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Booksourcing: Books

You know the drill. Best book covers and book insides. Ever. Also one thing I wanted to clarify from the last edition (packaging), where we discussed whether book covers were considered packaging and whether they should be in the same category. The way we have structured this section is Practice ⇒ on Shelves ⇒ Books / Music / Goods. Just, you know, fyi.

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PUBLISHED ON Jan.15.2008 BY Armin
Hollis’s comment is:

These two immediately come to mind:

Paul Rand, Mencken

Paul Rand, Leave Cancelled

On Jan.15.2008 at 05:13 PM
Randy J. Hunt’s comment is:

S,M,L,XL - because it (re)defined the genres of big books and designer monographs

On Jan.15.2008 at 11:18 PM
Joey Pfeifer’s comment is:

For book design, I suggest:

The Story of Art, Pocket Edition, by E.H. Gombrich

Profile: Pentagram Design

I realize these both are very recent, so they might not fare well with other more classic books. They aren't necessarily "landmark" designs either, nor have they made a huge impact on book design in general, but they are still beautiful and wonderfully executed. That should amount to something, I hope.

On Jan.16.2008 at 01:35 AM
Marco Q.’s comment is:

Atlas of Novel Tectonics, but you need to see it in real life to understand why..
PS: Anybody able to identify the font used?

On Jan.16.2008 at 05:56 AM
Marco Q.’s comment is:

Atlas of Novel Tectonics, but you need to see it in real life to understand why..
PS: Anybody able to identify the font used?

On Jan.16.2008 at 05:57 AM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

Bruce Mau didn't redefine large-format books. Irma Boom did. And before her, there was the American Type Founders specimen book of 1923. 1100+ pages of typographic glory.

Also, Ed Ruscha "Twentysix Gasoline Stations," 1962.

On Jan.16.2008 at 10:44 AM
Mike’s comment is:

Speaking of Irma Boom
I got a chance to see the SHV Book in person during my junior year of college, absolutely one of my favorites.

On Jan.16.2008 at 01:13 PM
agrayspace’s comment is:

Suggestions for best book insides…

VAS, An Opera in Flatland

House of Leaves

On Jan.16.2008 at 01:22 PM
Hollis’s comment is:

Here are more of my personal favorites:

Carin Goldberg, Kurt Vonnegut Series

Alvin Lustig, New Directions: New Classics (The Great Gatsby, Amerika)

Helen Yentus, Albert Camus Series

Peter Mendelsund, Kafka and Wizard of the Crow

Paul Buckley, The Wonder Spot

Also, Darren Haggar at Penguin has done some really nice work.

Non-Format, Oh the Glory of it All

Anything by John Gall

Book wise Chip Kidd's monograph felt very clever when I first saw it

He's done so many great covers; two examples: Dry, A Memoir and Jurrassic Park which morphed into a movie logo!

Gray318, Back Story

Rodrigo Corral, A Million Little Pieces

Stefan Sagmeister, Made You Look

I love this cover

Powell, Naked Economics

Paul Sahre, Killing the Buddha

An Underachiever's Diary is pretty classic, and DIY Covers for Penguin Classics deserve a mention.

On Jan.16.2008 at 06:43 PM
pj’s comment is:

David Pearson: Great Ideas vol. I. and Great Ideas vol. II. and Great Ideas (Germany)

On Jan.16.2008 at 08:38 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Hollis, you go, boy!

So, here is a question for everyone... Would A Million Little Pieces be something worthy of inclusion? Of course, it was the controversy that made the book memorable, but that minty cover with the coated bits of candy was pretty eye catching in every newscast graphic or when Oprah held it in her hand.

On Jan.16.2008 at 09:38 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.16.2008 at 10:26 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.16.2008 at 10:42 PM
Tselentis’s comment is:

Funny to see this post by Armin coincide with this piece at Eyemagazine.com. It's all about books right now, especially since book buying and reading has declined so significantly.

On Jan.17.2008 at 09:08 AM
Thierry Blancpain’s comment is:

Neue Grafik




the beauty and the book on amazon

On Jan.17.2008 at 10:14 AM
Synthetic’s comment is:

Morning Issue One

Morning is a limited edition art/zine that showcases up-and-coming visual artists from around the world. Screen-printed and hand-assembled, the first issue was released in November 2007 in Chicago.

On Jan.17.2008 at 03:06 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.17.2008 at 04:16 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:

(Talk about controversy!)


On Jan.17.2008 at 04:24 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.17.2008 at 04:35 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.17.2008 at 04:38 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.17.2008 at 04:54 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.17.2008 at 05:01 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


On Jan.17.2008 at 08:01 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:

This ones seems to come and go on the "viewable."

Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style.


On Jan.17.2008 at 08:14 PM
Inaudible Nonsense’s comment is:

On Jan.17.2008 at 09:53 PM
Inaudible Nonsense’s comment is:

Oh you're going to think I'm being cute. But I just love this cover so much. Even more than his others. The color. The lettering. So perfect.

On Jan.17.2008 at 10:17 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


Available from Oak Knoll.


On Jan.18.2008 at 02:33 PM
Randy J Hunt’s comment is:

I don't disagree at all the Irma Boom was the key influence in that space, but S, M, L, XL made it into a ton of hands. Now I'm not saying distribution makes the design (that'd be silly), but salesmanship is worth noting.

On Jan.18.2008 at 11:33 PM
Henrik Tandberg’s comment is:

Best bookcover ever. (in my opinion)

On Jan.21.2008 at 10:12 AM
Henrik Tandberg’s comment is:

Lorca, 3 tragedies. Designed by Alvin Lustig. Best bookcover ever (in my opinion)

On Jan.21.2008 at 10:18 AM
Derrick Schultz’s comment is:

A few that come to mind from a purely landmark design/designer standpoint:

Quentin Fiore's design for McLuhan's Medium is the Massage.
Massin's design of the The Bald Soprano
Erik Nitsche's Dynamic America
Herbert Bayer's World Geo-Graphic Atlas
Fabien Baron's design for the Madonna Sex book (though god forbid we bring up that era of design as its sooo unfashionable right now)

Certainly something from Lorraine Wild, Irma Boom, and a Phaidon book, although I'm hesitant to say what is any of these groups "best."

What about Bradbury Thompson's Washburn Bible? Now that was a big book.

I'd certainly have to second House of Leaves, or various kids books because of their influence on impressionable young minds, although I would always vote for a Leonni or Munari kids book over a Rand one.

On Jan.21.2008 at 01:17 PM
Christina W’s comment is:

My favourite classic book designs are the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible and the Pennyroyal Alice. But perhaps that is craftsmanship as much as it is design.


On Jan.21.2008 at 07:15 PM
Kosal Sen’s comment is:

The Art of Looking Sideways, by Alan Fletcher.
For its content, design, and the seamless blending of both.

On Jan.23.2008 at 11:32 PM
Haynes Riley’s comment is:

Don't forget anything published by McSweeney's. More specifically "You Shall Know Our Velocity" (Dave Eggers) and "McSweeney's Issue 11." Also, Jonathan Safran Foer's book covers and insides.

On Feb.28.2008 at 07:58 PM
Kevin’s comment is:

wow, so late on this, but I'm surprised no one brought up David Pearson's work for Penguin and Zulma.The most beautiful work I've seen in a while.

Also, Montreal studio Paprika's redesign of Les Allusifs collection is simply stunning in person.

On Nov.17.2008 at 01:53 PM