What is a Designer by Norman Potter
It’s a super practical book that addresses process and fundamentals.
Art Workshop – The Munken Guide to Uncoated Paper
In-depth, practical, and beautiful guide to working with and understanding uncoated paper. Aspirational mastery of a material, still a way to go.
Bi-Scriptual: Typography and Graphic Design with Multiple Script Systems edited by Ben Wittner, Sascha Thoma & Timm Hartmann
Different languages and scripts have always existed side by side, and even more so in modern times due to globalization. Despite that Latin writing/script system has long dominated graphic design and our tools/software are mainly adapted to Latin. If we as designers are to be able to operate in a global world, we cannot adjust to this eurocentrism. We need to understand and be able to master the complexity of working with multiple writing systems.
Design as Art by Bruno Munari
Design as Art (and Munari’s work and holistic attitude towards design in general) was a formative book for how we think of and practice design. Munari thought that all ‘design’ should be beautiful, functional and accessible, and practiced this from a kind of rational but very humane modernist perspective. The book is both entertaining and enlightening. As design students it made us think. At the same time it’s so easy to read, it almost doesn’t feel like a book.
Medium Design: Knowing How to Work on the World by Keller Easterling
In my work with graphic design, I have been preoccupied with the things and non-things that Vilém Flusser describes as a digital age in which man is without hands, but not without fingers (Vilém Flusser, The Shape of Things, A Philosophy of Design, London 1999, pp. 85–89). In this speculative field of communication I have come across a wide range of inspiring thinkers, but to name one who also points to our time, I would like to recommend this book.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
The autobiographical protagonist of Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), named Phaedrus, is assigned to teach rhetoric to a class of undergraduates. Confused by the straightforward problem of how to activate a bunch of apparently lazy and uninterested students, his anger and puzzlement lead him instinctively to devise a “demonstrator” – a task performed in front of the class in which the method of teaching embodies what is being taught. Basically, he enacts his bald reconsideration of the question “how to teach?” in front of the students he is trying to teach.
In one particular passage, Phaedrus assigns his class a broad, straightforward task – to write an essay on an aspect of the United States – and becomes preoccupied with one particular girl who, despite a reputation for being serious and hardworking, is in a state of perpetual crisis through not being able to think of “anything to say.” He obliquely recognizes in her block something of his own paralysis in not being able to think of “anything to say” back to her by way of advice, and is baffled by his own eventual stroke of insight: “Narrow it down to one street.” This advice doesn’t work either, but after subsequently suggesting, “Narrow it down further to one building,” then out of sheer frustration “one brick,” something gives and the student produces a long, substantial essay about the front of the local opera house. From this unwitting experiment Phaedrus reasons that she was blocked by the expectation that she ought to be repeating something already stated elsewhere, and that she was freed by the comic extremity of his suggestion to write about a single brick – for which there was no obvious precedent, therefore no right or wrong way to go about it, and therefore no phantom standard to have to measure up to. By this curious yet perfectly logical method, the student was liberated to see for herself, and to act independently. He performs variations on the exercise with the rest of his class – ”Write about the back of your thumb for an hour” – which yield similar results, and lead him to conclude that this implied expectation of imitation is the real barrier to free engagement, active participation and actual learning.
A few similar scenes of fraught but instructive trial and error conclude with his arrival at “quality,” the cornerstone of the book’s subtitle, “an inquiry into values.” Through a series of simple exercises he first proves to the class that they independently recognize quality, because they routinely make basic quality judgements themselves. Then he assigns the question “What is quality?” and counters their angry response that he should be telling them, not the other way round, by simply admitting that he has no idea and genuinely hoped someone might come up with a good answer. A few days later, however, he does work out a kind of self-annulling definition to the effect that, because quality is essentially characterized by a non-thinking process, and because – conversely – definitions are the product of formal thinking, quality can not be defined. This leads him to respond to the eternal student question, “How do I make quality?” with “It doesn’t matter how as long as it is quality!” and to the response, “But how will I know it is?” with “Because you’ll just see it – you just proved to me you can make judgements.” In other words, the students were forced to form their own opinions based on their own inherent sense of quality – and “it was just exactly this he concludes, “that taught [them] to write.”
Parallel Encyclopedia #1 & #2 by Batia Suter
is a book about books, about ways of looking at books, references and found footage. For me it’s a prime example of an book as an archive, a book as a library. A hand crafted visual index and observations. In my current practise under the moniker Archival Consciousness, together with artist Mariana Lanari, it has been a reference and inspiration of how relationships between books can be visualised and explored. The work and installation version of the work has served as a blueprint for biblio-graph.org
an explorative tool for library and archive material.
Book Typography: A Designer’s Manual by Michael Mitchell & Susan Wightman
Typography can be a touchy subject. As students we would hear horror stories of authoritarian typography teachers at other design schools, both in Sweden and abroad, contemporary and in previous decades. We were fortunate not to have had experiences like these ourselves, for us it was rather the opposite since we had almost no instruction in typography at all. The few lectures we did have never went particularly in-depth and teachers would reiterate that we by no means had to follow the rules or techniques demonstrated. This was a bit confusing as we were only given a vague idea of what these supposed rigid rules and systems actually were.
But school won’t teach you everything and in the end this encouraged us to continue as autodidacts and keep on learning after graduation. We soon enough discovered that this would also be quite necessary if we were to complete client work in time. Having knowledge of the typographic tools and features of InDesign and some basic ideas of how to construct a page layout and typeset it turned out to be quite vital. We realized that having the technical confidence needed to develop and execute our ideas (or just get the job done) was more important than any rights and wrongs of typography.
All that to say, the book we’ve had most use of for our print work is Book Typography: A Designer's Manual by Michael Mitchell & Susan Wightman. A manual not particularly authoritative or aesthetically exciting, but quite exhaustive and always a great starting point when in doubt.
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist by Michael Bierut
This book is a treasure. Tibor Kalman was a graphic designer or should I say social activist who constantly sought to use his work to promote causes like environmentalism and economic equality and he also founded the legendary COLORS Magazine a magazine that focused on sociocultural issues like racism, AIDS and even sports. Kalman said that “an enormous amount of graphic design is made by people who look at pictures but don’t know how to think about them“. This book is a collection of his works and every page is a food for thought.
A Giacometti Portrait by James Lord
This book was given to me by my professor, Philip Burton, on my first day of graduate school. It's an easy read that you can accomplish in 1–2 sittings. In the book, James Lord sits for a portrait by Alberto Giacometti for eighteen days and shares his experience and insight into the artists’ process. The book – and the lesson – has lived with me ever since, I re-read it every few years as it’s always a wonderful reminder of how to live a creative life. It might not be exactly a “graphic design“ book, but – as I’ve found, the way for me to make my best graphic design work is to look beyond the field.
Ruder typography Ruder philosophy by Helmut Schmid
Ruders’ teaching has always been important because it places the personal attitude towards life at the centre of the design.Searching for clarity and trying to leave out unnecessary elements as work on oneself.
‘Computers and Design’ – a three-part essay by Muriel Cooper. in Design Quarterly No. 142, 1989
A prescient text. The past, present and future of design practice is asserted with remarkable clarity.→ Pdf
The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
This is best book I have ever read on creativity. It's so good I have only allowed myself to read one chapter per day. I read one chapter before going to my studio in the morning – and basically used his advise one-to-one throughout the day. I have been recommended or/and bought this book to so many people it must be a bestseller in Denmark by now.
Why Look at Animals? by John Berger
This publication isn’t a Graphic Design book or reference in the traditional sense, however we believe this collection of writings is an important and genuine read for any of us humans, in order to think about and pay more attention to our influence on the lives of other beings that we share the planet with, and vice versa.
Een Teken aan de Wand: Album van de Nederlandse Samenleving, 1963–1983
’Een Teken aan de Wand’ (which translates to ‘A Sign on the Wall’, referring to the proverbial ‘writing on the wall’) was published in 1983, in the aftermath of the largest anti-nuclear demonstration that ever took place in the Netherlands (which saw half a million people marching through Amsterdam, protesting against the atomic bomb – on November 21, 1981).
Compiled by graphic designers Marius van Leeuwen and Nel Punt (both mid-1970s graduates from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie), and including essays by renowned Dutch journalist H.J.A. (Henk) Hofland (1927–2016), the paperback features a huge collection of activist posters, pulled from different sources: feminist factions, anti-war organizations, anti-apartheid committees, the early squat subculture, ecological alliances, political parties, the Provo movement, anonymous art collectives, and many other groups and tendencies.
From the pages, a vibrant image of the Netherlands emerges: a country bristling with restless political energy, and artistic urgency – equal parts Pop-Art and Agit-Prop. A mythical country perhaps, one that certainly doesn’t exist anymore, which certainly triggers a pang of sadness – but still, browsing through the book, one cannot help but feel energized, even hopeful.
What’s particularly interesting is the fact that the book was published within the context of a large-scale promotional campaign. The publication was released as the ‘Book of the Month’ by the CPNB (‘Collective Propaganda of the Dutch Book’, the advertising arm of the publishing industry), which meant that copies of the book were widely distributed, and could be found everywhere – in schools, colleges, public libraries, etc. For many school kids, this book was their first encounter with Provos, squatters, and radical politics in general.
In fact, the book is still very easy to be found – at local second-hand-book markets, copies are ubiquitous, almost impossible to avoid. It’s a publication that will forever circulate in the Dutch collective consciousness, for decades to come – and rightly so.
Poetics of Relation by Édouard Glissant
As graphic design often deals with explorations and re/constructions of place, site-specificity, origin, authenticity, relationships and identity, Poetics of Relation is a must-read as it centers relationality and helps navigate landscapes of multiculturalism and promote complex identities. Born in Martinique, Glissant’s departure point is the Caribbean and the transatlantic slavery. For me personally and as a professional, Glissant has been useful to understand and articulate my positionality as a product of diaspora and Swedish postwar suburbs, and to explore practices accordingly. Not least: the language is absolutely beautiful, reading the book is like breathing fresh air.
The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan
Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage is probably the book I've read the most: I first read it fifteen years ago as a undergraduate, returned to it again a few years, yet again for an essay I was writing, and now I reread it every year when I assign to my students. I find it as dazzling today as I did as an undergraduate. McLuhan is controversial in media theory circles but this text, to me, is still very relevant to the work of the designer, arguing there is no difference between form and content; the medium is, in fact, the message.
The book makes the argument textually and visually; he and designer Quentin Fiore wanted it to simulate the feeling of flipping through television channels. My students reading it today, some fifty years later, get it. But to them, it feels like scrolling on social media. This is the genius of McLuhan, I think: regardless of the contemporary medium, the message endures.
Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation by Gérard Genette
Added by Fält
Genette’s book is an intricate study of what “enables a text to become a book.” It delves into the paratextual elements surrounding a literary or written work, but are not part of the core contents itself. Although rooted in literary theory, we feel that it has offered us very valuable concepts for understanding and structuring book designs. It is an immensely insightful and inspiring read for anyone in graphic design.
‘Hon – en katedral/historia’, catalogue for Niki de Saint Phalle’s exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1966
Added by Fält
In design school we were really into the more pragmatic design history. This catalogue proved transformative, showing how diverse content and materials could shape the design itself. For us this was very inspiring in that the understanding of context and discourses took precedence over aesthetics. The catalogue skillfully weaves together documentation of the art works, diary notes, academic and personal texts, and newspaper clippings about the exhibition.
The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
Essential reading and reference work for the graphic designer. A comprehensive and comprehensible book about the necessities of typography, flavored with Bringhurst’s curious personal touch.
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
McCloud dissects comics and explores insights about the purposes and effects of the medium. Decode the language of comics and find yourself inside. An informative and entertaining read for anyone involved in imagery.
Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It by Mike Montero
It is a great book to examine design contributions from a critical lens that problematizes design education and the “misunderstood creative (male) genius” figure it continuously reproduces.
Orientalism by Edward Said
While Said’s seminal work is a classic in many disciplines, I believe it made the biggest impact on my career in design praxis and education. This work entangles the colonial with the representational in ways that design (and designers) could definitely benefit from.
Does Writing Have a Future? by Vilém Flusser
His theories in regard to reading, deciphering and decoding the written word as well as images are inspiring and provide a unique perspective on our systems of communication, often taken for granted.
News from Nowhere by William Morris
Added by HATO
In the book Morris accounts a fictitious version of East London, in fact thinking back on the book, it is set around the first time I read it, around 2010. It portrays a version of London where society isn’t run by capitalism, items can be purchased through positive social interaction versus currency. Some of these utopian ideals put forward in the story have in turn set out an array of the foundation for HATO, stretching across strategies for brands through to our publishing house and concept store.
’I’m Only a Designer’: The Double Life of Ernst Bettler
by Christopher Wilson. Published in Dot Dot Dot #2
Added by Valerio Di Lucente / Studio Julia
An ode to graphic design’s power to turn fiction into perceived truth.
Awkward Gestures: Designing with free software
by Femke Snelting
Awkward Gestures: Designing with free software
by Femke Snelting is a text that I’ve returned to over and over again since I first read it at least 15 years ago. One of the first voices I encountered that questioned the monopoly of Adobe and the constraints of design software on the work of graphic designers, it’s been foundational to my work and teaching ever since.→ Text
Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word by Walter Ong
Orality and Literacy by Walter Ong tells the thrilling history of how the inventions of first writing, then printing have affected human consciousness, and life! If you’re curious about what people mean when they talk about the power of typography this is very juicy reading (dressed up in quite academic lingo).
Glossary of Undisciplined Design edited by Rebecca Stephany and Anja Kaiser
Glossary of Undisciplined Design collects disobedient (feminist, liberatory, exploratory) graphic design strategies on 312 equally disobediently designed pages. It’s a radically playful reminder that graphic design practice is always political.
On Book Design by Derek Birdsall
On Book Design reads a little like a manual with didactic parts, but quite quickly one realises this is an autobiography told through a career of making and producing books, and that’s another type of lesson The books Birdsall refers to are worth finding too for their instructional qualities. Richard Hamilton’s Introspective (Artist), Phillip Spectre (Contributor) published by Walter König 2019 is inspiring and instructional too in lots of similar ways, from the artists’ curiosity, generosity, energy, to his approach to making the book itself.
Remake Re-model by Michael Bracewell
A kind of history of British Art Schools told through Roxy Music and Hamilton’s time teaching in the design department at Nottingham.
Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks
It’s a brilliant reflection on teaching and learning as transformative things and the importance of embodied knowledge, discussion and engagement in whatever we do.
‘The Professional Amateur’ by Shumon Basar, in Did Someone Say Participate? by Markus Miessen and Shumon Basar
To be an amateur is to be a lover. This short text reminds me that enthusiasm, engagement and curiosity lie at the centre of what I do.
My interest in graphic design is connected to its inherent collaborative approach, its ‘open endedness’ and the multitude of roles it includes when working with collaborators from a wide variety of contexts. In my practice I often use my professional naivety as a strength. Choosing to remain amateurish, ensuring that the direction of a project is unexpected, including an element of risk. For me this means allowing creative ideas to emerge through the process of collaborative discourse, as well as for losing track of my professional identity.
In The Professional Amateur
Shumon Basar reflects on different approaches to professionalism and how being a ‘Professional amateur’ can help discover tactics of creative freedom and help break the limitations of suggested professional trajectories. How acting from the position of the nonprofessional can in fact lead to important creative processes and knowledge production. Making “getting lost a way of living”.→ Pdf
Grid systems in graphic design: A visual communication manual for graphic designers, typographers and three dimensional designers by Joseph Müller-Brockmann
During my studies I did an internship at a design studio in Berlin, and I still remember vividly that in my feedback it said that I wasn't used to working with grids. Which was entirely true given I was studying illustration. This book in all its dryness and directness really helped me get my head around grids and to appreciate what a well thought-out system allows for.
Typography: A Manual of Design by Emil Ruder
“Letters, words and groups of text form perfectly legible elements in space but are at the same time figures moving on the paper scene; designing in type – typography – might almost be said to be akin to staging a play.” says Adrian Frutiger in the preface to this book. Ruder's work was pioneering then, and is still relevant today. His work strikes a perfect balance of being understated and playful at the same time, reminding me that there is no need to overcomplicate things if you consider every detail.
The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher
This brick of a book is “a primer in visual intelligence, an exploration of the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain and the imagination.” I've had it for a long time, and I will probably never consider myself having finished it. Every time I pick it up I sense the joy and curiosity that went into making it. It's a magical, beautiful and entertaining read.
Nasri Khattar: A Modernist Typotect by Yara Khoury Nammour
This book documents the lifework and career of a Lebanese-American architect turned type designer who attempted to reform and simplify the Arabic script.
The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression & Reflection edited by Anne H. Berry), Kareem Collie, Penina Acayo Laker, Lesley-Ann Noel, Jennifer Rittner & Kelly Walters
This book is a series of inspiring essays that showcase the multiplicity of the Black design voices and their contribution to the graphic design canon, from theoretical analysis to professional practices
Typography: A Very Short Introduction by Paul Luna
A book that actually explains what typography is – history, theory etc. It’s short and it’s a great price – usually around £5. It makes you think and imagine (rather than just copy examples) and is not full of pretentious words that most people don’t understand.
Die schönsten Schweizer Bücher 2006
This book is the best tool we ever had as graphic designers. We still use it today. It’s printed on the original papers of all the awarded books of 2006 and it gathers all type of technical and conceptual information. A brilliant project designed and conceived by Laurent Benner and Jonathan Hares.
Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary by Naoto Fukasawa & Jasper Morrison
A few words (taken from the back of the book – summarizing why I think it’s important):
“Why do so many designs fail to pass the everyday test? Why is Normal disappearing, and when it’s gone how do we replace it? Is beauty just a question of looks, or could there be more to it than meets the eye? What makes a good object, and how come some objects get better with time?”
‘Unser Buch (U.d.S.S.R.)’ by El Lissitzky
El Lissitzky’s text ”Our Book” (Unser Buch) is a groundbreaking piece of work that revolutionized the way we perceive books and their role in society. Published in 1927 during the Constructivist movement, this text showcases Lissitzky’s visionary ideas and his commitment to the principles of art/design as a means of social and political change. In 2014 Our Polite Society and Paul Gangloff initiated the project ”Our Form of Book“, an experimental publishing venture based on Lissitzky’s text “Our Book”. Overall, our commitment to revisiting Lissitzky’s text and reflecting on the contemporary situation through his words provides a meaningful and enduring connection between historical artistic movements and the present. It embodies the timeless nature of Lissitzky’s ideas and their ability to inspire continued creativity, innovation, and critical thinking.
Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott
Seeing Like A State is perhaps the best book about design which isn’t actually about design. Scott is an impressive thinker who brings his anthropologist critical view to the modern state. He vividly illustrates how centuries of standardizing, branding, measuring and mapping could have such devastating effects.
Børnenes Billedbog by Jesper Høm & Sven Grønlykke
This is a book that has been with us for a long time. Always a reference. Not so much for what is written in it – there are no texts – but more for the book itself and how it is done. It is a “Picture Dictionary” for children. Simple, black and white, cheap, accessible to all. An unpretentious version of Albert Renger-Patzsch’ Die Welt ist Schön. You can use it in many ways: to look and learn, for discussion, to colorize, to sketch, or as a playground for imagination. With no text, it invites everyone to craft unique tales from its images, leading to ever-changing stories. Originally a product of the 1970s Danish “Free Education”. A playful catalogue of the material things of the world. “One of photography’s prime functions is to make an inventory of the things in this world” (The Photobook: A History vol. II, Parr & Badger, pp. 325).
A Rexamination of Some Aspects of the Design Arts from the Perspective of a Woman Designer by Sheila de Bretteville
Sheila was my teacher at Yale University graduate program in graphic design from 1997–1999. I continued to learn from her over the next 20+ years by attending reviews in the department and occasionally teaching a class or visiting otherwise. In reviews, Sheila was precise, but she also consistently looked towards the particular position of the student who was being reviewed. The way she approached critique modeled an approach I have adopted in the intervening years. I choose this text for one specific thought which remains resonant 50 years later:
Designers must work in two ways. We must create visual and physical designs which project social forms but simultaneously we must create the social forms which will demand new visual and physical manifestations.→ Pdf
Ways of Seeing by John Berger
John Berger was a speaker on the English channel BBC. He had the great ability to make things clear. In this book he explains the relation to images in a Walter Benjamin approach. The text is great, but the way this book is designed includes the images as components of the discourse, making it even better. Somehow, this book helped us to deal with pictures in our daily work by demystifying it.
Design Struggles: Intersecting Histories, Pedagogies, and Perspectives edited by Claudia Mareis and Nina Paim
It presents a diverse range of perspectives, histories and ways of looking at, making and thinking about design in a more inclusive way. Along with the writings, the references and source materials provide a fantastic grounding and starting point for designers to expand the field.→ Pdf
Designing Programmes by Karl Gerstner
I found this book as a student at the Academy of Fine Arts of Ljubljana, Slovenia where I first studied graphic design. At the time the undergrad program has been characterised by a pictorial, ideas-focused approach to graphic design, more as a support practice to advertising and branding. When we worked on student assignments like designing a logo of a pictogram the emphasis was always on the idea, and then some clever graphic execution, like ’look it’s a crocodile, but it has a handle so it’s also a purse’ or something like that (exaggerating) and I really felt uneasy in that world. I really didn’t have many ideas myself, at least not those kind of ideas… so one day at the library I picked up this really boring looking book and I still so clearly remember that spread with examples of the Boîte à musique case-study. It’s not that my mind was blown it was more like ’oooooh, yeah, I think like that as well, this makes so much sense, why didn’t anyone tell me that graphic design can be this as well’. It was almost like when you discover a band that you really like and that then opens up the gates to an entirely new realm of music that you didn’t even know existed before.
Recollected Work: Mevis & Van Deursen
I was already well familiar with the work of Mevis & Van Deursen by this point but it was really the framing essay, written by Paul Elliman that was part based on the actual interview with Armand and Linda and part fiction that is what made this book for me. I was a young graphic designer when the book was released, really struggling with confidence, finding my own way of doing and making things, struggling with clients and making all these mistakes and getting constantly rejected or misunderstood… I was stupid enough to also just embark on a freelancing journey without ever actually working in a proper design studio and the essay in this book was basically just really comforting – here were two designers that a valued so highly and respected immensely that had an incredible ouvre… but in this essay they are so candid about the struggles, the rejections, the mistakes, the dead-ends and everything that comes with a real-life practice and it just felt so different and refreshing compared to the flattering and oblique essays usually found in graphic design monographs.
‘Uses of Failure’ in Unjustified Texts by Robin Kinross
Only later on I think I discovered an early text by Robin Kinross that I think was published in an early issue of Dot Dot Dot that I think must have been Elliman’s blueprint for the Mevis & van Deursen piece. It's called ’The uses of failure’ and I’m pretty sure it’s also reprinted in Robin Kinross: Unjustified Texts. This was just incredibly refreshing again, it made me be able to relate to designers a humans and the process of designing as inherently human (and not in the daft human centered way that is just corporate speak for ’do whatever the marketing department told you to do’). It’s such an important text for me!
Sandfuture by Justin Beal
I guess still on the same topic, of the human history and practice of design, this new book by Justin Beal detailing on the life of Minoru Yamasaki, the architect of the World Trade Center as well as the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex (both dramatically and publicly demolished) is probably one of the best books on design and design history that I ever read and reads much more like a good Netflix documentary. It’s incredibly sophisticated in it’s argument but also a real writing achievement that keeps you glued to the pages!
Autoprogettazione by Enzo Mari
This book is obviously a great manual on how to assemble beautiful and functional furniture with your own hands. It is also a practical example of how we think design can (should?) operate – educational, democratic and inclusive.
New Perspectives: Critical Histories of Graphic Design edited by Andrew Satake Blauvelt
In 1994/1995, Andrew Satake Blauvelt guest-edited three issues of Visible Language Journal
(28:3, 28:4, 29:1) dedicated to “critical histories of graphic design.” Parts 1 (“Critiques”), 2 (“Practices”), and 3 (“Interpretations”) bring together various perspectives by the likes of Steve Baker, Jan van Toorn, Martha Scotford, and several others. Many contributions still hold up today, almost three decades later.
→ Pdf 1
→ Pdf 2
→ Pdf 3
Erhaltung und Pflege von Kunstwerken by Hermann Kühn
Since I work experimentally, material and its preservation are important to me. I think every designer or graphic designer should know about material.
‘On Exactitude of Science’, in A Universal History of Infamy by Jorge Luis Borges
I find this single-paragraph short story by Borges invigorating in many ways and useful to think about graphic design as translation or otherwise transformative, as well as about resolution, scale, materiality, displacement of reality, and so on.
Typographica, issues 1–32, edited by Herbert Spencer
We’re big fans of the work of Herbert Spencer, and the amazing roster of writers and practitioners that are featured within Typographica. They are a continual source of inspiration that never seems to age.