It’s hard to walk into a fairly creative building these days without stumbling across one of Anthony Burrill’s ubiquitous prints. His skill for the simple and beautiful print that speaks a thousand words through a handful is second to none, but what we’re dying to know is what are the books that have inspired his design greatness? Luckily we run a Bookshelf feature on the site (this is it), and Anthony kindly agreed to contribute his selection. Enough rambling, lead the way Anthony…
Bruno Munari: Air Made Visible
Italian artist and designer Bruno Munari had a freewheeling joyous approach to his life and work. Munari’s output encompassed a breathtaking range, from typography, product design, sculpture to his celebrated children’s books. This is a good introduction to Munari’s work and gathers together his most notable projects. The book is beautifully produced, with dye-cut pages, changes in paper stock and a lightness of touch that reflects Munari’s work perfectly.
Bruno Munari: Air Made Visible
Yasaburo Kuwayama: Trademarks and Symbols (Volume 1/2)
I like looking at graphic design source books, and this set of two published in 1973 are among my favourites. The two volumes collect together a vast range of symbols, pictograms and logotypes. The books were produced in a pre-digital age, the designs shown have a handcrafted human feel. I use them to spark off ideas, to help me think in a certain way. I like to work within boundaries and these books show me what can be achieved with the simplest of means.
Yasaburo Kuwayama: Trademarks & Symbols Volume 1
Winfried Konnertz: Eduardo Paolozzi
British artist, sculptor, writer and printmaker Eduardo Paolozzi is a great source of inspiration, I love his endless inquiring nature and approach to making work. He was an incredibly productive artist, working on numerous projects throughout his long and varied career. His public sculptures are perhaps most familiar, but I find his graphic work most interesting. His screen-prints are technically and visually mind-blowing! I’ve collected lots of Paolozzi books and exhibition catalogues, this book is the most definitive and a good introduction; it traces Paolozzi’s output from his early totemic brutal sculptures through to his later large scale public projects. I feel Paolozzi is overlooked and deserves greater public recognition – I’m sure as time goes on his reputation as an innovative thinker will develop and grow.
Winfried Konnertz : Eduardo Paolozzi
Stephenson Blake & Co. Ltd : Wood Letter
This wood type catalogue was produced in 1946 to advertise the wares of Stephenson Blake one of England’s great type foundries. As well as containing a fascinating archive of long-forgotten fonts and ornaments, the book also contains some strange unintentional concrete poetry. The large double page spreads displaying the companies’ fonts are set using a strange selection of words, no doubt picked to demonstrate the beauty of the letterforms. Some of the word combinations are really odd, for example: MOUND REMAINS HOUSEHOLD, SIR HID CORN, MOB DREGS and perhaps my favourite MEN READ POSTERS!
Stephenson, Blake & Co Ltd: Wood Letter,
Éditions du Griffon Neuchâtel: Vasarely 1-4
One of my most treasured possessions is this set of four volumes detailing the work of Hungarian/French artist Victor Vasarely. Vasarely is a curious artist, his work consists of op-art inspired geometric motifs. He was incredibly successful in his adoptive country of France, supported by the government, his work adorned official buildings, corporate headquarters and the homes of wealthy art patrons. A vast museum was built in Aix-en-Provence dedicated to his work. These books are beautifully produced, featuring lots of special colours, tip-ins, transparencies and fold-out pages. Plans of his monolithic museum are included alongside photographs documenting the construction and grand opening of the museum.