This month’s picks feature a variety of graphic design best-of compilations, plus Drawing Type, a great guide to getting started with drawing your own lettering. On the architecture side, Open Source Architecture reconsiders architecture as a collaborative process. We also explore alternative architecture, from opera houses to the Parthenon, and there’s even a resource on houseboats!
Collector’s edition : innovative packaging and graphics / Stuart Tolley ; photography by Ivan Jones.
“This global survey of graphic design innovation brings together over 170 examples from the worlds of music, book publishing, and magazines that have been released as collector’s, limited, or deluxe editions. It includes a broad spectrum of work, formats, and genres, ranging from editions of albums by international recording artists including Coldplay and Radiohead, to ultra-rare and expensive publications such as ‘The Vatican Secret Archives’, handbound in the Vatican studio and produced in an edition of just thirty-three copies (three of which were reserved for the Pope). Each section also includes interviews with designers such as Stefan Sagmeister and Stanley Donwood to gain their views and insights on why the materiality and tactility of printed packaging are more important than ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Logo design / ed. Julius Widedmann.
“A good logo can glamorize just about anything. This sweeping compendium gathers diverse brand markers from around the world to explore the irrepressible power of graphic representation. The catalog explores how text, image, and ideas distil into a logo across events, fashion, media, music, and retailers. Featuring work from both star names and lesser-known mavericks, this is an excellent reference for students and professionals in design and marketing, as well as for anyone interested in the visuals and philosophy behind brand identity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Drawing type : an introduction to illustrating letterforms / Alex Fowkes.
“Part inspiration and part workbook, these hand-drawn type of images will inspire and excite any designer to draw and explore type. Drawing Type features real-world projects and sketchbooks of well-known type designers, including interviews about their processes. Playful, hand-drawn type can easily be used in a range of disciplines within design and illustration such; the hand-made aesthetic is more prevalent now than ever. Alex Fowkes will help you to create custom lettering and typographic layouts. Drawing Type is perfect for learning and developing your skills at home or in a classroom–an invaluable resource that you can refer to again and again!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The pattern base : over 550 contemporary textile and surface designs / Kristi O’ Meara ; edited by Audrey Victoria Keiffer.
“With new technology allowing for more precise manipulation and larger variation of materials and patterns, textile designers have found new ways to create ambitiously, experiment, and be inspired. At the same time, the rise of digital processes has led to a renewed appreciation of traditional craftsmanship and the handmade. In The Pattern Base, Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer showcase more than 550 textile, surface, fashion, and print designs from over 150 designers working around the world. Part One is a sourcebook of these designs, while Part Two presents profiles of fifteen artists, constituting the hottest up-and-comers in the field.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Commune : designed in California / Roman Alonso [et. al]. ; [edited by Andrea Danese]
“Commune was established in Los Angeles in 2004 by four like-minded souls–Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri, and Ramin Shamshiri– with a common mission: to enhance life through design and to blur the lines between disciplines, eras, and styles. California is for those who refuse to conform and who live for freedom of expression, indoor/outdoor living, and that golden sunshine glinting off the waves of the Pacific. Commune perfectly captures this spirit and embodies a new California style that freely mixes old and new in its layered, highly personal interiors that embrace color, pattern, and texture.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
My cool houseboat : an inspirational guide to stylish houseboats / Jane Field-Lewis ; photography by Richard Maxted.
“People fall in love with boats and own them for a variety of reasons: out of affordability and necessity; a love of the water; closeness to nature and the environment; or just because they yearn for a different and more relaxed style of living/working space. Repurposed and rescued boats covered here range from ones on dry land to a mariner’s restaurant; urban boats include city canal living and “village” life, from Paris to London and Amsterdam; and lastly, there is a chapter on get-away-from-it-all boats and retreats.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Open source architecture / Carlo Rotti with Matthew Claudel.
“Open Source Architecture is a visionary manifesto for the architecture of tomorrow that argues for a paradigm shift from architecture as a means of supporting the ego-fueled grand visions of “starchitects” to a collaborative, inclusive, network-driven process inspired by twenty-first-century trends such as crowd-sourcing, open access, and mass customization. The question is how collaborative design can avoid becoming design-by-committee. Authors Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel navigate this topic nimbly, considering the applications of open-source architecture not only conceptually but also in practice. Open Source Architecture is an important new work on the frontlines of architectural thought and practice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
David Leventi : opera / foreword by Plácido Domingo ; texts by Marvin Heiferman and Thomas Mellins.
“In his series “Opera,” photographer David Leventi (born 1978)–whose work has been widely published in “Time,” “The New York Times Magazine,” “Condé Nast Traveler” and “American Photography”–captures the interiors of more than 40 opera houses spanning four centuries and four continents. Shot meticulously over five years, Opera presents… these temples of music in their wealth of architectural detail and acoustic design. With its unique concept–the opera house as a lens for cultural survey, a unifying force and tradition across continents–the collection serves as a beautiful tribute to opera.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Parthenon enigma / Joan Breton Connelly.
“Since the Enlightenment, the Parthenon–the greatest example of Athenian architecture–has been venerated as the definitive symbol of Western democratic values. Here, Joan Breton Connelly challenges this conventional wisdom, drawing on previously undiscovered sources to present a revolutionary new view of this peerless building. Reaching back across time to trace the Parthenon’s story from the laying of its foundation, Connelly finds its true meaning not in the rationalist ideals we typically associate with Athens but in a vast web of ceaseless cultic observances and a unique mythic identity, in which democracy in our sense of the word would have been inconceivable.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The new Sri Lankan house / Robert Powell ; photography by Sebastian Posingis ; essays by David Robson.
“The New Sri Lankan House charts the development of private houses in the 21st century in a variety of locations around the island. Most are the work of ‘home-grown’ architects, many of whom are indebted to the influence of the island’s most famous son, Geoffrey Bawa. Through the inclusion of plans, sections and elevations, full-colour photographs and interviews with owners and architects, Powell traces the evolution of residence styles in both urban and rural areas. Of paramount importance are sustainability and suitability to site and climate, topics that Powell investigates in depth.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)