymmetric Typography (1st English Edition 1967 as new): $199.95

 _________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

New(ish) Annuals for 2009

Friday, February 6th, 2009

It’s a new year and time to get back to work (and by work we mean flip through the annuals slagging the work that won the awards you should have won).

One Show 30: Advertising’s Best Print, Design, Radio and TV

For those of you who missed last year’s One Show, the most prestigious North American industry annual has been divided into three separate books: Advertising, Design and Interactive. Given its reputation as the copywriter’s annual, it’s been interesting for us here to note that the Design volume does, in fact, sell at least as well as the Advertising section. This year the Club introduced a boxed set for those who refuse to be pigeonholed. (2009: Rockport; ISBN 9780929837369 Advertsing; ISBN 9780929837383 Design; ISBN 9780929837376 Interactive; ISBN 9780929837390 Boxed Set)

One Show 30 Advertising: $76.95
One Show 30 Design: $54.95
One Show 30 Interactive: $54.95
One Show 30 3 Volume Boxed Set: $164.95

Typography 29: The Annual of the Type Directors Club

Perhaps not the best year for what is otherwise the best annual published in North America. Still something of a “gotta’ have it anyway” situation for type aficionados. (2008: Harper Collins; ISBN 9780061582776)

87th New York Art Directors Annual

Considered by many in the industry to be one of the toughest to earn awards, this book presents the latest winners in both the national and international categories (comes with a DVD). (2009: RotoVision; ISBN 9782888930228)

Typography 29: $65.95
87th New York Art Directors Annual: $82.50

Graphis Design Annual 2009

We don’t have to do much explaining of Graphis. It’s one of the most respected and well-printed of the annuals. Categories represented include advertising, photography, brochures, and editorial. (2008: Graphis; ISBN 9781932026139)

Graphis Advertising Annual 2009

A premier showcase of 300 print ads from around the world, arranged into trade categories. (2009: Graphis; ISBN 9781932026528)

Graphis Advertising 2009: $83.95
Graphis Design Annual 2009: $83.95

Also recently published:

New York Festivals 16: $69.95
Epica Book Twenty One: Europe’s Best Advertising: $69.95
Directions 2008: $61.95
Communication Arts 2008 Advertising Annual: $29.95
Communication Arts 2008 Design Annual: $29.95
3×3 Illustration Annual 5: $21.95
Society Of Illustrators: $48.95

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.