1. Series design for Melville International Crime by American designer/illustrator Christopher Brian King. Very striking individually, with some nice ideas and they all hang together really well as a group. 

    I posted about his work process on one cover before, which can be seen here. Link via @jickstumps

  2. Lots of great old Pelican book covers on this flickr, that yoga one is brilliant!

    www.flickr.com/photos/andykempson/

  3. Mr bingo has a book out! It’s full of the postcards he sent during his always hilarious Hate Mail project;

    "Last year I sent a postcard to a stranger called Jonathan Hopkins. It said on it "F*ck you Jonathan, f*ck you and f*ck your sh*t legs". People seemed to be into it so I opened a service on my website, inviting strangers to pay me in return for an offensive postcard addressed to them (or whoever they ordered it for).”

    Really enjoyed seeing the pictures he re-tweeted from the happy postcard recipients over the past few months, can’t wait to see more in the book! You can order it here, only £6.99 total bargain. Mr Bingo has to be one of the funniest illustrators out there, always makes me laugh. Worth following on twitter too for the pictures he shares; @Mr_Bingo. And if you have time watch some videos of him doing talks;

  4. Today AIGA announced the selections for the 2011 50 books/ 50 covers, a celebration of book design (and there are already nominations for 2012). Above are 9 of the winning covers. Be sure to check out all 100 winning books;

    The 2011 50 books and 50 books covers

  5. The Casual Optimist, one of my all time favorite blogs, passed it’s 4th year in existence last week (blog birthday or blog-iversary?), and Dan celebrated by posting 50 memorable book covers from 2008-2011. The above are just 9 personal choices from that selection, all 50 are brilliant so go and have a look.

    And if you don’t know about it, or aren’t already a reader, definitely be sure to check out The Casual Optimist. It really is a fantastic blog, always full of interesting things literary and design related, perfect for stoking my own interest in books and their covers. Plus check out @CasualOptimist for lots of literary links on twitter, and tumblr too for images; http://casualoptimist.tumblr.com/ 

  6. I’m just back from an unplanned long weekend in Athens, Greece. Luckily in the 24 hours I had to get ready I managed to pick up the 2 books above. I’d had my eye on them both for ages, partly due to the stories but also thanks to the really eye catching and well designed covers!

    It’s also worth mentioning that beyond the covers these are 2 really well designed books on the inside. Which you don’t see that often, usually they are very uniform. Boxer Beetle has this and a double page of press quotes in big letterpress type. While The Sisters Brothers has nice simple illustrated chapter title pages, a few random typographic intermissions and the whole body type has a vaguely Western feel which is appropriate but still very readable.

    Design aside they were both very good books, would definitely recommend them, real page turners! I’m looking forward to Ned Beauman’s next book The Teleportation Accident which looks really good, and has a nice cover by La Boca.

  7. Last thursday at D&AD New Blood I was lucky enough to attend an event run by publishers Laurence King. It was mainly a discussion between a few of the in-house team there, Laurence King himself, part time creative director Angus Hyland (also Partner at Pentagram) and the illustrator/author Marion Deuchars.

    Was great to find out more about how a book gets published, from it’s initial conception to the final design. As well as hearing their thoughts on how the publishing industry is changing. My particular highlight was hearing advice from Angus (pictured above, with his book cover designs below that), who is a bit of a hero of mine, not just for his work but also the wide range of other things he is involved in. Anyway his advice was;

    • Keep trying until you get a rejection, be persistent but not an annoyance.
    • Always spell check everything and make sure you have the name of someone to contact (and spell that right too).
    • Dig a little deeper when complimenting someone on their work, don’t just say you like the last few things they did.

    He also said the 3 things he looks for in a designer;

    1. Good craft skills
    2. Creativity
    3. Enthusiasm

    Overall it was a great event, and lovely of Laurence King to have some students along. Go have a look at their website and buy some books! Would recommend some, but there are far too many great ones to choose from, so go see for yourself.

  8. Wow, so tomorrow I find out the result of my degree in graphic design! I believe this means I am no longer a design student (not that designers ever stop learning). I’ll be honest I came to uni having done barely any design, and without even much knowledge of the subject. I’ve been lucky enough to be at a great university, with a design philosophy that really suited me, and in the past 3 years I’ve learnt so much in both practical skills, and knowledge. Seems a good time for me to post the books that I think someone about to study graphic design or currently studying would really benefit from reading;

    A Smile in the Mind and The A - Z of Visual Ideas will help you understand the concept of ideas in graphic design (look at the covers for a start) and A Technique for Producing Ideas might help you have some. The Art of Looking Sideways will show you that as a graphic designer it helps to be fascinated by everything, and Graphic Design: A Concise History will give you a really great start in understanding design history.

    It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To BeWhatever You Think, Think the Opposite and The Medium is the Massage are short books that will make you think, and maybe see things differently.

    Generally my advice if you are at uni now is read as much as you can while you have access to a library, especially in your first two years. I wish I could have had time to read more in my final year! I have a few more book recommendations here. I know not everyone likes reading as much as me, and it’s no guarantee of anything, but personally I’ve found it beneficial to my course and I wish I’d read some of these books a lot sooner! 

  9. Book covers designed by the super talented John Gall, whose work I meant to post about ages a go, but I totally forgot. Was reminded today by the news on twitter that he is the new creative director of Abrams books.

    Oh and he has a tumblr where he posts collage work - http://nearlywaves.tumblr.com/

    & just a regular tumblr blog too - http://johngall.tumblr.com/

  10. Existential Ennui- Beautiful British Book Jacket Design of the 1950s and 1960s

    See a lot of book covers like these in second hand bookshops, something so British about them. Very different from American or European book covers of the same time. They are quite hard to place in the overall history of graphic design, must be somewhere between the transition from commercial artists to modernist graphic designers.

    Check out the original blog post by the collector of these books for dates and designer credits. 

  11. Last week the D&AD awards 2012 winners, nominations and longlists were announced, some brilliant things so im going to post my favorites this week.

    Let’s Make Some Great Art by illustrator Marion Deuchars and published by Laurence King won a yellow pencil in the illustration category.

    It’s hard to do it justice online, but it’s a really great and lovely looking book, full of interactive activities to get creative juices flowing and teach you about art and drawing. Marions work is always brilliant so great to see her win for this really interesting book, plus I love her handwriting! One of the best! Bit of trivia here, Laurence King creative director Angus Hyland is her husband, and also a partner at Pentagram London, talented couple!

  12. Last week the D&AD awards 2012 winners, nominations and longlists were announced, some brilliant things so im going to post my favorites this week.

    The above covers for author Don DeLillo won a yellow pencil in the book design category. They are published by Picador, with illustrations by negative space supremo Noma Bar! Who is definitely a very worthy winner! 

    Interestingly he was hired by the people who art directed the project, none other than INT Works the design studio arm of awesome magazine/blog It’s Nice That

  13. Scans from a vintage illustrated kids book I bought recently called The Bus That Went To Church by Jill Tomlinson. As usual I bought it for the illustrations rather than the words, but the story is kind of quirky but religious! It’s illustrated by Alan Howard, who I hadn’t heard of before but I think he did a lot of work for Faber Books over the years.

    Great illustrations! Got the right sort of Mid-Century Modern feel that I’m into, but also a very definite sixties vibe (not surprising since it was published in 1965). You can see more from it on my flickr here

    And if your into this sort of thing don’t forget to follow my other blog; http://midcenturymoderndesign.tumblr.com/

  14. Book covers designed by Nathan Burton.

    Great range in his work, and the 9 above are just a selection. The way the series design section of his website is pretty clever too, virtual spines!

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London based graphic designer.

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