Blog: Books

Dutch Book Week Posters

These beautiful vintage posters advertising Book Week (1955 - 1971) and lots, lots more form the Dutch design resource ADVIZ, "a new bilingual (NED / EN) interactive platform for the graphic design industry, the advertising industry and for anyone interested in visual communication".

The two-part website was launched in 2011 to; A. bring together design reference from the collections of the Dutch Archive Graphic Designers (Nederlands Archief Grafisch Ontwerpers - NAGO), the Advertising Arsenal (ReclameArsenaal - RA) and the Poster Museum (Affichemuseum) in Hoorn, and B. to offer a platform for the public to upload their own design collections or portfolios, share design related links and interact with other users.

It's definitely worth a look around, there are some really great vintage posters on there.

Via @presentcorrect

Wed 21 Aug 2013

Posted under: Advertising , Design , Books , Posters

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Dover Books

When the Dover Book shop closed it's doors last year we worried that was the end of a great resource, but it's back (well in virtual form anyway).

Their website is now up and running, taking orders of their fabulous copyright free books and cds 24hrs a day. How have we managed without them?!

Wed 17 Jul 2013

Posted under: Things to buy , Books

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World Book Day

Today is World Book Day so I thought I'd share with you my all time favourite book, Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals.

First published in 1956, it follows the life of a young Durrell when he & his family moved to Corfu (1934 - 39) - something he describes as, "like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas".

Packed with anecdotes of his eccentric family, his pets, the wildlife on the island and the characters he encounters along the way, it starts with a wonderful quote:

"There is a pleasure sure
In being mad, which none but madmen know."
DRYDEN, The Spanish Friar, II, i

Thu 07 Mar 2013

Posted under: Funny , Books

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Bembo's Zoo


I just saw this lovely little ABC book over on Brain Pickings. It was designed by Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich and published in 2000 so it's been around a while but it's typographic illustrations have definitely stood the test of time. 

Roberto wanted an ABC book he could use to teach his daughter both English and Portugese so it needed animal names that started with the same letter in each language. After an unsuccessful search he created his own version, Bembo's Zoo using the typeface Bembo as a basis for all the typographic illustrations...


You can see more of Roberto's beautiful typography here.

All images and illustrations copyright of Roberti de Vicq de Cumptich

Girlynomics now on Kindle

Girlynomics: The Downturn Alley Edition by Kate Battrick (Make Do Style) is now available on Kindle for a bargain price of £1.02.

"Harness the power of Girlynomics to set your budget, balance your personal income and live within your means. In these hard times this book is the perfect answer to help you live your life without having to keep left over bits of lemon in the freezer! Girlynomics will give you new insight in how to make your student loan, weekly wage or salary last for year, month or week".




We're biased as we did the cover & chapter titles (above) for Kate, but it's a great book, a real wealth of information, resources and ideas to help make a girl's finances stretch that bit further. The perfect read for those cold, dark February evenings!

Mon 04 Feb 2013

Posted under: Delicious work , Things to buy , Books

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Help Save The Dover Bookshop


The Dover Bookshop needs our help! Every designer I know has used a Dover book at some point and their amazingly resourceful books grace the shelves of many a swanky design studio, yet they're in trouble and need the support of the design community to keep going.

For those who aren't familiar with The Dover Bookshop, shame on you! Long before you could drag reference images off the internet, The Dover Bookshop was a wealth of copyright and permission-free imagery and a huge source of inspiration.

They've been selling their range of pictorial archive books in Covent Garden for 25 years, but are struggling to survive the recession. Please buy even just one book from here to help keep this wonderful institution around for another 25 years!

Image copyright The Dover Bookshop.

Graphis Annual 73/74










How great is it when you find a fantastic book at a super price and in a totally unexpected place? Well, this weekend I was fortunate enough to discover a copy of Walter Herdeg's, Graphis Annual 73/74.

It's crammed full of wonderful design, typography and advertising including some from Milton Glaser and Herb Lubalin - above are only a very small selection of my favourites.

If you want a copy yourself, there are some available on Amazon.

Graphis Annual 73/74
Walter Herdeg, The Graphis Press, Zurich.

Mon 16 Apr 2012

Posted under: Design , Typography , Books

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Henri's walk to Paris by Saul Bass & Leonore Klein

I've had this image as inspiration for a few years now and I have no idea were it came from nor did I have any idea what is was. I just liked the bold graphics and quirky type.

Well, how could I not have recognised the work of Saul Bass (don't worry I am truly ashamed!). It turns out that this is a pic of the cover of an original copy of the only children's book he ever designed - 'Henri's walk to Paris'. A book that he designed with Leonore Klein in 1962 and that has been out of print for many years until now.

"Henri’s Walk to Paris is the story of a young boy who lives in Reboul, France, who dreams of going to Paris. One day, after reading a book about Paris, he decides to pack a lunch and head for the city."




As of last week this gorgeous little book is back on the shelves and available here.

Via Brain Pickings.
Images (apart from the top one) from Brain Pickings.

Thu 23 Feb 2012

Posted under: Design , Illustration , Books

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American Sampler - The Art of Corita Kent

American Sampler - The Art of Corita Kent is boxed 40 page booklet (14.8 x 21cm) and 6 limited edition prints (50 x 70cm) showcasing the beautifully bold and bright work of Corita Kent (formerly Sister Mary Corita Kent) that we posted about here.

This is the second large-scale publication from 50by70 created by designer Tim Fishlock to celebrate the work of wonderful artists and designers. It's only an edition of 350, so if you want one you better by sharpish!

Images copyright 50by70.
Via CR Blog.

Rob Ryan at Castor + Pollux

Rob Ryan launched his lovely new book, 'A sky full of kindness' with an exhibition at Castor + Pollux last week. Once again I missed the preview but I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

"A Sky Full of Kindness’ which has been written and illustrated by Rob using his intricate and beautiful paper cuts, telling the story of two birds who are preparing for their egg to hatch."

The exhibition runs until the 5 December. It's a collection of new prints and hand-cut illustrations from the book, along with a selection of cards, laser cuts, plates, bunting, books and mugs always available at Castor + Pollux. Great for some early Christmas shopping!

Don't worry if you can't get down to Brighton though, there's a great selection of his work available from their online store.

Mon 07 Nov 2011

Posted under: Prints , Illustration , Books , Posters

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Own Label: Sainsbury's Design Studio




We're really looking forward to the launch of Fuel's new book, Own Label: Sainsbury's Design Studio. Due for release in October, it looks in detail at Sainsbury's 'own label' packaging created between 1962 and 1977 by it's in-house design team headed by Peter Dixon.

This era of Sainsbury's packaging has always been a good source of inspiration for designers - it's modernist style, simple graphics and bright colours are a winning combination. "Their striking modernity pushed the boundaries, reflecting a period full of optimism. They also helped build Sainsbury’s into a brand giant, the first real ‘super’ market of the time. This book examines and celebrates this paradigm shift that redefined packaging design, and led to the creation of some of the most original packaging ever seen."

Images copyright Fuel Design & Publishing.
Via CR Blog.

Wed 31 Aug 2011

Posted under: Inspiration , Books , Packaging

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From the reference box # 115

#115 - First Book of German, published in 1966 by the 'Société Internationale des Écoles Berlitz' (International Society of Berlitz Schools), Paris.

It's not very often you see a beautifully designed text book cover, so this language book with it's subdued colour palate and bold, geometric shapes really jumped out at me.

I love the contrast between the simple cover design and the detailed Berlitz schools logo - you never know, it might even help to improve my German!

Dig deep in the reference box for more delicious design and ephemera!

Mon 22 Aug 2011

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Books

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Smells I Like by Gordon Stowell














I picked up this gorgeous children's book at the weekend - Smells I Like by Gordon Stowell. The illustrations are fantastic. I think they're paper and line drawing collages which gives them their bold, brightness and wonderful simplicity.

Illustrator and cartoonist Gordon Stowell sadly died in 2003. He sold his first cartoon to a newspaper in 1942 aged only 14. Throughout his very long career he wrote and illustrated many children's books (including the one above published by AR Mowbray & Co Ltd. in 1969) and had his cartoons published regularly in the likes of Private Eye and Punch magazines - he believed, "cartoons could put over serious subjects".

There are 8 more books in this range, so the search is on - not sure how many of them I'll be able to pick up for 20p though!

Wed 17 Aug 2011

Posted under: Design , Inspiration , Illustration , Books

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Store Front: The Disappearing Face of Old New York






I love these pics over on How to be a Retronaut. They're taken from Store Front: The Disappearing Face of Old New York by James and Karla Murray, the result of years of photographing and "faithfully documenting the generations-old stores and shop windows of New York's neighbourhoods".

When it was published in 2009 the Murray's estimated that a third of the stores photographed had already closed, so I wonder how many are still open now, or even still standing? It's sad to think of those beautiful old signs being torn down as they add such character to a street, so much nicer than the bland plastic signage we see so much of today. 

It's not just in New York either, it's the same story in every city - regeneration, redevelopment it's a never-ending cycle and I know it boosts the local economies, creates jobs and is good for the community, but I like the faded glory.

Two of my favourite places are Manchester and Blackpool, UK - purely for the charm and character of the old buildings and abandoned signage hidden in the back streets.

All images taken from Store Front:The Disappearing Face of Old New York. Copyright James & Karla Murray.
Published by Gingko Press.

Paul Thurlby's Alphabet Book

We've posted about London based illustrator, Paul Thurlby a couple of times over the last couple of years, mainly about his gorgeously retro Alphabet Prints (above).

Well, his illustrated Alphabet has taken on a life of it's own since we last posted. The lovely letters are now available as signed/numbered, limited edition Giclee prints, as greeting cards and have just been made into a children's ABC book (below)!
Paul Thurlby's Alphabet will be published by Templar and released on July 1st. I for one can't wait to get my hands on a copy - I think it's going to be as popular with adults as it will with children.

Pre-order your copy here for only £8.69!

Images copyright Paul Thurlby.

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