The Editors | Miscellaneous

Books Received: Summer 2008


New books have been piling up again at Design Observer. We thought we'd share some of the many recently published titles we have received over the past couple of months — with a few older titles just stumbled upon. Maybe you'll find a surprise or two...

Dan Ariely
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Harper Collins, 2008

Elizabeth Armstrong
The Birth of Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury
Prestel Publishing, 2007
Barbara Bloom, Dave Hickey & Susan Tallman
The Collections of Barbara Bloom
Steidl/ICP, 2008
Mel Bochner
Solar System & Rest Rooms: Writings and Interviews, 1965–2007
The MIT Press, 2008
Ricky Burdett & Deyan Sudjic
The Endless City
Phaidon Press, 2008
Stefanie Burger, Jorre Both & Cees W. de Jong
New Poster Art
Thames & Hudson, 2008
Jean M. Burks
Shaker Design: Out of this World
Yale University Press, 2008
R. V. Branham
Curse and Berate in 69+ Languages
Soft Skull Press, 2008
Pauline Van Mourik Broekman, Damian Jaques & Simon Worthington
Mute Magazine
Eight Books, 2008
Rob Carter
Meggs: Making Graphic Design History
Wiley, 2007
Lucy Creagh, Helena Kaberg & Barbara Miller Lane, editors
Modern Swedish Design: Three Founding Texts
The Museum of Modern Art, 2008
Daab Books
Broadcast Design
Daab/Mul Edition, 2007
Graham Davis
The Designer's Toolkit: Thousands of Color Combinations
Chronicle Books, 2008

Michael Dooley & Steven Heller
Teaching Motion Design: Course Offerings and Class Projects from the Leading Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
Allworth Press, 2008

Nathan Dunne, editor
Black Dog Publishing, 2008
Johanna Drucker & Emily McVarish
Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide
Prentice Hall, 2008
Gabrielle Esperdy
Modernizing Main Street: Architecture and Consumer Culture in the New Deal
University of Chicago Press, 2008

Ed Fella & Geoff McFetridge
Two Lines Align: Drawings and Graphic Design
Redcat, 2008

Robert S. P. Fripp & R. Roger Remington
Design and Science: The Life and Work of Will Burtin
Ashgate, 2007

Joseph Grima & Karen Wong, editors
Shift: SANAA and the New Museum
Lars Müller Publishers, 2008

Juergen Gulbins & Uwe Steinmueller
Fine Art Printing for Photographers: Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers
Rocky Nook, 2008

Robert Poque Harrison
Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition
University of Chicago Press, 2008

K. Michael Hays & Dana A. Miller
Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe
Yale University Press, 2008
Steven Heller
Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalarian State
Phaidon Press, 2008
Steven Heller & Mirko Ilic
Icons of Graphic Design, Second Edition
Thames & Hudson, 2008

Hesign, editor
The Master of Design: Pierre Bernard
Page One Publishing, 2007

Roxanne Jubert
Typography and Graphic Design: From Antiquity to the Present
Flammarion, 2006

Christina Kiaer
Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism (Life and Mind Series)
The MIT Press, 2008
William Davies King
Collections of Nothing
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Sanford Kwinter & Cynthia Davidson, editor
Far from Equilibrium: Essays on Technology and Design Culture
Actar, 2008
Alix Lambert
Fuel Publishing, 2008
Tod Lippy, editor
Esopus 10
Esopus Foundation, 2008
Ellen Lupton & Phillips Jennifer Cole
Graphic Design: The New Basics
Princeton Architectural Press, 2008
Josh MacPhee & Favianna Rodriguez, editors
Reproduce and Revolt
Soft Skull Press, 2008
Josh MacPhee
Stencil Pirates
Soft Skull Press, 2004
Alberto Manguel
The Library at Night
Yale University Press, 2008
Daniel Mason
Materials, Process, Print: Creative Ideas for Graphic Design
Laurence King Publishers, 2007

Susan Meiselas
Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History
Random House, 1997

Grant McCracken
Transformations: Identity Construction in Contemporary Culture
Indiana University Press, 2008

Craig Mod & Ashley Rawlings, editors
Art Space Tokyo
Chin Music Press, 2008

Laurent Pflughaupt
Letter by Letter
Princeton Architectural Press, 2008

Phaidon Editors
Area 2
Phaidon Press, 2008

Ramon Prat & Tomoko Sakamoto
Super Holland Design
Actar, 2007

Christian de Portzamparc & Philippe Sollers
Writing and Seeing Architecture
University Of Minnesota Press, 2008
Graham Rawle
Woman's World: A Novel
Counterpoint, 2008
Robynne Raye & Michael Strassburger
Modern Dog: 20 Years of Poster Art
Chronicle Books, 2008
Darrel Rees
How to be an Illustrator
Laurence King Publishers, 2008
Robert J. Richards
The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Joseph Rosa
Figuration in Contemporary Design
Art Institute of Chicago, 2008
Elizabeth Royte
Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It
Bloomsbury USA, 2008
Zoe Ryan
Graphic Thought Facility
Art Institute of Chicago, 2008

Sam Sarowitz
Translating Hollywood
Mark Batty Publisher, 2008
William S. Saunders, editor
Nature, Landscape, and Building for Sustainability: A Harvard Design Magazine Reader
University of Minnesota Press, 2008
Jutta Schickore
The Microscope and the Eye: A History of Reflections, 1740-1870
University of Chicago Press, 2007
Paul Schimmel, editor
Rizzoli, 2007
Dean Schwarz & Geraldine Schwarz, editors
Marguerite Wildenhain and the Bauhaus: An Eyewitness Anthology
South Bear Press, 2007
Felicity Scott
Ant Farm: Living Archive
Actar, Columbia Gsapp, 2008

Richard Sennett
The Craftsman
Yale University Press, 2008

Adrian Shaughnessy
Cover Art By: New Music Graphics
Laurence King Publishers, 2008

Aaris Sherin
SustainAble: A Handbook of Materials and Applications for Graphic Designers and Their Clients
Rockport Publishers, 2008
Stoltze Design
1,000 Music Graphics: A Compilation of Packaging, Posters and Other Sound Solutions
Rockport Publishers, 2008
Sherry Turkle
Falling for Science: Objects in Mind
The MIT Press, 2008
Tom Vanderbilt
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)
Knopf, 2008

Anthony Vidler
Histories of the Immediate Present: Inventing Architectural Modernism
The MIT Press, 2008

Rob Walker
Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are
Random House, 2008
David Watkin
Thomas Hope: Regency Designer
Yale University Press, 2008
Luke Wroblewski
Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
Rosenfeld Media, 2008
Indi Young
Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
Rosenfeld Media, 2008

Posted in: Media

Comments [18]

A comment or two wouldn't hurt...
Peter Sjöberg

a bunch of books bound for the clearance bin.
angus mereux

Why would you say such a foolish thing, Angus?

Have you read all these books?

Do you think all books are bound for the clearance bin?

If you have a point to make, why don't you make it properly?
A book reader

I have to agree with 'A book reader's' point of view on Angus's post. That really makes you sound like an utter moron Angus. It is true that the above publications range from niche to even-more-niche but the writers, publishers and designers involved in all of them care whole heartedly about the subject matter. If it weren't for their blood sweat and tears (they aren't doing it for the money) it would be a pretty colourless world we live in. It is idiotic to undermine their work and just angers me and I'm sure all of them immensely.

To the above point:

I can fully recommend Adrian Shaughnessy, Cover Art By: As a massive fan of the Sampler series I was thrilled to see the words of these designer's being included along side their stunning work in here.

Also the same for Modern Dog: 20 Years of Poster Art. It is truly a dying form and these guys show here how it can be done with intelligence and humour.

Also, as someone who teaches, there is no one out there right now that is able to breakdown the access point of graphic design like Ellen Lupton does. When I picked up Ellen Lupton & Phillips Jennifer Cole, Graphic Design: The New Basics I almost immediately added it to my first year student reading list.       

I am almost sad to say that I have only read three of the list but since going through them I have a great reference for future reading and in this time of going over it, I have actually already ordered a couple more.

Thank you the all of the people out there that care.
Dominic Ayre

Perhaps Angus believes what he believes, and we can let it stand
at that. Some people, it seems, can utter a few words and that is
enough for them. Meanwhile, some people love to go on and on
about essentially mundane or worthless matters.

Perhaps what his less than verbose response means is that his
taste is above the ordinary, that is to say, even of the most elite
DesignObserver reader or blogger. Perhaps he is questioning
why there are so many books available in the world when most of
them are not only bound for the clearance section but are
absolute rubbish despite the assumptions of those embroiled in
the modern aesthetic of design book navel gazing.

I know many reviewers like myself who have seen so many
books come across my desk that I just glance through them
quickly, decide a similar thing as Angus does, and then it's off to
the bookstore to unload them for a dollar or two. Because, in
fact, irrespective of the liberal sentiment that some people do
"care", many books (including some of these) really are not worth
the paper they're printed on.

Etc etc.

Harry S. Langefeld

Just a note to say that target="_blank">The Association of Art Museum Curators
recently honored Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and
Culture at Midcentury
with their top award for exhibition
catalogues for 2007 (Elizabeth Armstrong, curator, Orange County
Museum of Art).
lorraine wild

Hey Harry,

You make a good point. I should reword my statement.

I would like to thank the people involved in publishing the titles listed above for the interest, research and work that they have put into these books. Publications that they will stand behind and defend as important, even knowing that a potential reviewer my be trucking them down the road to sell for pennies.

Harry is right though, the majority of the buying public won't pick up your book and deem it a worthy purchase. There are books above that I won't read. I would, however, like to believe that I have the ability to make that decision for myself without being judged on its outcome. (It is curious that someone who accuses people of being 'embroiled in the modern aesthetic of design book navel gazing' is on here reading these posts in the first place)

I would like to finish this by standing behind the word I was called out on, 'care'. I cared enough to post and Harry cared enough to counter my post. When it comes to the books on this list I wouldn't be wrong in saying that everyone involved in these books 'cared' about what they were doing. I 'care' about wanting to have a book industry (at least a small one) to pass on to my daughter and that means I have to 'care' enough to keep buying books (I don't get them free to review).

I obviously care about what Harry thinks too because I came back for more.

The Sentimental Liberal
Dominic Ayre

Man, I WISH that I could find books like these on the discount shelf.

"Perhaps what his less than verbose response means is that
his taste is above the ordinary, that is to say, even of the most
elite DesignObserver reader or blogger."

How sad to have such elite taste that no outside
phenomenon (a book, a work of art, etc.) can penetrate the
tough carapace of self-assuredness. This makes for fine and
creatively thinking, (not to mention feeling) human being?

"...many reviewers like myself who have seen so many
books come across my desk that I just glance through them
quickly, decide a similar thing as Angus does, and then it's off to
the bookstore to unload them for a dollar or two. Because, in
fact, irrespective of the liberal sentiment that some people do
"care", many books (including some of these) really are not
worth the paper they're printed on.

Isn't there such a thing as being too self-assured? Isn't it
possible to miss something interesting when a mere list
of books is somehow threatening to the tyranny of one's inner

Don't let your heighty taste in design lit-trit-chure implode in on itself, now. No one but your alter ego will be impressed, anyway.
This obtuse, overly-refined "elite taste" won't lead you to those elusive gods of design, anyway. Just loneliness and prematurely receeding hairlines.

Thank you D.O. editors for the list of books.


I think the notion of these books being overlooked and doomed to the summer sale bin at Chapters is overly simplistic. It ignores the fact that most of these titles are probably printed in small runs and will be delivered to the kinds of places where people who want to read them will in fact pick them up.

You know: basic economics and all that.
Benjamin Rivers

Nah. Angus is right. They are like the bastard children of Taschen. Amusing for perhaps five minutes, and they become recognized for what they are. Fluff by the pound.
angus fan

Perhaps you are just lazy, angus fan, and can't be bothered to make the effort to find out about anything, or to think.

It's much easier to act like you already know best.
A book reader

I'd like to read Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide solely because I took a class with Johanna Drucker at UVa. I'm curious to see if her writing is a little less academic than her lectures (doubtful), but perhaps the presence of a second writer will make the book a bit more approachable and enjoyable than my introduction to media studies course. Drucker is as smart and friendly as they come, and overall she taught a good course, but one particularly long, after lunch, lecture on Descartes has kind of sullied my view on the class as a whole

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Rick Barker

anyone who believes Sherry Turkle or Tom Vanderbilt or Richard Sennet or Deyan Sudjic or Johanna Drucker to be 'fluff by the pound' has obviously never bothered to crack the spine... Taschen is the worst thing to ever happen to art and design publishing (except maybe Phaidon)... one day designer's aversion to reading is going to bite them in the butt ;-)

I guess the real point here is, oh great, a big list of books. A little editing would be nice. Which ones are good, which ones are bad? Is there one I really need? Tell me which 5 of these the people at Design Observer think are really notable.
Peter Jacobson

Jobs | July 17