This is a collection of 100 postcards, each featuring a different and iconic Penguin book jacket. From classics to crime, here are over seventy years of quintessentially British design in one box. In 1935 Allen Lane stood on a platform at Exeter railway station, looking for a good book for the journey to London. His disappointment at the poor range of paperbacks on offer led him to found Penguin Books. The quality paperback had arrived. Declaring that ‘good design is no more expensive than bad’, Lane was adamant that his Penguin paperbacks should cost no more than a packet of cigarettes, but that they should always look distinctive. Ever since then, from their original – now world-famous – look featuring three bold horizontal stripes, through many different stylish, inventive and iconic cover designs, Penguin’s paperback jackets have been a constantly evolving part of Britain’s culture. And whether they’re for classics, crime, reference or prize-winning novels, they still follow Allen Lane’s original design mantra. Sometimes, you definitely should judge a book by its cover.
Filed under: gift
In this beautiful, smaller format edition of the bestselling Big Fat Duck Cookbook, we hear the full story of the meteoric rise of Heston Blumenthal and The Fat Duck, birthplace of snail porridge and bacon-and-egg ice cream, and encounter the passion, perfection and weird science behind the man and the restaurant. Heston Blumenthal is widely acknowledged to be a genius, and The Fat Duck has twice been voted the Best Restaurant in the World by a peer group of top chefs. But he is entirely self-taught, and the story of his restaurant has broken every rule in the book. With an introduction by Harold McGee, incredible colour photographs throughout and illustrations by Dave McKean, The Fat Duck Cookbook is not only the nearest thing to an autobiography from the world’s most fascinating chef, but also a stunning, colourful and joyous work of art.
Calligraphy can be a very personal pathway to explore a multiplicity of design concepts. In this striking and original book, images of the natural world are turned into a rich source of inspiration for a variety of calligraphy projects. Renowned calligrapher Denise Lach invites us to look closely at details and textures, expanding our powers of observation and finding creative ideas in the world around us. Using a range of writing tools and techniques, she takes a playful approach to written script, encouraging readers to look beyond legibility and use letterforms as building blocks, freely interpreting natural motifs to create beautiful calligraphic images. This is an invaluable sourcebook for both enthusiastic beginners and experienced calligraphers who wish to let their imaginations run free.
Filed under: Design
Graphic designers who wish to work with print finishes like blind embossing and phosphorescent ink constantly face the same problem: there are no compelling examples of the available techniques. They must either turn to existing books, which only present them in photographs and make it impossible to experience their tactile qualities, or to samples in advertising brochures put out by individual printing presses, which are so focused on the technology that their visual and haptic appeal is lost. This is where Extra comes in: it uses sensuously experienced examples to present the most important finishing techniques practically and theoretically, in variants and experimental combinations. Thirty internationally renowned designers created pages especially for this book as a basis for explaining the special design and technical features of each technique, with an in-depth exploration of its possible uses.
Sixty Innovators: Shaping Our Creative Future
Thames & Hudson, $105
Artists, photographers, architects, fashion designers, product designers, street artists, graphic designers: all are helping to re-define our aesthetics, values and ideas about the future. Here, a group of international experts from twelve contemporary fields of creative practice – from fine art and photography to graphic design, architecture and ecology – have each selected five people who are making significant contributions to the way we experience everyday life and visual culture.
The resulting compendium contains hundreds of the most exciting projects and concepts being produced today.
For the millions who can’t get enough of this remarkable first family, here’s a book containing perforated press-out dolls of Barack and Michelle and over 30 mix-and-match coordinated outfits and accessories featuring the Obamas on vacation in Hawaii; golfing at Camp David; on election night; at the extraordinary inauguration and inaugural balls; travelling the world on foreign affairs trips; rolling up their sleeves for a day of service; plus much more!
Highly hilarious, sexy and sartorial splendour! For fans of the Obamas, paper doll obsessives and anyone with an acute sense of the absurd!!
Design: Alexander Rodchenko
Antique Collectors’ Club, $39.95
This new title in the Design series is an excellent introduction to the life and work of this versatile Russian artist. Alexander Mikhailovich Rodchenko (1891-1953) was a central figure in the Russian Constructivist art movement – a radical activist, a pioneer of photomontage, a theorist, and a teacher. He was an active force in the organisation of the first museums of modern art that arose in Russia in the first years after the Russian Revolution of 1917. This concise, comprehensive and informative work focuses largely on Rodchenko’s graphic work in the form of book jackets, posters and advertising.
Thames & Hudson, $75
As the late 20th-century fascination with rounded shapes, organic influences and plastics fades, interior designers are increasingly drawn to dark colours, polished woods, velvets, furs, leather, dark metals and brick materials with a nostalgic quality that were used liberally in centuries gone by. Efforts to shape a more authentic, less austere present by creating an idealised version of the past have begun to appear in commercial and residential design domestically and abroad. Dark Nostalgia presents 25 projects that exemplify the smooth incorporation of evocative historic details into current interiors. They all demonstrate the many successful ways this trend towards a dark nostalgia has been incorporated into recent designs.
I am Drinking Stars!
Gerhard Steidl, Ed.
I am Drinking Stars! tells the story of the world’s most luxurious champagne, tracing its circuitous history across four centuries, arranged in three chapters – one each for the seventeenth, eighteenth and twentieth centuries. Beautifully produced, in keeping with its subject, this page-turning luxury object unravels the myth of Dom Perignon champagne, beginning with its namesake – the pioneering Benedictine Monk Dom Pierre Perignon – who set out to create the best wine in the world. Offering glimpses of the champagne-infused hedonism of Louis XV’s court at Versailles, Marilyn Monroe’s glamorous affiliation with the beverage and Karl Lagerfeld’s recent advertising campaign for the brand, this volume incorporates a spectrum of artifacts, including texts, drawings, paintings, photographs and film stills from artists and writers such as Francois Boucher, Denis Diderot and Jonathan Swift.
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Editors of McSweeney’s
Chronicle Books, $45
Curated by the editors of McSweeney’s, this unconventional book explores the intersection of text, humor, and illustration in art by cartoonists, writers, musicians, and fine artists in a hilarious and liberating mixture of high, low, and sideways. The eye-opening selection features nearly 200 images by more than 50 artists, including Raymond Pettibon, David Shrigley, Kurt Vonnegut, Maira Kalman, Shel Silverstein, Leonard Cohen, Chris Johanson, Andy Warhol, David Mamet, Tucker Nichols, Banksy, and dozens of others. Rounding out this beautifully designed package are insightful interviews with many of the artists illuminating the shared and diverget approaches they take to making this smart, funny, and immediately engaging work.