Visual Design in Action by Ladislav Sutnar

 

Designers & Books Launched a Kickstarter on April 28 to Reissue Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action in New Facsimile Edition

An iconic book on modern graphic design, out of print for more than 40 years, is poised for a comeback.

Designers & Books launched a Kickstarter on April 28 to create a facsimile edition of one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking books on modern communications and graphic design: Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action.

Read more or BACK THIS PROJECT NOW @ Kickstarter : www.kickstarter.com/projects/1204158310/ladislav-sutnar-visual-design-in-action-facsimile

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Cover of Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, written and designed by Ladislav Sutnar. Originally published 1961 in a limited edition of 3,000 copies. Facsimile reprint, October 2015.

First published in 1961 and out of print for more than four decades, the book features the work of Ladislav Sutnar (1897–1976) a Czech-born industrial and graphic designer trained in International Style modernism whose achievements in the United States during the 1940s and ʻ50s are now recognized as an important forerunner of information graphics.

While other 20th-century graphic designers might be better known, few have contributed as profoundly to the literature of graphic design. “Today, the book retains its power as a practical manifesto and a guide to universal design principles,” says Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. “It is also a window into one of the great design minds of the twentieth century.

Design writer Steven Heller has stated that Visual Design in Action “is arguably the most intellectually stimulating Modern design book since Jan Tschichold’s Die Neue Typographie.” And Stefan Sagmeister, graphic designer, Sagmeister & Walsh declares, “Ladislav Sutnar is the most under-appreciated giant in design. Putting Visual Design in Action back into print will make that right.

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Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, illustrating identity campaign for Addo-X.
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Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, illustrating identity campaign for Addo-x.
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Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action. Sutnar was fascinated with American punctuation marks.

 

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Ladislav Sutnar (1879–1976), c. 1960.

Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action was originally published to accompany a 1961 traveling exhibition of the same name. The exhibition showcased Sutnarʼs design achievements, ranging from business letterhead to branding for shopping centers. In the book, which he both wrote and designed, Sutnar laid out his graphic design principles — grounded in rationality, with a focus on type and a sharply edited color palette — and illustrated them using his own work. The book is considered a “lost milestone” and a “rare treasure,” and copies from the first and only printing of 3,000 are prized by designers and book collectors alike.

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Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, illustrating branding campaign for Carr’s shopping plaza.
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Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, showing book cover designs.
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Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, showing branding for “Vera Scarves.”

The Visual Design in Action Facsimile Edition

The facsimile edition of Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action will be edited by the renowned graphic design writer Steven Heller and the award-winning designer and filmmaker Reto Caduff. Printing and production guidance is provided by the distinguished publisher Lars Müller, recognized for his expertise in facsimile reprints.

Accompanying the facsimile will be a supplementary booklet that sets Sutnar in context and sheds new light on the designer through previously unpublished archival photographs, correspondence, and other materials. It will feature an introduction by Reto Caduff and a new essay by Steven Heller exploring Sutnar as a great “philosopher, maker, and critic of design.”

Both the facsimile edition and supplementary booklet are authorized and supported by Radoslav L. Sutnar, a son of Ladislav Sutnar, who is dedicated to preserving his father’s legacy, and Elaine F. Sutnar.

The goal of the Kickstarter is to fund production of a perfect replica, including the exceptional printing and production values, of the original book, which uses varied papers to enhance color and differentiate context. Sutnar’s own standards were so exacting that when in 1961 he could find no publisher willing to pay the high printing and production costs associated with his design, Sutnar paid Hastings House out of his own pocket to print it.

If the Kickstarter is successfully funded, the first copies of the facsimile edition and supplementary booklet will be available to project supporters in October 2015 from Lars Müller Publishers. Backers of the Kickstarter campaign, which runs April 28 to June 3, will be acknowledged in a special section of the book.

BACK THIS PROJECT @ Kickstarterwww.kickstarter.com/projects/1204158310/ladislav-sutnar-visual-design-in-action-facsimile

PRESS 8. Sutnar-VDIA-spread-addo-x-bw-other
Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, illustrating identity campaign for Addo-x.
PRESS 9. Original-VDIA-book-cover-design-spread from-KS-video
Spread from Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design and Action, showing book cover designs (from Designers’ and Books Kickstarter campaign video).

About Designers & Books

Designers & Books is a website that advocates for books as an important source of inspiration for creativity and innovation. The Kickstarter project to reprint Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action is part of a Designers & Books initiative to bring back into the public eye important out-of-print design books and to introduce them to new audiences.

BACK THIS PROJECT @ Kickstarterwww.kickstarter.com/projects/1204158310/ladislav-sutnar-visual-design-in-action-facsimile

 

Maria Papaefstathiou

VISUAL DESIGNER since 1996 and blogger since 2010. Living in Athens, Greece. She has been focusing her research on poster design and particularly on social poster design and portrait design. Her main poster project is a series of posters celebrating great personalities of traditional and popular culture in Greece and Jamaica. These include actors, singers, musicians, poets etc. This is an ongoing project. “I believe that design is a powerful tool that we designers can use to spark enthusiasm, change mindsets and bring positive actions to our world and our culture”. FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF GRAPHICART-NEWS.COM BLOG. She carefully curates high-quality designs, illustrations, and art, from all over the world that will teach and provoke other designers. Many consider her blog to be an exceptional educational tool. CO-FOUNDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL REGGAE POSTER CONTEST which was launched on December 2011, partnering, the creative activist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. (www.reggaepostercontest.com)

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