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Now Read This: Louise Fili’s Grafica della Strada

grafica della strada

fili book sideLouise Fili has done it again. The designer of all things bello, including stunning packaging and branding for the likes of Jean-Georges, Tiffany & Co., and Sarabeth’s, turns her Italophilic eye to signage in the pages of Grafica della Strada: The Signs of Italy, new from Princeton Architectural Press. The chunky yet compact book is a photographic diary of sorts, revealing the most inventive restaurant, hotel, street, and advertising signs spotted by Fili over three decades’ worth of Italian travels. “These signs chart the highs and lows of Italian typography, from a classically elegant gold leaf script for a Turin jewelry store to a very spirited (and unreadable) type rendered in orange and blue dimensional plastic letters for a shop selling doormats in Rome,” notes Fili by way of introduzione. “From the sublime to the ridiculous, each and every one, in its unique way, is dear to me.”

Mediabistro Course

Book Promotion and Publicity Boot Camp

Book Promotion and Publicity Boot CampDevelop a plan for your book's success in our online boot camp, Book Promotion & Publicity! Starting November 3, publishing and publicity experts will teach you the best practices for a successful book launch using various promotional techniques. Register now!

Ayse Birsel Explains It All

birsel

Intriguing future book alert! According to the readerly repast that is Publishers Lunch, designer Ayse Birsel has inked a deal for Design the Life You Love, “a playful, creative, interactive book that teaches readers how to use Birsel’s own design process to think like a designer, and design the life they love.” The co-founder of Birsel + Seck, an expert at deconstruction at reconstruction, will publish the volume with Ten Speed Press.
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Wanted: Bookish Designer for Poised Promotions

cambridge.jpgWant to be the only designer on your block employed by a company founded by a 1534 royal charter? Well, here’s your ticket to legitimately name dropping Henry VIII at parties and more review copies than are prudent for an urban dweller. The New York City office of Cambridge University Press is searching for a senior designer to work his or her creative magic on promoting some of the around 1,200 new books it produces each year (and that’s not even counting its historic Bibles list!). The ideal candidate, who will will lead brainstorming, concept development, and design of integrated marketing campaigns for the English Language Teaching group, has advanced understanding of branding, typography, and grids/visual systems and is a pro on InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Learn more about and apply for this Marketing and Design Associate, Cambridge University Press job or view all the current mediabistro.com design/art/photo jobs.

At NYC’s French Embassy, New Bookstore Celebrates ‘La Joie des Livres’

Starbucks is a pauvre excuse for a reading room. Writer Nancy Lazarus visits a splendid new place to curl up with a good livre.

(Jess Nash)
(Photo: Jess Nash)

albertine exteriorThe replica of Michelangelo‘s Young Archer in the entry rotunda of the French Embassy in New York is about to attract a bookish new cohort of admirers: visitors to Albertine, a bookstore, reading room, and event space that opened Saturday in the Stanford White-designed Beaux Arts mansion. It’s located a few blocks south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the original Young Archer has resided (on loan through 2019), after it was moved from the embassy five years ago.

“The goal for Albertine was to open the space to the public and make French culture more accessible to Americans,” said Antonin Baudry, the French Embassy’s cultural counselor and creator of the project, during a recent interview. Visitors will mingle with authors and browse a selection of 14,000 contemporary and classic books from 30 French-speaking countries. Most are English translations, with some titles in French. “We also plan to host two events per week, so it will be a lively place,” he added.

“Albertine will be unique and not have an institutional look,” Baudry said. The space originally served as a grand private library, the same goal as for the redesign. “The spirit of the place was already here,” he noted. “We selected French designer Jacques Garcia since he can manipulate classical forms with contemporary ambience, to give the place its original charm and purpose.” Atelier Premiere, a Brooklyn-based firm of French craftsmen, painted and detailed both floors.
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Go West: Louise Sandhaus on Graphic Design, California Style

earthquakesTo understand the shape-shifting nature of the California design scene, look no further than earthquakes, mudslides, fires, and riots. These natural and manmade disasters endemic to the Left Coast provide the cataclysmic title of a forthcoming book by Louise Sandhaus. The designer and CalArts faculty member focuses on five decades—1936 to 1986—that span Alvin Lustig to Deborah Sussman, from Saul Bass‘s mod film titles to Atari video games, with pit stops at Disneyland propaganda posters, Alexander Girardiana, and early animated abstractions for Robert Abel and Richard Taylor‘s bubbly 7-Up ad of the 1970s.

CalArts students are picking up where the book—out November 30 from Metropolis Books—leaves off by identifying, researching, and documenting neglected designers in Sandhaus’s “Making History” course. Their findings will be compiled in a new website dedicated to California design history. “Earthquakes is a conversation starter,” says Sandhaus. “I want to inspire others to add to the history of California design. There’s a lot of ‘wow’ work and makers that are going to end up in the dustbin of history if documentation doesn’t happen.”
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Now Read This: Collector’s Edition

CE book

At a time when nearly everything is available in bits, bytes, and pixels, print lives on in inspired packaging. Stuart Tolley brings together the most innovative examples in Collector’s Edition, new from Thames and Hudson. The book spans the worlds of music, book publishing, and magazines to reveal extraordinary analog artifacts, from limited-edition box sets and deluxe editions made from specialist materials to handmade packaging and sculptural objects that incorporate digital technologies. Sprinkled among the inspiring work are interviews with the likes of Alec Soth, Dinos Chapman, and Stefan Sagmeister.

Quote of Note | Karl Lagerfeld on Large-Format Fashion Books

karl-sketch2“I must say, some are not very beautifully made. They’re coffee-table books for people who drink alcohol. I have nothing against coffee-table books as long as they are well done. They must not look like gravestones on a table. Sometimes they are too big, they come in boxes and things like this. No, a book has to be easy to open and you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to lift it. I like books I can read in bed. Those big tombstones would kill me.”

-Karl Lagerfeld in an interview with Miles Socha that appears in today’s issue of WWD. At his own bookshop, 7L, Lagerfeld gets 5% off retail prices. Notes the designer, “I am very much against the idea that you get it for free because it’s your bookshop.”

Quote of Note | Todd Hido

stieglitz“My photobooks are organized by genre, and they are definitely not alphabetized. They’re sequenced and clustered together based on my twenty-five-year knowledge of who taught who, and who preceded them. It’s almost a little family tree of lineage. I find it to be an interesting way of approaching the collection, because you can see patterns of influence and how they fan out into the world we adore….Believe it or not, I have a strange little hobby of leaving books out and open to certain pages, sometimes for years. One of my favorite books, which has remained opened on my table ever since the day I got it, is Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set. It’s an exhaustive examination, which I believe includes every single Stieglitz photograph that Georgia O’Keeffe inherited and ultimately donated to the National Gallery of Art. Also, I often create sequences and juxtapositions between various open books; I’ve made some unique connections and combinations that way.”

-Photographer Todd Hido, who has amassed a personal collection of more than 3,200 photography books, in an interview with Aaron Schuman in The PhotoBook Review

Quote of Note | Bruce Sterling

OMNI_CVRS.indd“Genuine science-fiction art performs a social function for a tight-knit, ninety-year-old community. It exists to enable its viewers to achieve and maintain their highly valued otherworldly state of let’s pretend. Sci-fi art is a form of realist genre painting, like aviation art, like natural-history painting. Its cousins are comics and game design and set design, disciplines that prefer certain conventions to be respected: Comics fans require the canon, gamers like to enter the game world and play, theatergoers need set design as the backdrop of performance. Art that is too heavily freighted breaks the suspension of disbelief and leaves the sci-fi fan with the awkward realization that Martians have better taste than he does. [Omni publisher Bob] Guccione‘s effort to class-up sci-fi art was like trying to break-dance in a Vegas tuxedo, but he never saw the solecism there. Although he had a few veteran sci-fi illustrators within his mag—Michael Whelan, Frank Fazetta, Tim White, and glitzy-robot maestro Hajime Sorayama—it’s clear that these accomplished sci-fi professionals caught Guccione’s roving eye almost by accident.”

-Bruce Sterling on The Mind’s Eye: The Art of Omni (powerHouse Books) in the September issue of Artforum

Quote of Note | Michael Bierut

thoughtsondesignPaul Rand admitted all his life that he was insecure as a writer. It was his passion for the subject that made him such an effective one. In his day job on Madison Avenue, he had learned the virtues of saying more with less. As a result, Thoughts on Design is almost as simple as a child’s storybook: short, clear sentences; vivid, playful illustrations. Ostensibly it is nothing more than a how-to book, illustrated with examples from the designer’s own portfolio. But in reality Thoughts on Design is a manifesto, a call to arms, and a ringing definition of what makes good design good. This, perhaps, has never been said better than in the book’s most quoted passage, the graceful free verse that begin’s Rand’s essay ‘The Beautiful and the Useful.’ Graphic design, he says, no matter what else it achieves, ‘is not good design if it is irrelevant.’”

-Designer extraordinaire Michael Bierut in the foreword to the new edition of Paul Rand‘s Thoughts on Design, back in print for the first time since the 1970s and published by Chronicle Books

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