Randall Ross has committed himself to bring a wide variety of carefully-selected books designed to appeal to connoisseurs of the Modern movement. His website hosts all those books he finds that truly inspire and enlighten him. Randall’s collection except graphic design includes books on architecture, art and photo, industrial design and interior design.
Below is a collection of 20 books on graphic design I randomly picked up from his collection. View the website here for more books.
IKKO TANAKA: POSTERS 1953 – 91
Ikko Tanaka Design Studio [editor]
From the web site for the Art Director’s Club: “Strong, clean, and impactful are the best descriptives you could use to describe Ikko Tanaka’s work. They are universal images, honed with a fastidious eye: finding the natural flow of photographs in a book spread, steadying the central point of a corporate symbol so the mind retains every detail, and enriching the typographic and illustrative forces of a poster into a pure, homogeneous form.” (more)
INTERNATIONAL POSTER ANNUAL 1956 – 1957
Arthur Niggli [Editor], Hiroshi Ohchi, Richard Williams
and Karl Gerstner [essays]
This edition of the INTERNATIONAL POSTER ANNUAL assembles a striking collection of 500 carefully selected posters by the best known artists and designers of the following 27 countries: Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, France, Germany, Japan, India, Israel, Italy, Latin America, Holland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the USA.
Artists and designers whose work is reproduced in this volume include Otl Aicher, Theo Crosby, Thomas Eckersley, Hans Schleger, Bob Gill, Eric Nitsche, Jean Colin, Paul Colin, Jacques Nathan, Yusaku Kamekura, Erberto Carboni, Eugenio Carmi, Nizzoli, Jan Bons, Dick Elffers, F. H. K. Henrion, William Turnbull, Anton Stankowski, Jan Lenica, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Armin Hoffmann, Herbert Leupin, Josef Muller-Brockmann, Celestino Piatti, Saul Bass, Irvine Kamens, Dr. Seuss, Alex Steinweiss, George Tscherney, Karl Gerstner, Emil Ruder, and many other international designers. (more)
INTERNATIONAL POSTER ANNUAL ’52
W. H. Allner [Editor]
This is the fourth issue of the INTERNATIONAL POSTER ANNUAL; the only book devoted exclusively to current poster art, it again assembles a striking collection of 337 carefully selected posters–6 in full color–by 200 of the best known artists and designers of the following 16 countries: Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S.A. Artists and designers whose work is reproduced in this volume include: Jacques Richez, Ashley Havinden, Timo Sarpaneva, Otl Aicher, Anton Stankowski, Hiroshi Ohchi, Richard Lohse, Robin Day, Thomas Eckersley, Walter Allner, Lester Beall, Joseph Binder, E. Mcknight Kauffer, Leo Lionni, Paul Rand and many other international designers. (more)
THE GRAPHIC ART OF PAUL RAND
“He is an idealist and a realist using the language of the poet and the businessman. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyze his problems, but his fantasy is boundless.” — Ladislav [sic] Moholy-Nagy
If the word legend has any meaning in the graphic arts and if the term legendary can be applied with accuracy to the career of any designer, it can certainly be applied to Paul Rand (1914-1996). By 1947, the legend was already firmly in place. By then Paul had completed his first career as a designer of media promotion at Esquire-Coronet –and as an outstanding cover designer for Apparel Arts and Directions. He was well along on a second career as an advertising designer at the William Weintraub agency which he had joined as art director at its founding. THOUGHTS ON DESIGN (with reproductions of almost one hundred of his designs and some of the best words yet written on graphic design) had just published — an event that cemented his international reputation and identified him as a designer of influence from Zurich to Tokyo.
A chronology of Rand’s design experience has paralleled the development of the modern design movement. Paul Randâ€™s first career in media promotion and cover design ran from 1937 to 1941, his second career in advertising design ran from 1941 to 1954, and his third career in corporate identification began in 1954. Paralleling these three careers there has been a consuming interest in design education and Paul Rand’s fourth career as an educator started at Cooper Union in 1942. He taught at Pratt Institute in 1946 and in 1956 he accepted a post at Yale University’s graduate school of design where he held the title of Professor of Graphic Design. (more)
RIETVELD, 1924. SCHRODER HUIS
Gerrit Rietveld [Author], Pieter Brattinga [Designer]
“The Quadrat-Prints appear at irregular intervals. They are published only after the most stringent requirements of intellectual and technical production have been met.”
“The Quadrat-Prints are a series of experiments in printing ranging over the fields of graphic design, the plastic arts, literature, architecture and music. They are edited by Pieter Brattinga.”
Steendrukkerij De Jong & Co. published 34 Quadrat-Prints between 1955 and 1974, with Brattinga serving as general editor and individual designers given free reign with their chosen subjects in the visual arts, literature, music, architecture, typography, etc. None of these publications were for sale — they were distributed to friends and business associates by De Jong as elaborate self-promotions.
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (1888 – 1964) was a Dutch furniture designer and architect. In 1911, Rietveld started his own furniture factory, while studying architecture. Rietveld designed the Red and Blue Chair in 1917, but changed its colours to the familiar style in 1918 after he became influenced by the ‘De Stijl’ movement, of which he became a member in 1919, the same year in which he became an architect. In 1924 he designed the Rietveld Schroder House for Truus Schroder, with whom he cooperated. The house in Utrecht is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Rietveld broke with the ‘De Stijl’ movement in 1928 and switched to the Nieuwe Zakelijkheid. The same year he joined the Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne. He designed the “Zig-Zag” chair in 1932 and started the design of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. (more)
VISUAL DESIGN IN ACTION
Exhibition Catalogue, 1961
Mildred Constantine wrote: ” There is a force and meaningful consistency in Sutnar’s entire body of work, which permits him to express himself with a rich diversity in exhibition design and the broad variations of graphic design. Sutnar has the assured stature of th integrated designer.”
Steven Heller provides this background history: “Sutnar’s client base was eroding by the early 1960s. He lost his job with Sweet’s because the systems in place obviated the need for a full-time art director and information research department. At a particularly difficult time, Sutnar’s friends banded together to inform the business community about his work. The result was the traveling exhibition Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action, which was curated by Allon Schoener but meticulously designed by Sutnar himself.
“The exhibition was the basis for the book of the same name, which, because he could not find a publisher who would pay the high production costs, Sutnar financed out of his own pocket and sold for the hefty price of $15. Sutnar had previously edited Design for Point of Sale (1952) and Package Design (1953), which showcased exemplary work by others, but Visual Design in Action featured his own work as a model on which to base contemporary design. Sales were not very brisk, although today the book is a rare treasure.” (more)
With Laid-In Publisher¹s Material
CATALOG DESIGN PROGRESS:
ADVANCING STANDARDS IN VISUAL COMMUNICATION, 1950
Ladislav Sutnar and K. Lonberg-Holm
A book with approximately 106 illustrated pages that simply must be seen to be believed. This book was printed on a variety of papers (coated, uncoated, textured, etc.) with a stiff plastic front free endpaper and a screen-printed label on the plastic binding. The overall effect is truly amazing.
The presence of this original ephemera make this a true, one-of-a-kind offering.
According to Steven Heller: “Over forty years after its publication, CATALOG DESIGN PROGRESS remains the archetype for functional design. It is a textbook for how designers can organize and prioritize information in a digital environment… ”
“… Ladislav Sutnar was a progenitor of the current practice of information graphics, the lighter of a torch that is carried today by Edward Tufte and Richard Saul Wurman, among others. For a wide range of American businesses, Sutnar developed graphic systems that clarified vast amounts of complex information, transforming business data into digestible units. He was the man responsible for putting the parentheses around American telephone area-code numbers when they were first introduced.” (more)
January 10 to February 28, 1947
Ladislav Sutnar and the A-D Gallery
Mildred Constantine wrote about Sutnar in 1961: ” There is a force and meaningful consistency in Sutnar’s entire body of work, which permits him to express himself with a rich diversity in exhibition design and the broad variations of graphic design. Sutnar has the assured stature of th integrated designer.”
Ladislav Sutnar (1897 – 1976) was one of the most ardent advocates of pure visual education in his designs and writings. Sutnar left Czechoslovakia after the Nazi occupation to design the Czechoslovak Pavilion in the World’s Fair in New York in 1939 . He never returned to his homeland. After one desperate year of looking for a job in New York,in 1941 Ladislav Sutnar met Knud Lönberg-Holm,the Danish-born architect who was director of Research at Sweet’s Catalog Service. Holm hired Sutnar as art director. Sweet’s Catalog Service was the producer of trade, construction,and hardware catalogs that were distributed to businesses and architects throughout the United States. Sutnar and Holm radically transformed the organization and presentation of technical and commercial information. Sutnar said “If a graphic design is to elicit greater intensity of perception and comprehension of contents,the designer should be aware of the following principles: 1) optical interest,which arouses attention and forces the eye to action; 2) visual simplicity of image and structure allowing quick reading and comprehension of the contents; and 3) visual continuity, which allows the clear understanding of the sequence of elements.” (more)
A-D: AN INTIMATE JOURNAL FOR ART DIRECTORS,
PRODUCTION MANAGERS, AND THEIR ASSOCIATES
Volume 7, No. 5: June-July 1941
The Alex Steinweiss Issue
This Steinweiss cover is widely recognized as a singular high point in American Graphic Design that has been reproduced in countless histories and anthologies.
In 1939, at the age of 23, Alex Steinweiss revolutionized the way records were packaged and marketed. As the first art director for the recently formed Columbia Records, Steinweiss saw a creative opportunity in the company’s packaging for its 78 rpm shellac records. The plain cardboard covers traditionally displayed only the title of the work and the artist. “They were so drab, so unattractive,” says Steinweiss, “I convinced the executives to let me design a few.” For what he saw as 12-inch by 12-inch canvasses inspired by French and German poster styles, he envisioned original works of art to project the beauty of the music inside. In 1947, for the first LP, Steinweiss invented a paperboard jacket, which has become the standard for the industry for nearly 50 years.
Alex Steinweiss was born in 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. His father loved music and instilled the passion in him. In 1930, Steinweiss entered Abraham Lincoln High School. His first artistic endeavors resulted in beautifully articulated marionettes. These brought him to the attention of the art department chair, Leon Friend, co-author of Graphic Design (1936), the first comprehensive American book on the subject. (more)
Individual Editions Available: 1949 – 1967
Herbert Spencer [Editor]
Typographica was the brainchild of founder, editor, designer and renowned typographer Herbert Spencer, and had a brief life, totalling 32 issues published between 1949 and 1967. But its influence stretched and stretches far beyond its modest distribution and print runs of the time. For many graphic designers, Typographica is something of an obsession, to be collected if and when found, savored, and poured over for designs, and techniques not seen since.
Spencer never intended to turn a profit, so no expenses were spared in production (just like Alexey Brodovitch’s Portfolio). Different papers, letterpress, tip-ins, and more were all employed in the presentation of an eclectic range of subject matter: Braille, locomotive lettering, sex and typography, typewriter faces, street lettering, matches, and avant-garde poetry all found their way into the magazine. (more)
MODERN USES OF ANTIQUE TYPES
Frederic Nelson Phillips, Inc., 1939
A very good or better staple-bound booklet with printed wrappers: yellowing and minor shelf wear including slight discoloration and slight spine crown and fore edge wear. Interior unmarked and very clean. Out-of-print.
8.75 x 11.25 staple-bound booklet with 36 pages with approx. 100 faces. The Depression resulted in foundries releasing fewer faces; Frederic Nelson Phillips, Inc. offered “antique” faces that they had culled from “the entire nation.” They felt these faces offered “unusual opportunities for the art director.” Includes 17 pages of antique faces incorporated into designs and 8 pages of antique face samples.
Faces include Alexius Script, Antique, Astral, Aquatint, Backhand, Bailey Shaded, Beaumont, Beekman, Bizarre, Bowl, Buffalo Bill, Crayon, Jim Crow, Crown, Dallas, Demeter, DeVinne Open, Erratick, Fashion, Filigree, Benjamin Franklin, Glyptic, Grant Antique, Hidalgo, Condensed Horto, Jumbo, Kincaid, Lafayette, Meridian, Milano, Monastic Shaded, Mither Hubbard, Obelisk, Orleans Open, Pastel Condenses, Penelope, Phidion, Philite, Ray Shaded, Renaissant, Ruberns, Ruskin, Sacramento, Salisbury Script, Sancroft, Shadow, Siderei, Skeleton, Spindler Shaded, Teuton Text, Tinted, Tuscon Shaded, Victor and Waverley Circular among others. (more)
THOUGHTS ON DESIGN, 1947
This is –quite possibly — the most desirable Graphic Design book ever published. After a decade of establishing himself as the wunderkind of the emerging field of Graphic Design, Paul Rand sat down to codify his beliefs and working methodology into a single volume. THOUGHTS ON DESIGN was the result.
If the word legend has any meaning in the graphic arts and if the term legendary can be applied with accuracy to the career of any designer, it can certainly be applied to Paul Rand (1914-1996). By 1947, the legend was already firmly in place. By then Paul had completed his first career as a designer of media promotion at Esquire-Coronet –and as an outstanding cover designer for Apparel Arts and Directions. He was well along on a second career as an advertising designer at the William Weintraub agency which he had joined as art director at its founding. THOUGHTS ON DESIGN (with reproductions of almost one hundred of his designs and some of the best words yet written on graphic design) had just published — an event that cemented his international reputation and identified him as a designer of influence from Zurich to Tokyo. (more)
THESE, ANTITHESE, SYNTHESE, 1935
Jan Tschichold [Designer]
Hard to find exhibition catalog with the unusual title “These, Antithesis, Synthesis.” The Marxist terminology was no coincidence: this 1935 exhibition was initiated by Swiss painter Hans Erni who was active in the international modernist art scene but also close to the communist movement before the War. Exhibition of work by Hans Arp, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Giorgio de Chirico, Andre Derain, Hans Erni, Max Ernst, Louis Fernandez, Alberto Giacometti, Julio Gonzalez, Juan Gris, Jean Helion, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Fernand Leger, Jean Miro, Piet Mondrian, Ben Nicholson, Wolfgang Paalen, Amedee Ozenfant, Pablo Picasso and Sophie Tauber-Arp. (more)
ASYMMETRIC TYPOGRAPHY, 1967
This information is for typophiles only: Voted one of the AIGA FIFTY BOOKS OF THE YEAR for 1967: Published by Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York in cooperation with Cooper and Beatty, Limited,Toronto.
Here is how this edition came to be published, according to Ruari McLean (from his TRUE TO TYPE, A TYPOGRAPHICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY): “When he left Penguins in 1949, Jan Tschichold returned to Switzerland, but we kept in touch, and saw him and Edith on their occasional visits to London. No English translation of any of his books had yet appeared; I had translated his little book on how to draw layouts, Typografische Entwurfstechnik, 1932, of only 24 pages, because I thought it so useful, but had never found a publisher for it. (It was eventually published as How to Draw Layouts in a limited edition of 150 copies by Merchiston Publishing, of Napier University in Edinburgh, in 1991.) Now he asked me to translate his Typographische Gestaltung (Typographic Design) which had been published in Basle in 1935. It was a more measured and persuasive account of his views than his first and epoch-making Die neue Typographie of 1928. This proposed new translation was to be really a new edition: Jan wanted to omit some passages which he considered had been of interest only to Swiss and German readers, and he had also found several new and better illustrations. We called the new version Asymmetric Typography, and it was published, i.e. financed, not by a conventional publisher, but by a highly intelligent firm of typesetters in Toronto called Cooper & Beatty. (more)
THE GRAPHIC DESIGN OF YUSAKU KAMEKURA
Yusaku Kamekura, Herbert Bayer [introduction]
Yusaku Kamekura (1915-1997) was one of the pioneers of Japanese graphic design who was at the forefront in promoting graphic design as an essential factor of modern society, culture and art, and whose achievements helped to establish the reputation of Japanese graphic design internationally. His designs included a wide diversity of projects such as logos, packages, books, and page layout, but some of his most memorable achievements were in posters, many of which can be seen in this book.
The symbol and poster designs for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics were Kamekura’s best-known work. The Tokyo Olympic symbol is a powerful, concise design, while the posters capture the dynamism of athletes. The poster design also incorporated photos, marking the first time that a photograph was used in an Olympic poster. Kamekura’s other well-known poster designs include Hiroshima Appeals, a poetic image of falling, burning butterflies; Expo ’70 in Osaka; and a series entitled, I’m Here. (more)
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, a group of artists who came to call themselves Constructivists set out to create a new art in the spirit of the new society to come. Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956), the most important and versatile member of the group, made outstanding and original works in virtually every field of the visual arts. In the first part of his career, Rodchenko produced innovative abstract painting, sculpture, prints and drawings. In 1921, however, he made a bold break, committing himself to applied art in the service of revolutionary ideals, and moving on to lasting achievements in photocollage, photography, and design of all kinds: books, posters, magazines, advertising, furniture. (more)
GRAPHIC DESIGN IN THE MECHANICAL AGE, 1998
Selections from the Merrill C. Berman Collection
Deborah Rothschild, Ellen Lupton and Darra Goldstein
This book showcases over two hundred examples of progressive graphic design from the 1920s and 30s. European, Soviet, and American avant-garde designers and artists of the time, using new technologies of mass production and mass distribution, marketed everything from salad oil and cigarettes to communism, utopian socialism, and the avant-garde itself. These selections from the Berman Collection, most never before shown or reproduced in the United States, include works by well-known artists (Lissitzky, Rodchenko, Cassandre, Man Ray, and others) and by lesser known masters. The book begins by detailing Berman’s pivotal role in shaping the history of graphic design as he amassed his collection. The authors then investigate the filtering of avant-garde design into mass produced posters and advertisements, the evolution of design production techniques in the Machine Age, and the avant-garde’s promotion of itself. (more)
INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF GRAPHIC DESIGN, 1964
Bruno Alfieri (founder and editor)
A good vintage magazine in printed covers with shelf wear around the fore edges, yellowing, mottling, and a nick on the spine. Interior unmarked and very clean. The 45 record and poster are in near-fine condition. Out-of-print. Cover design by Eugenio Carmi, a tipped-in lithographed tinplate with minor shelf wear.
The book contents (among others): Pioneer of New Forms: Experiments in Europe in typography, photography, and the graphic art in the twenties by Eckhard Neumann (7 pages with 24 illustrations, 7 in color including work by Wassily Kandinsky, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Kurt Schwitters, Moskwa, Theo van Doesburg, Johannes Itten, Herbert Bayer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Joost Schmidt, Kurt Schwitters, Johannes Molzahn, Henryk Berlewi, Ladislav Sutnar, Alfred Arndt, Anton Stankowski, Hans Leistikow, Oskar Schlemmer, Karl Peter Rohl, Johannes Canis, and Robert Michel), Experimental Graphics: Royal College of Art, International Graphic Documentation, George Giusti: 3 pages with 14 b/w illustrations, Luigi Montaini, Till Neuburg: 12 pages w/ 54 illustrations, 1 in color, George Tscherny: 4 pages with 29 b/w illustrations, Giancarlo Iliprandi: 4 pages with 18 b/w illustrations, Paul Rand: 4 pages with 27 b/w illustrations, Franco Ricci: 2 pages with 12 b/w illustrations, Fletcher, Forbes, Gill: 3 pages with 14 b/w illustrations, Castiglioni, Huber, Iliprandi (exhibition design): 3 pages with 18 illustrations, 7 in color, Giovanni Pintori (Olivetti!): 1 page with 7 b/w illustrations, etc. (more)
LEHRE UND ARBEIT AM BAUHAUS 1919 – 1932
Heinz Loew and Helene Nonne-Schmidt
Joost Schmidt [1893 -1948] began his studies in 1910 at the Grand Ducal Saxonian School of Arts in Weimar and subsequently became a master student of Max Thedy. He received his diploma in painting in the 1913/14 winter semester. After military service and a period as a prisoner of war, he returned to Germany in 1918.
From 1919 to 1924/25, he trained in the workshop for stone and wood sculpture under Johannes Itten and Oskar Schlemmer at the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. In 1921/22, his projects included the design and completion of carvings for the Sommerfeld House in Berlin and the design of a poster for the Weimar Bauhaus exhibition of 1923. In 1925, Schmidt accepted an offer from Walter Gropius to become a junior master at the Bauhaus Dessau after passing the journeyman’s examination of the Chamber of Crafts Weimar.
Egidio Marzona has assembled the world’s foremost collection of works on paper documenting the revolutionary efforts of the Bauhaus. Marzona is also a well-known publisher of books on Russian Constructivism, Futurism, De Stijl, Dadaism, and a host of other movements and figures of the 20th-century avant-garde. (more)
DRUCKSACHEN, TYPOGRAFIE, REKLAME, 1984
360 pp. Approximately 500 black and white and color reproductions of Bauhaus ephemera. Essays. Out-of-print and surprisingly uncommon. Dust jacket lightly worn. A fine copy in a nearly fine dust jacket.
Publisher Egidio Marzona has assembled the world’s foremost collection of works on paper documenting the revolutionary efforts of the Bauhaus. Marzona has published many books on Russian Constructivism, Futurism, De Stijl, Dadaism, and a host of other movements and figures of the 20th-century avant-garde. (more)