2012 | 50 Books Selections

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2015 Books
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2013 Books
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2012 Books
2012 Covers
2011 Books
2011 Covers

AIGA Archives
101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides
101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides
AUTHOR: Denise Wolff
PUBLISHER: Aperture
DESIGNER: Emily Lessard


A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald
A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald
AUTHOR: Errol Morris
PUBLISHER: Penguin Press
ART DIRECTOR: Michael Bierut
DESIGNER: Yve Ludwig
DESIGN FIRM: Pentagram Design


Advertising for People Who Don't Like Advertising
Advertising for People Who Don't Like Advertising
AUTHOR: Kesselskramer
PUBLISHER: Laurence King Publishers
DESIGNER: KesselsKramer


America's Other Audubon
America's Other Audubon
AUTHOR: Joy M. Kiser
PUBLISHER: Princeton Architectural Press
ART DIRECTOR: Deb Wood
DESIGNER: Bree Anne Apperlery


Anton Ginzburg: At the Back of the North Wind
Anton Ginzburg: At the Back of the North Wind
AUTHOR: Jeffrey Kastner (Author), Boris Groys (Author), Anton Ginzburg (Author)
PUBLISHER: Hatje Cantz
ART DIRECTOR: Project Projects
DESIGNER: Project Projects
DESIGN FIRM: Project Projects


Aperture Magazine Anthology: The Minor White Years, 1952–1976
Aperture Magazine Anthology: The Minor White Years, 1952–1976
AUTHOR: Peter C. Bunnell, Lesley A. Martin, Diana C. Stoll
PUBLISHER: Aperture
DESIGNER: Andrew Sloat


Architectural composition
Architectural composition
AUTHOR: Marius Saliamoras
PUBLISHER: Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts Publishing House
ART DIRECTOR: Ausra Lisauskiene
DESIGNER: Ausra Lisauskiene
DESIGN FIRM: Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts


Caravaggio and His Legacy
Caravaggio and His Legacy
AUTHOR: Edited by J. Patrice Marandel with contributions by J. Patrice Marandel, Gianni Papi and Benjamin Couilleaux, Axel Hemery, Michel Hilaire,Dominique Jacquot, Judith Mann,Lynn Orr, Amy Walsh, Eric Zafran,Olivier Zeder
PUBLISHER: Los Angeles County Museum of Art and DelMonico Books/Prestel
DESIGNER: Barbara Glauber


Conversations from the Print Studio: A Master Printer in Collaboration with Ten Artists
Conversations from the Print Studio: A Master Printer in Collaboration with Ten Artists
AUTHOR: Craig Zammiello and Elisabeth Hodermarsky
PUBLISHER: Yale University Press
DESIGNER: Christopher Sleboda


Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine
Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine
AUTHOR: Sina Najafi
PUBLISHER: Cabinet Books
DESIGNER: Everything Studio


Dancing around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp
Dancing around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp
AUTHOR: Carlos Basualdo, Erica F. Battle, Reinaldo Laddaga, Paul Franklin, Calvin Tomkins, Amy Wilkins
PUBLISHER: Yale University Press
ART DIRECTOR: Takaaki Matsumoto
DESIGNER: Takaaki Matsumoto, Robin Brunelle
DESIGN FIRM: Matsumoto Incorporated


Daniel Brush
Daniel Brush
AUTHOR: Oliver Sacks, David Revere McFadden, Amy Wilkins
PUBLISHER: Museum of Arts and Design
ART DIRECTOR: Takaaki Matsumoto
DESIGNER: Takaaki Matsumoto, Robin Brunelle
DESIGN FIRM: Matsumoto Incorporated


Doris Duke's Shangri-La
Doris Duke's Shangri-La
AUTHOR: Donald Albrecht, Thomas Mellins, Tim Street-Porter and Deborah Pope
PUBLISHER: Skira Rizzoli
ART DIRECTOR: Abbott Miller
DESIGNER: Kim Walker
DESIGN FIRM: Pentagram Design


Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili
Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili
AUTHOR: Louise Fili
PUBLISHER: Princeton Architectural Press
ART DIRECTOR: Louise Fili
DESIGNER: Louise Fili, John Passafiume, Dana Tanamachi
DESIGN FIRM: Louise Fili Ltd


Encyclopedia of Flowers – Flower Works by Makoto Azuma Photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki
Encyclopedia of Flowers – Flower Works by Makoto Azuma Photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki
AUTHOR: Kyoko Wada
PUBLISHER: Lars Müller Publishers
ART DIRECTOR: Kenya Hara
DESIGNER: Kenya Hara, Kaoru Matsuno, and Chen Fangju
DESIGN FIRM: Nippon Design Center


Enviroment and Object: Recent African Art
Enviroment and Object: Recent African Art
AUTHOR: Lisa Aronson & John S. Weber
ART DIRECTOR: Barbara Glauber
DESIGNER: Barbara Glauber, Azusa Kobayashi, Gregory Skiano
DESIGN FIRM: Heavy Meta


Felipe Cohen, Recent Works
Felipe Cohen, Recent Works
AUTHOR: Felipe Cohen, Daniel Trench
PUBLISHER: Galeria Marília Razuk
ART DIRECTOR: Daniel Trench
DESIGNER: Daniel Trench
DESIGN FIRM: Daniel Trench


Fred Sandback
Fred Sandback
AUTHOR: Fred Sandback
PUBLISHER: Radius Books and David Zwirner
ART DIRECTOR: David Chickey
DESIGNER: David Chickey
DESIGN FIRM: Skolkin & Chickey


FUSE 1–20
FUSE 1–20
AUTHOR: Neville Brody, Jon Wozencroft
PUBLISHER: TASCHEN
ART DIRECTOR: Josh Baker
DESIGNER: Various


Herb Lubalin
Herb Lubalin
AUTHOR: Adrian Shaughnessy
PUBLISHER: Unit Editions
ART DIRECTOR: Tony Brook
DESIGNER: Claudia Clat and Elena Carl
DESIGN FIRM: Spin


In the Life of Cities
In the Life of Cities
AUTHOR: Mohsen Mostafavi in Cooperation with Harvard University Graduate School of Design
PUBLISHER: Lars Müller Publishers
ART DIRECTOR: Lars Müller
DESIGNER: Integral Lars Müller
DESIGN FIRM: Integral Lars Müller


Information Graphics
Information Graphics
AUTHOR: Sandra Rendgen, Julius Wiedemann
PUBLISHER: TASCHEN
ART DIRECTOR: Praline, Al Rodger and David Tanguy
DESIGNER: Cover design by Josh Baker


Japanese American Photography: Commemorative Edition
Japanese American Photography: Commemorative Edition
AUTHOR: Cody Westerbeck and Dennis Reed
PUBLISHER: One Cat Press
ART DIRECTOR: N/A
DESIGNER: Dennis Reed
DESIGN FIRM: One Cat Press


Ken Garland: Structure and Substance
Ken Garland: Structure and Substance
AUTHOR: Adrian Shaughnessy
PUBLISHER: Unit Editions London
ART DIRECTOR: Tony Brook
DESIGNER: Elena Carl, Adrian Shaghunnesy


Mark & the Jellybeen Monster
Mark & the Jellybeen Monster
AUTHOR: Author - Ariel Lee; Editors - Alex Carswell, Nancey Greystone
PUBLISHER: Designmatters at Art Center College of Design
ART DIRECTOR: David Tillinghast
DESIGNER: Ariel Lee
DESIGN FIRM: Designmatters at Art Center College of Design


Mastering the Iron
Mastering the Iron
AUTHOR: Anne Kelly Knowles
PUBLISHER: The University of Chicago Press
ART DIRECTOR: Jill Shimabukuro
DESIGNER: Ryan Li
DESIGN FIRM: The University of Chicago Press


Meme Wars
Meme Wars
AUTHOR: Kalle Lasn and Adbusters
PUBLISHER: Seven Stories Press
ART DIRECTOR: Will Brown
DESIGNER: AdBusters


Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography, New and Revised Edition
Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography, New and Revised Edition
AUTHOR: Franz Schulze and Edward Windhorst
PUBLISHER: The University of Chicago Press
ART DIRECTOR: Jill Shimabukuro
DESIGNER: Matt Avery
DESIGN FIRM: The University of Chicago Press


Notes from a Revolution: Com/Co, The Diggers & The Haight
Notes from a Revolution: Com/Co, The Diggers & The Haight
AUTHOR: Kristine McKenna and David Hollander
PUBLISHER: Foggy Notion Books in association with Fulton Ryder, Inc.
ART DIRECTOR: Lorraine Wild
DESIGNER: Lorraine Wild and Haruna Madono
DESIGN FIRM: Green Dragon Office


Open This Little Book
Open This Little Book
AUTHOR: Jesse Klausmeier, Illustrated by Suzy Lee
PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books
ART DIRECTOR: Sara Gillingham
DESIGNER: Sara Gillingham
DESIGN FIRM: Sara Gillingham Studio


Page 1: Great Expectations / Seventy graphic solutions
Page 1: Great Expectations / Seventy graphic solutions
AUTHOR: Lucienne Roberts / Rebecca Wright
PUBLISHER: GraphicDesign&
ART DIRECTOR: Lucienne Roberts / Rebecca Wright
DESIGNER: Lucienne Roberts / John McGill
DESIGN FIRM: LucienneRoberts+


Paul Strand: The Garden at Orgeval
Paul Strand: The Garden at Orgeval
AUTHOR: Denise Wolff
PUBLISHER: Aperture
DESIGNER: Daniel Baer


Petrochemical America, Photographs by Richard Misrach, Ecological Atlas by Kate Orff
Petrochemical America, Photographs by Richard Misrach, Ecological Atlas by Kate Orff
AUTHOR: Melissa Harris
PUBLISHER: Aperture
DESIGNER: Bob Aufuldish
DESIGN FIRM: Aufuldish & Warinner


Philosophy of Design
Philosophy of Design
AUTHOR: Ove Arup
PUBLISHER: Prestel


Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection
Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection
AUTHOR: Kathryn H. Selig Brown, Ph.D., Richard A. Pegg
PUBLISHER: MacLean Collection & Prestel Publishing
ART DIRECTOR: Lorraine Wild
DESIGNER: Lorraine Wild and Xiaoqing Wang with Joe Potts
DESIGN FIRM: Green Dragon Office


Rashid Johnson: Message To Our Folks
Rashid Johnson: Message To Our Folks
AUTHOR: Julie Rodrigues Widholm (Curator), Kate Steinmann, Sarah Kramer, Molly Zimmerman-Feeley (Editors)
PUBLISHER: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
DESIGNER: James Goggin, Alfredo Ruiz
DESIGN FIRM: Design, Publishing, and New Media department, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago


Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective
Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective
AUTHOR: Contributions by Jennifer Blessing, Sandra S. Phillips, Chelsea Spengemann, and Jan van Adrichem
PUBLISHER: Guggenheim Museum
DESIGN FIRM: Mevis & van Deursen


Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations
Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations
AUTHOR: Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda
PUBLISHER: Metropolitan Museum of Art
ART DIRECTOR: Abott Miller
DESIGNER: Kim Walker, Kristen Spilman and Krista Reeder
DESIGN FIRM: Pentagram Design


Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies: Lafayette Park, Detroit
Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies: Lafayette Park, Detroit
AUTHOR: Placement (Danielle Aubert, Lana Cavar, Natasha Chandani)
PUBLISHER: Metropolis Books
ART DIRECTOR: Placement (Danielle Aubert, Lana Cavar, Natasha Chandani)
DESIGNER: Placement (Danielle Aubert, Lana Cavar, Natasha Chandani)


The American Circus
The American Circus
AUTHOR: Susan Weber, Kenneth L. Ames, Matthew Wittmann
PUBLISHER: Bard Graduate Center and Yale University Press
ART DIRECTOR: Barbara Glauber
DESIGNER: Barbara Glauber, Florian Brozek, Azusa Kobayashi, Greg Skiano
DESIGN FIRM: Heavy Meta


The Democratic Lecture
The Democratic Lecture
AUTHOR: Craig Oldham
PUBLISHER: Unified Theory Of Everything
DESIGNER: Craig Oldham
DESIGN FIRM: Music


The English Cathedral
The English Cathedral
AUTHOR: Peter Marlow
PUBLISHER: Merrell
ART DIRECTOR: Nicola Bailey
DESIGNER: Justine Schuster and Ana Rocha
DESIGN FIRM: SMITH


The Hugo Boss Prize 2012
The Hugo Boss Prize 2012
AUTHOR: Contributions by Katherine Brinson, Suzanne Cotter, Dominic Eichler, Kate Fowle, Beatrix Ruf, Adam Szymczyk, and Julie Rodrigues Widholm
PUBLISHER: Guggenheim Museum
DESIGNER: Sara De Bondt, Mark El-khatib
DESIGN FIRM: Sara De Bondt studio


The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories
The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories
AUTHOR: Ivan Vladislavic
PUBLISHER: Seagull Books
ART DIRECTOR: Seagull Books
DESIGNER: Jacket design by Sunandini Banerjee


The Tobacco Atlas
The Tobacco Atlas
AUTHOR: Michael Eriksen, Judith Mackay, Hana Ross
PUBLISHER: American Cancer Society
DESIGNER: Language Department
DESIGN FIRM: Language Department


This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s
This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s
AUTHOR: Helen Molesworth (Curator), Sarah Kramer, Kate Steinmann (Editors)
PUBLISHER: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Yale University Press
DESIGNER: James Goggin, Scott Reinhard
DESIGN FIRM: Design, Publishing, and New Media department, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago


Torre David
Torre David
AUTHOR: Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner, Urban–Think Tank Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zürich
PUBLISHER: Lars Müller Publishers
ART DIRECTOR: Lars Müller
DESIGNER: Integral Lars Müller
DESIGN FIRM: Integral Lars Müller


Typography 33
Typography 33
AUTHOR: Type Directors Club
PUBLISHER: Harper Design
ART DIRECTOR: Paula Scher
DESIGNER: Kayla Jang, Ludwig Janoff
DESIGN FIRM: Pentagram Design


Uncle Charlie
Uncle Charlie
AUTHOR: Marc Asnin
PUBLISHER: Contrasto
ART DIRECTOR: Giorgio Baravalle
DESIGNER: Giorgio Baravalle
DESIGN FIRM: de.MO Design


Woodcut
Woodcut
AUTHOR: Bryan Nash Gill
PUBLISHER: Princeton Architectural Press
DESIGNER: Deb Wood and Paul Wagner





Observed | January 22

A new book explores the cold heart of Frank Lloyd Wright. [BV]


Observed | January 20

A facial recognition app with what appear to be endless weaponization possibilities. Truly. [JH]


Observed | January 15

A beautiful remembrance by Melissa Harris about Mercy Cunningham, in the New York Review of Books this week. [JH]


Observed | January 14

Are typefaces political? Researchers find "serif and bold is rated as more conservative, while sans serif and italics is rated as more liberal" [MB]

Congratulations to the entire AIGA community on their wonderful new executive director, Bennie F. Johnson! Here’s to bright futures. [BV]


Observed | January 13

Anyone interested in a “book about the future of human beings, as viewed by some of today‘s most creative minds working at the intersection of biology and technology...Think of it as a guide to your future self.”? Because we are! #FundThis [BV]


Observed | January 10

Donald Norman says we have to change the way we educate designers. [JH]


Observed | January 09

This is a very specific genre and Andrew Cushing is nailing it with Veronica Gent-level skills: “Name a fake startup and I’ll write an ad for it in the style of an NYC subway campaign.” [MB]

Take 2 minutes and ride shotgun through mid-century LA with Ed Ruscha’s photos and Jack Kerouac’s words. [BV]


Observed | January 08

“The short answer is that the intersection of art + science is in my blood... my favorite kind of artist residency is one where I get to work with scientists.” Our very own Jessica Helfand joins Caltech as a Winter 2020 artist-in-residence. [BV]

Royal Mail has released a set of stamps celebrating a golden era of British video game design from the 1980s and 90s. [BV]


Observed | January 07

Los Angeles’ favorite logos. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | January 02

Brand New‘s Armin Vit ranks the top twelve clickbait-iest design stories of 2019. [MB]


Observed | December 30

New research finds that typefaces are perceived as having political characteristics, with sans serif fonts seen as more liberal, and serif fonts as more conservative. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | December 29

Desperately sad to announce that Vaughan Oliver died peacefully today, with his partner Lee by his side. Great loss of friend and design hero. Vaughan Oliver (1957—2019). [AS]


Observed | December 27

Continuing the blessed holiday tradition that began at Design Observer, now at Curbed, Alexandra Lange + Mark Lamster review the year in design (with a special look back over the decade‘s greatest hits & misses). [MB]


Observed | December 17

A photographer captures the sculptural landscapes of California skateparks. [BV]


Observed | December 11

Matisse felt an intense love for books, and the care and attention he lavished on them included not just his illustrations, but also the selection of paper, typeface, and layout. [BV]


Observed | December 10

Stanford’s d.school attempts to move beyond Post-its on whiteboards. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | December 06

“I simply wanted to explore the interiority of both myself and others. I wanted to focus on what connected us rather than what separated us.” Painting friends in mid-conversation, Alex Bradley Cohen hides as much as he reveals. [BV]

Yello is a great new newsletter from journalist Hunter Schwarz “about the culture, branding, and visual rhetoric of politics in America.” Here are his 101 picks for visual moments that defined politics in the 2010s, including Edel Rodriguez’s melting Trump. [MB]


Observed | December 04

How do you bring an 18th-century Agateware teapot to life? Crafting it calls for an intricate process of moulding and layering clay materials, to mimic the agate stone. [BV]

Check out French artist
Paul Sougy’s stunning mid-century scientific illustrations of plants, animals, and the human body. [BV]


Observed | November 29

London-based studio Dorothy has developed a map of the United Kingdom using the titles of more than 1,400 pop songs. #CartographyRules [BV]


Observed | November 21

The icons of our popular culture depicted as ancient ruins. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | November 14

“Other bad films fascinate because they define an area of heroic obsession, horrifically misapplied. The heroism and the misapplication are inseparable. Anyone can commit himself body and soul to a clearly formulated project of obvious importance or quality, but to throw your last dollar, your last scrap of energy, into something ill-conceived and absurd from the beginning: That takes a human being.” Phil Christman on the reasons we watch bad movies. [BV]

Congratulations to Côte d’Ivoire-based artist Joana Choumali on being the first photographer from the African continent to be awarded one of the world’s most prestigious photography prizes, the Prix Pictet. [BV]


Observed | November 13

We are very excited for the next chapter of The Great Discontent and send all our congratulations to Hugh Weber and the TGD community: we look forward to new stories and new journeys. [BV]


Observed | November 12

Gorgeous redesign of The Atlantic by Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday. [MB]


Observed | November 11

Out TODAY, Jessica Helfand’s FACE: A VISUAL ODYSSEY from MIT Press. From Chuck Close, it’s “Everything you ever wanted to know about the face, plus lots you never knew you would want to know—and a few things you wish you didn’t. A must-read as well as a treasury of images.” [BV]



Jobs | January 26