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Notes on Book Design

Notes on Book Design

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Peter Saville’s works were more focused on fashion, arts, music and graphic designs. He started working at Factory Records in the later parts of 1970s.

Even today, were you to ask people to picture a Penguin book, many would describe the cover as two horizontal coloured bands of orange, or green, and the title and author’s name printed in the white centre panel. In other words the typographic Penguin cover design of 1935: the work of Edward Young. And yet it is more than half a century since Penguin dropped that simple, powerful brand in favour of illustration and full colour covers.This echoes precisely the dilemma that Penguin found difficult to resolve for a considerable period. Jan Tschichold had first proposed a revised grid to accommodate illustration in the late 1940s. But it took a full twelve years for Penguin to embrace the inevitable and abandon the brand identity that instantly identified the imprint, and with it some of the implicit trust that had built up through war and peacetime.Pegasus allowed Harri Peccinotti (also known for his Pirelli calendar shoots and Nova magazine) to show the sheer range of his photography, with striking visual essays about crafts in Malaysia, performing arts in Indonesia, family businesses, home-made bicycles, Parisian street performers and Japanese puppets. In the same year, now 1957, Derek was offered a job at an advertising agency Crawfords, designing typography for them. Pictured looking as pleased as Punch – and every bit the young Wally Olins – after getting my first job in design. Well, actually my first job published. Now sitting alongside me on my bookcase, a copy of ‘Coloured Paper Craft for Schools’, my prize for entering the Samuel Jones & Co. Gummed Paper Craft Competition 1962 at the impressionable age of 7. The free work with paper, with ink, with found elements informs a distinction of Martens’ typography. This is its quiet sensuality – that more powerful sensuality which the Protestant imagination allows itself – achieved without indulgence and within the terms of mass production for everyday use. In both areas of his work, the drive for economy in materials and processes is notable. Thus the reuse of old Stedelijk Museum cataloguing sheets in recent prints. Thus the comfortable format of Oase (24 X 17 cm), chosen because it uses a 50 X 70 cm without wastage. Eileen Gray struggled to be known as one of the most recognized and important architects in the field of furniture designs in the 20th century, and probably in many years to come. Her designs reflect Art Deco and modernism in general.

And more recently, in 2000, now with an outstanding reputation, he put his skills to redesigning the Church of England's prayer book, Common Worship. At just 15 he followed the advice and took an Intermediate Examination (the equivalent of today's Foundation qualification for an undergraduate degree) in Lettering at The Wakefield College of Art. He always impressed on me how you should also enjoy your life and family, and not work all the time. I do enjoy my life, but I have failed on the not-working-all-the-time part! I was not taught book design," Derek Birdsall states in the preface to his entertaining and idiosyncratic Notes on Book Design; "this book plots a learning curve of my experience and purpose--which is quite simply the decent setting of type and the intelligent layout of text and pictures based on a rigorous study of content." Funded by Mobil, Pegasus was aimed at the oil giant’s senior managers and an international élite of politicians, public intellectuals and captains of industry. At the very least, Mobil was hoping to create a positive association. Birdsall says that the magazine was mailed to ‘the prime minister of each country and the minister in charge of oil and gas!’ He recalls getting approving letters from high-profile readers, including movie star Anthony Quinn. Birdsall says: ‘It was designed to be exclusive. And for the top brass within the company. It was a very elegant bribe.’Derek Birdsall has been a graphic designer since 1934. His passion for art and design rooted from his grandfather and a fountain-pen fetishist. He is also passionate about papers and several writing instruments. Any discussion of decent treatment of text and Dutch typography should start with a salute to the matchless and apparently endless stream of book typographers who work for publishing houses. Among the older generation are Wim Mol, Harry Sierman, Alje Olthof, Karel Treebus, Joost van de Woestijne. Then there are a few typographers now in middle age who have worked across the range of tasks, starting out as grid-obeying Modernists and maturing into a typography that respects and uses traditional values, but which explores and risks, while adhering to the meaning of texts and images. Among the first names that come to mind are Kees Nieuwenhuijzen, Walter Nikkels and Karel Martens. Within the Netherlands, these designers have some reputation; outside they are more or less unknown. Martens might be cited as an exemplary instance of someone whose work is rooted, not interested in fashion – and fresh. Derek and I developed a story slate … but an ad hoc editorial board challenged every one of our ideas. Fortunately, I was well prepared. I described each proposed article and how it fitted structurally.’ The issue includes interviews with Marshall McLuhan, Studs Terkel and Marcel Marceau, but Vitiello says that what really ‘sold it’ to Mobil was their ideas for communication at a daily level, with resonant articles about British pubs, French cafés, Japanese baths and Italian passeggiate.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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