During the holidays I stopped in at a used book store and came across a wonderful photography book by Canadian artist, Roloff Beny. ‘To Every Thing There is a Season: Roloff Beny in Canada’ is a photographic essay exploring Canada during the 1960’s. The book contains poems, landscapes, portraits, architecture, and graphic design that is visionary for the time it was printed. Like a Boards of Canada album, the book puts my mind in a cozy, nostalgic place.
A little research reveals that the book was the official Canadian gift to visiting heads of state during the country’s 1967 centennial year. He’s also authored a number of other acclaimed photography books I’m hoping to pick-up in the near future.
Beny’s work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1971, he was made an officer of The Order of Canada. In 1984, at the age of 60, Beny passed away from a heart attack in his Roman studio overlooking the Tiber.
You can view a more complete set of photos in this FLICKR SET I put together.
Eurobus is a series of photographs featuring European tour bus designs by Taylor Holland, which was shot Spring of 2011, while on various bicycle commutes around Paris, France. The series was published by Matmos Press, an independent publisher based in Montreal (QC).
This book is dedicated to the anonymous designers of European tour bus graphics, who have embraced an underappreciated art space and made it their own.
Explorers of Tomorrow is the title of the first book project I completed at the Academy of Art University in Spring 2009. Up to this point our projects consisted of posters and small printed materials, so this was the first time we were pushed to develop a consistent visual language and extend it across multiple pages. The assignment was to take a subject of interest, research its future 10 years from the present, and display our findings in a book.
Growing up, one of my favorite books was Automobiles of the Future by Irwin Stambler. Written in the 60s, it imagined the automobile in the 80s, 90s, and even the new millenium. The book was a window to a strange parallel dimension, where everything inside was a streamlined, pastel version of reality. Its pages held promise, for the future of automobiles was about more than spark plugs and oil filters, it was the story of man’s struggle to better himself. At the same time, it was very naive and simplified the world of tomorrow to a utopia that answered all of the problems facing their society. It never considered the possibility that the future would have its own set of obstacles to overcome. But that was its biggest appeal to me, to see the ways our society had advanced so far from their wildest dreams, yet fallen short on its fundamental ideals.
Space exploration has always been a fascination of mine. With that in mind I began to think about our future. 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight, and I thought it would be interesting to look at the future of space exploration 10 years from the present, but from the perspective of writers in the past. Specifically, I wanted to look at how a society that had just landed on the moon would view space travel in the future: how would our idea of 2019 compare to a society’s that looked to the stars for answers?
Space Dog Books is an interactive book publishing company that aims to introduce readers to new worlds through the use of touch-sensitive devices. Last month they released their first book app, Treasure Island – A Space Dog Book, and I was blown away by the experience.
I had the opportunity to speak with Tymn Armstrong, Art Director at Space Dog Books, and he was kind enough to share his thoughts on the project and give a behind the scenes look at the process of “creating universes in a digital world.”
Jon: Thanks for sharing with us. Congratulations on the launch of Treasure Island. When you set out to create content for these devices what led you to children’s books?
Tymn: First off, thanks! It was a lot of work. Over a year of production went into making it and it feels so great to see it completed.
I think we’re starting with children’s books because they present more challenges than adult books. There is this misconception that children’s publishing is easy because it’s for kids but it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s an extremely competitive industry with some of the most talented people in the world of books. That said, we do have plans for books that are not necessarily children’s books. We don’t ever want to limit ourselves.
Happy New Year! Thought I’d start 2012 off right with some classic print design. Julian Montague has an excellent collection of vintage modern book covers which he posts to his blog under the Daily Book Graphics project. It’s so great to see people doing work like this, cataloging design history which might otherwise be lost or made inaccessible due to scarcity. Some beautiful inspiration for a new year and new designs, best of luck to everyone!
Julien Vallée is easily one of my favorite artists working today. His work is so unique, refreshing, and wonderfully playful. I’ve written about Julien before, and I was very excited to learn that his awe-inspriing body of work is now available in print. Rock, Paper, Scissors is his first monograph which includes lots of Julien’s personal work and commissioned projects. For such a young designer, it’s pretty amazing how much he has created to date!
Another aspect of Julien’s work that I enjoy, is his penchant for documenting his process so carefully. I am a big fan of detailed process descriptions (as you could probably guess), and Julien’s process videos are exceptionally well done. One of my favorites is the making of DanseDance. The book will come with unique login codes to access more of these types of videos.