Category Archives: Book Design

The F-Word, Manifested

In a period of angry frustration at his native Newfoundland – “… what cripples the vast majority of our culture and society here is the fact that we dont quite know what to be angry about. We never know where to throw the punch.” – and inspired by a
t-shirt f-ing the many icons of New York City, writer and performer Joel Thomas Hynes sat down to write his own.

The rest, as they say, is history: “… I got a little carried away. Suddenly I was writing a quilt. Maybe a sail for a boat. Maybe a manifesto.” His reworked piece wound up on stage, at a 2006 fundraiser for the Resource Centre for the Arts in St John’s. Recorded (but not broadcast) by the CBC – “And f*** the CBC for not having the nuts to put this on the radio,” reads the final line in the revised work – God Help Thee: A Manifesto first appeared in print, with an accompanying postscript, in the Fall 2008 issue of Riddle Fence, and later in Maisonneuve Magazine. Very little escapes Hynes’ expletive-laced wrath, which reads both as backlash against the idyllic quaintness of Newfoundland tourism campaigns, and ode to a place both home and heart.

In June 2011, Running the Goat Books and Broadsides published the manifesto in chapbook form in a limited edition of 375, which promptly sold out: hand typeset (an entertaining challenge, given the unprecedented number of “F”s and “k”s), letterpress printed, hand tinted and hand sewn.

Featuring impeccable wood engravings by Abigail Rorer, this perfectly packaged diatribe is now in its second printing and is available at Swipe for just $29.95 – plenty of f*** for your buck. (2011; 2nd printing 2012: Running the Goat Books and Broadsides; ISBN 9780986611322)

Word on the street is that the book’s profanity-decorated watermark-effect pages will soon be available in notebook form… We’ll keep you posted.

Oh, and if you like your swearing live, you can download an audio version of God Help Thee from the Rattling Books website.

The Typographic Grid: Essential Framework or Elegant Prison?

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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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.

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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

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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*

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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

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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

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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)*

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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*

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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.

No Nation is an Island (Even if It's an Island)

The aesthetic congruity between Japanese and Scandinavian design is self-evident. Both traditions hold a similar attitude toward nature and natural form, both tend to minimalism and share a reverence for craftsmanship. In the field of architecture there was a reciprocal influence between the cultures throughout the Twentieth Century, with Alvar Aalto, who is essentially revered by modern Japanese architects, being particularly vocal in his appreciation of traditional Japanese architecture and design. In graphic and pattern design, the Japaneque is very much a part of the design vocabulary of Marimekko, while contemporary Japanese designer Yurio Seki has collaborated with Swedish craft maven Lotta Jansdotter and is responsible for the design of the first monograph on the work of renowned graphic designer Olle Eksell to be published outside of his native Sweden.

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Yurio Seki: Japanese Graphic Designer
? 2008: Yurio Seki

This is the first comprehensive monograph on the work of Yurio Seki and her brand Salvia. Seki is one of the most popular graphics designers in Japan with an instantly recognizable style and palette. Along with a complete presentation of the Salvia pattern and product designs, this book features an extensive selection of her book designs and other print work. Unfortunately, as this is a specially imported domestic publication from Pie Books, all text is in Japanese. (2008: PIE Books; ISBN 9784894446496)

$49.95

Olle Eksell: Swedish Graphic Designer
? 2007: Olle Eksell

Olle Eksell (1918-2007) was a pioneering figure in Swedish graphic design.Typical of the industry in Sweden, Eksell maintained a diverse practice, working in illustration, corporate identity and editorial design, fabric and textile design, and as a design educator and writer. However, it was his advocacy of the modern conception of graphic design and his 1964 textbook Design-Economy that were most influential in the development of the industry in Sweden. His work is uniformly subtle, beautiful and gentle. Another domestic publication from Pie Books with the majority of its text in Japanese. (2007: PIE Books; ISBN 9784894445475)

$44.95

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Alvar Aalto: Through the Eyes of Shigeru Ban
? 2007: Shigeru Ban, Juhani Pallasmaa & Tomoko Sato

Based on a 2007 exhibition by the same name held at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, this beautifully produced catalogue examines the development of Aalto’s architectural style, reproducing models, drawings, photographs and artifacts from 14 of his key projects. Curated by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who, despite the generational and geographical divide, is perhaps the most most legitimate heir to Aalto’s architectural vision. (2007: Black Dog Publishing; ISBN 9781904772644)

$54.00

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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.