Spring ’17 Book Recommendations

A favorite part of my job, that you may only know about if you follow @designcrush on Instagram, is reviewing books. I had zero chance of not being a bibliophile, my Mom and Grandma read to me daily and my aunt was an elementary school librarian. Put that together with my two passions of art and design and, well, it’s basically the definition of a match made in heaven. I’ll now be sharing the art and design books that I usually keep to Instagram here as well, as a sort of quarterly book recommendation list.

 

 

The Golden Secrets of Lettering: Letter Design from First Sketch to Final Artwork by Martina Flor  A a comprehensive, beautifully illustrated guide to hand lettering with easy-to-understand instructions and guidelines, plenty of inspirational examples, and hundreds of hand-sketches and illustrations. Martina Flor shows readers how to transform their initial lettering concepts and handdrawn sketches into a well-shaped piece of digital lettering that can be sold and published. Learn how to train your typographic eye by studying lettering samples and the anatomy of letters, explore concepts of hierarchy, composition, and flourishes, and discover the different ways of creating letter shapes. Flor also explains the process of creating a lettering project step by step and gives valuable tips about how to make a career as a lettering artist.

Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art by Paul Rand  A comprehensive collection of Paul Rand’s most important and best-known designs, this book gives unique insight into Rand’s design process and theory. This new edition of Rand’s classic monograph, long unavailable, meticulously re-creates the graphic quality of the original. It includes more than 200 illustrations and 27 essays, and a new afterword by Steven Heller. Required reading for anybody interested in modern design.

Encyclopedia of Rainbows: Our World Organized by Color by Julie Seabrook Ream  This playful collection of rainbows is a bright and beautiful appreciation of all the color that surrounds us. Artist Julie Seabrook Ream invites us to see the extraordinary beauty of ordinary objects as she gathers colorful iterations of a single type of thing, from feathers to fishing gear, matchbooks to macarons, and neatly arranges them in rainbow order. This index details all the objects in each rainbow, bringing the magnetic appeal of meticulous organization to this burst of color in book form. A striking package with a rainbow-colored spine makes this book a treasure for those who love art, design, and a fresh perspective.

Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists by Andy J. Miller  Every artist needs a little pep talk now and then. An inspiring tool and beautiful art book in one, Creative Pep Talk offers illustrated words of wisdom from 50 of today’s leading creative professionals. With full-color, typographic prints and explanatory statements from a host of creative luminaries — including Aaron Draplin, Oliver Jeffers, Lisa Congdon, Mike Perry, and many others — this book encourages artists to stay excited, experiment boldly, and conquer fear. Create curiosity, Learn to say no, and If you can’t be good, be different are just a few of the motivational mentions in this visual collection that’s perfect for students, designers, artists, and creatives at any stage in their careers.

Go Forth! by Chronicle Books  A perfect dose of positivity and kick-in-the-pants motivation to get out and get living, making, and doing. Chock-full of uplifting text-based art with an emphasis on being brave, courageous, and authentic, it’s the perfect gift for grads, travelers, or anyone else in need of inspiration as they embark on a new adventure.

Print & Pattern: Nature by Bowie Style  The latest book based on the popular site, Print & Pattern, celebrates surface designs, patterns, motifs of leaves, insects, grasses, butterflies, and trees. Product areas covered include stationery, cards, giftwrap, fabrics, wallpaper, rugs, ceramics, homewares, gadget skins, and more. Documenting the work of the best designers in the field, it’s an invaluable reference and inspiration source for surface designers, designer-makers, craftspeople, graphic designers, illustrators, and textile designers.

How Art Can Make You Happy by Bridget Watson Payne  This little book offers the keys to unlocking a rich and rewarding source of joy. A handbook full of insight that will help regular people begin a more inspiring and less stressful relationship with art with tips on how to visit museums, how to talk about art at cocktail parties, and how to let art wake you up to the world around you. This guide makes it possible for anyone to fall in love with art, whether for the first time or all over again.

How to Make It: 25 Makers Share the Secrets to Building a Creative Business by Erin Austen Abbott  The ultimate tell-all, show-all guide to making a living by making things. Featuring 25 profiles of illustrators, jewelry designers, ceramicists, painters, clothing designers, and printmakers, this book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the daily rituals and best practices that keep these creative entrepreneurs on track. With Q & As, insider tips, and DIYs from each maker, each page offers guidance and encouragement to artists just starting their careers and to professionals looking to take their creative business to the next level. Brimming with practical advice and inspiration, a recommended read for anyone interested in making it as a maker.

Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order) by Bridget Quinn  Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art. Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, this book offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 female artists in text that’s smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Full of beautiful reproductions of the artists’ works and contemporary portraits of each artist by renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon, this is art history from 1600 to the present day for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.

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#365quotes2016 + Mixbook

 

2016 was the second time I completed my 365 quotes project on Instagram, and it would be a shame not to document it after all the time put in. So I teamed up with the creative folks over at Mixbook to help make it a reality in the form of a hardcover photobook that I can have as a longtime reminder.

 

 

After deciding on a square 8.5 x 8.5″ photobook I chose to start with one of Mixbook’s templates – Minimal White – rather than work from an entirely blank slate. The platform is really simple to use and allowed me to change page layouts and fonts once I began, as well as add pages (up to 399). There’s also the option to add things like stickers and backgrounds to further customize your project, so all-in-all you have complete control over your design.

 

 

Each page of my photobook has the same vertical off-center layout because I wanted all 365 quotes to have the same weight and presence with the exception of the cover. This seemed like the obvious choice since they were all the same shape when initially shared on Instagram and I wanted to retain that integrity.

 

 

I was also happy to learn that Mixbook uses only the highest quality heavy-weight papers that are ethically sourced from sustainable forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance. Huge bonus!

The end result is just as I hoped it would be, clean and minimal with each quote stealing the show from the page before. (Now what else can I make a book of?)

 

 

This post sponsored by Mixbook. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!

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Where to Eat Pizza

Where to Eat Pizza-1-Design Crush

 

While summer might be all about grilling, autumn is all about pizza. Maybe you’re heading back to college, having some people over for the game Sunday, or you got home too late to make dinner. Check out Where to Eat Pizza for the inside scoop on where to get the best slice the world over. Over 1,000 food experts and aficionados reveal insider tips, secret ingredients, special sauces, and the quest for the perfect crust. Also included are city maps, reviews, and honest comments.

 

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Living with Pattern

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Rebecca Atwood may very well be my favorite textile maker, and I’ve been waiting for her book – Living with Pattern – since she first uttered word of its impending arrival. Pattern is one of the most prominent presences in any room, but it can also be one of the most challenging to introduce. Rebecca shares just how to mix and layer prints throughout your space using things you might already own and talks about some areas you may not have thought to add it to (remember my fireplace using her wallpaper?). Pick up a copy for brilliant ideas and beautiful photography.

 

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Tacopedia

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I’ve loved Mexican food since I was a kid, and living in Oklahoma off and on for 16 years only succeeded in deepening my love. Tacopedia is a tribute in encyclopedia style to Mexico’s taco culture that includes 100 recipes, interviews, plenty of photography, illustrations, graphics, and maps. A visual cornucopia for taco enthusiasts.

 

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The Roommate Book

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For *most* of us the roommate phase of life isn’t all that long. College, your 20s, and then you’re more than likely ready to strike out on your own or live with a significant other. My pal Becky Simpson is an amazing illustrator whose latest book – aptly named The Roommate Book – provides a non-serious look at how to live with a friend (or total stranger). Flip through for a look at comical pie charts, hypotheticals, illustrations, and brief essays along with some nuggets of wisdom!

 

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The Joy of Swimming

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Artist Lisa Congdon’s books never fail to impress or inspire, and such is the case with her latest – The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting in the Water. A longtime swimmer herself, Lisa has created an illustrated collection of vintage swimsuits and pool signs, hand lettered quotes on the subject, dozens of watercolor portraits paired with personal stories, and more. With summer just around the corner The Joy of Swimming is the perfect book to get you swimsuit ready!

 

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See America: A Celebration of Our National Parks & Treasured Sites

Save America-1-Design Crush

 

Have a love for both nature and America? See America: A Celebration of Our National Parks & Treasured Sites was created to coincide with the centennial anniversary of the National Parks Service. Featuring artwork for 75 national parks and monuments across all 50 states, See America celebrates our nation’s landmarks and wilderness as well as revives the legacy of the WPA travel posters. Destinations are catalogued in the order they were established, and 1% of sales will support the National Parks Conservation Association through 2017.

 

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