New Oliver Sacks covers

I love these new Oliver Sacks book covers (due out in August) from Vintage, designed by Cardon Webb. Interestingly, Cardon posted them on Dribbble a few months ago, saying they’d been killed. I’m glad someone realized how great they are and gave them the green light.

via Spine Out

Become Someone Else


We don’t post a ton of advertising stuff, but I thought these “Become Someone Else” print ads for Mint Vinetu by Love warranted a mention. What’s not to like about ads that promote reading? Plus, they are really well done — the images are such a quick read that without even being able to read the copy, you totally get the meaning. Here is what Love had to say about the project:

When one reads books, he/she starts living it and identifies (or not) with main hero. These print ads for the Mint Vinetu bookstore, which sells lots of classics, focuses on the idea of becoming someone else. And provokes people to try on different personas.

Via Black Eiffel

TypograFriday: Tree of Codes Part 1

I heard Jonathan Safran Foer speak with Vendela Vida (yep, co-editor of my favorite magazine ever) the other night as part of the excellent series City Arts and Lectures. After talking lucidly at length about his nonfiction book on the ethical implications of meat, Eating Animals, Vida asked him about a new book he had just finished called Tree of Codes. She showed him a copy (which is one of only ten dummies of the work extant) and he couldn’t contain his curiosity; he hadn’t actually seen it yet.

He was fascinated by his own work for this reason: he didn’t write the words to this book, and its form is rather interesting. London upstart/art publishers Visual Editions reportedly came to him with this offer: “we can’t pay you, but on the other hand we’ll make any sort of book you can imagine.” Their second book, after their ambitious edition of Tristram Shandy, will be his reaction to this challenge (“It’s gonna have to be really interesting to make that worth it”). All the words were written by Bruno Schultz, in his classic collection Street of Crocodiles. What Safran Foer brought to the work was, well, scissors.

Inspired by FBI, wartime or totalitarian redaction of documents, and by Schultz’ own erasure — Safran Foer called the work an “erased text” and told a little bit of the fate of Schultz, who was spared death for a time during the Holocaust by painting murals for a Nazi officer that were subsequently obscured, revealed, and smuggled from Poland by the Mossad — Safran Foer clipped away words revealing a new text: Street of Crocodiles. Visual Editions found a printer willing and able to make it: the published book, incredibly, will be diecut with a different die for every page.

He described the process as something he expected to be fun but was in fact very frustrating. But, one excellent quote from the evening was something like “as time goes on I have less and less faith that I can write something good, but I have more and more faith in accidents.” The juxtapositions and phrases he found in the process are all creative accidents: they surprised him and were not what he would have come to with his own devices.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled about the book. It’s right up my alley. I am fascinated by redaction and erasure. I like diecuts quite a bit. And, not only does it conjure memories of Street of Crocodiles (which is great, distinctly textured, both as a collection and as a somewhat different film by the Brothers Quay — the entirety of which is in two clips after the jump) but of experimental writings I have loved.

Burroughs used cut-ups. Oulipo writers have some games that start with found texts or otherwise artificially limiting word selection to force the creative accident. I dig artists books. And my favorite artist book ever, A Humument, is a  similar project to this one. I first encountered A Humument when its pages were exhibited at the museum when I was a kid. I found an edition years later as if from a remembered dream, and have bought three or four copies since. Artist Tom Phillips painted and drew directly over pages of the Victorian novel A Human Document, leaving words joined by proximity or rivers of white space to make new prose-poems (and a sort-of narrative starring a hero named “toge” who can only appear by name when the original text speaks of togetherness) with the remaining words; for each subsequent edition he’s repainted some pages differently so that the overall text changes over time, eventually becoming a wholly different piece than the original.

More pics after the jump and the whole thing here.

Continue reading TypograFriday: Tree of Codes Part 1

Coralie Bickford-Smith

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You’ve most likely seen Coralie Bickford-Smith’s lovely Penguin clothbound classics. And while they are beautiful, I think Ms. Bickford-Smith has outdone herself with the new covers for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books. Spend some time at her site looking around at some more of her work; she has a real knack for creating covers that work really well in a series and are desirable art objects individually. Hers are the sort of book covers that make you want to own the book regardless of the content.

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via Ace Jet 170

Hyperactivitypography from A to Z

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Hyperactivitytypograhy from A to Z 2

Hyperactivitypography from A to Z — a super cute activity book designed with a vintage flair — looks fantastic. According to the designers, “The book is packed with activities, ranging from silly to hard core nerdiness.”

Hyperactivitypography was designed by Studio 3, an in-school design agency at the Graphic Design Department of Westerdals School of Communication in Oslo. You can flip through the book here, or contact them to buy your own copy.

via Design Fetish

JACKET + BOOKMARK

These book covers by Igor “Rogix” Udushlivy have been doing the rounds on a lot of design blogs recently, but they are pretty clever, so I felt they warranted a mention here as well. He has a bunch more on his site, but these are my favorites.
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The Nabokov Collection

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I meant to post about these new Nabokov covers from Vintage Books a while ago, but the post somehow got lost in the shuffle. Over the holidays, I went into City Lights and saw the covers in person — they are even more lovely than these images let on.

John Gall, the art director at Vintage Books, was asked to redesign all of Nabokov’s covers. Here is what he had to say about the project in his post on Design Observer:

Nabokov was a passionate butterfly collector, a theme that has cropped up on some of his past covers. My idea was also a play on this concept. Each cover consists of a photograph of a specimen box, the kind used by collectors like Nabokov to display insects. Each box would be filled with paper, ephemera, and insect pins, selected to somehow evoke the book’s content. And to make it more interesting for readers — and less daunting for me — I thought it would be fun to ask a group of talented designers to help create the boxes.

Here’s who I asked: Chip Kidd, Carol Carson, Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin, Megan Wilson and Duncan Hannah, Rodrigo Corral, Martin Venezky, Charles Wilkin, Helen Yentus and Jason Booher, Peter Mendelsund, Sam Potts, Dave Eggers, Paul Sahre, Stephen Doyle, Carin Goldberg, Michael Bierut, Barbara de Wilde, and Marian Bantjes. They were then photographed by Alison Gootee. The results are shown here. I hope you enjoy them.

You can view all the covers, vote for your favorite and possibly win a copy on Vintage Books’ blog.

A number of people in the Design Observer comments mentioned the omission of Lolita from the set. In case you too are missing Lolita, here is a collection of the many iterations of that cover as well as a contest to redesign Lolita’s cover from Venus febriculosa.

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nicholas jones

I’ve been admiring Australian artist, Nicholas Jones’ work from afar for years. It’s amazing what shapes and textures he creates with each book.

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Etsy Schmetsy: Wrapped up in Books

We’re big in to books. We make books, read books, buy books; there are very few things we don’t like about books. Here are some awesome books and book-related items from Etsy.

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Row 1: My Little Diary ring from MoonFaces; Burst journal by paintedfishstudio; Old Spines fine art print weberphoto

Row 2: Bookshelf 32 print by  janemount; White Geometric Handbound Photo Album by brooklynbookbinder

Row 3: Book Mobile by theshophouse; Sepia Books from jillruthandco; Antique leather book necklace TheBlackSpotBooks

Row 4: Coptic-bound blank journal by anybodyinthere; Books print from theblackapple

Row 5: Custom Book Art by BookOfArt; Engraveable open book charm TheSCOOPatBOOPS; The Library by NestaHome.etsy.com

Booktrailer’d

What’s your favorite book trailer ever? Don’t have one? Yeah that’s not surprising. As an art form it’s nearly brand new, and very wide open. For instance, unlike a film or TV trailer,canada goose womens there is not footage to work with, usually no budget, and no conventions yet.


An unusual take for promoting a book, this one uses no voiceover and few words beyond the title and author. This trailer has a beautifully elegant restraint, and yet I bet a close viewing would reveal a detailed outline of the narrative.

Four more approaches in decreasing subtlety (including Pynchon and Sea Monsters) after the jump.

Continue reading Booktrailer’d

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