I don't typically post book reviews here but I really wanted to let people know about a book that I picked up at the HOW Conference this summer. Graphic Design Referenced comes from Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit of Under Consideration (a great resource in itself).
The book first piqued my interest because of the numerous case studies throughout the latter section of the book. Without much time to look through the rest of the book thoroughly I purchased it and shipped it back to my office with a few other books from the conference. I hadn't really opened it up until this week while I was researching a new campaign but I quickly realized that it was far more useful than I'd first thought.
Graphic Design Referenced calls itself "A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design" and starts out almost like a textbook. I don't mean that in a bad way, this is the way design textbooks should be written. Among the subjects discussed are typography, print production and grid structure. The information is so well organized with so many examples that it really makes everything easy to understand and easy to remember.
The design samples and case studies continue on through the remainder of the book. In the final "Practice" section, there are numerous examples of logo design, brochure design, poster design, publication design and so on. Not only does the book provide great inspiration for future projects but the back stories provided on each one really give a lot of insight into the thoughts behinds the designs.
The massive amount of information in this book could almost be overwhelming but the authors and designers did a great job of structuring everything so it feels manageable.
There are a ton of books out there on graphic design and it can be tough to decide where to spend you're hard-earned money. I love this book because of the great content but also because I feel like I really got a lot for my $50. If you're a designer, design student or have an interest in advertising and marketing I would highly recommend this book.
Entries in Inspiration (5)
Although I'm not an architect I often find great inspiration for graphic design by looking at clever and beautiful architecture. This post on Abduzeedo highlights Slovenian architect Andrej Kalamar of Studio Kalamar.
From apartment buildings with sharp geometric lines to an amazing organic feeling pool and spa complex, there is a lot of great inspiration from this firm. Check out the Abduzeedo article for a lot of great pics. You can also see more at the Studio Kalamar website but be warned, I found it fairly painful to look at and navigate.
I came across images today of a hotel in Krakow, Poland. The design of the hotel is absolutely amazing and has a graphical element that especially appeals to me as a designer.
The hotel exterior consists of a sleek aluminum material that is interrupted by beautiful black lines and windows. I have to admit that I think part of the reason I love the design is that it reminds me of Apple products.
Unfortunately I don't think I'm headed to Poland anytime soon but if I was I think I'd set aside a little extra money to stay at this amazing hotel.
I came across a great website on Twitter today. Where We Design showcases design spaces from studios and agencies around the world.
I've been having a lot of fun browsing the photos of where other graphic designers work. Stuff like this really gets me motivated to make my own space more creative (still need to get around to hanging a couple things on the wall).
One of my favorites is this one in Tulsa, OK. I love the way the conference room is placed in the middle of everything and even raised up off of the floor a little.
In my design work, I've found that the state of my work area affects both my productivity and my creativity. For creativity I keep a lot of inspirational products, mailers, magazines, etc. around that I can browse when I need inspiration. I've also found that keeping my desk free from too much clutter helps me stay calm and productive. The messier my desk is the more stressed out I become.
What's important to you in your workspace?
Lately I've been wanting to make a point of posting a little more regularly on this blog. For quite a while now I've been posting once a month or so and that's not exactly how a blog should be run. One of my problems is that I'm often unsure of what would interest visitors to this site but I think I may have a solution to that problem.
I'm on Twitter most every day for a significant portion of the day. My primary reason for being on Twitter is to keep an ear to the design community both so that I can stay up-to-date with design trends and so that I can find inspiration. Much of the inspiration I find on Twitter would probably be interesting to readers of this site so I've decided to pass some of it along.
This first post has nothing to do with graphic design but is still pretty awesome. Check out this video of an underwater explosion and just imagine being on that boat. Enjoy.