I knew the Bookshelf of Present & Correct would be beautiful, but I was in no way prepared for this. Each of Neal’s books makes me so jealous that I’m working out a way to break into his house and raid his shelves for more beauties. From rare Ken Garland books to old publications dedicated to stitching typography, Neal’s got it all, and it’s beautifully photographed too. Wait a minute, who exactly is Neal? He told us in his own words.
“Neal Whittington is the proprietor of stationery emporium Present & Correct. A graphic designer by trade, now also a creator of notebooks and whatever else takes his fancy from the office genre. Present & Correct is a showcase for the things enjoyed since school. A long-term obsession with stationery has culminated in a constantly evolving store. New and old paper and office objects which are inspired by homework, the post office and school.”
Lanfranco Bombelli: US Trade Center Graphics in Europe
Italian artist, architect and designer Lanfranco Bombelli created graphics for various exhibitions in the American Trade Centre in Europe and this book is dedicated to his wax crayon sketches, maquettes and diagrams. Created between 1963 to 1978 the collection is a feast of colour-blocking, excellent palettes and icons.
Hornung’s Handbook of Designs & Devices
One of those magical books you can dip into and always find something new, it contains over 1500 basic shapes and their variations. If you can think of something you want to do to a circle or square the chances are that Hornung has already done it. It’s like a mental precursor to trademark annuals.
Francois and Jean Robert: Face to Face
I do so enjoy seeing faces in all manner of things. Swiss photographers Francois and Jean Robert were taking pictures of such delights way before there were blogs dedicated to eyes in your orange, or smiling faces in a dogs bottom. It’s beautifully laid out and published by the always-excellent Lars Muller. After reading you’ll probably smile and then look at your world in a new way.
Ken Garland: Structure and Substance
As a Galt Toys fan it was imperative to own this retrospective of Garland’s work. His love of Constructivism, The Bauhaus and surveying of Swiss graphic design is apparent throughout, with plenty of character and fun to round off those sharp corners.
Fredun Shapur: Round and Round and Square
Fredun Shapur is a mid-Century toy designer, illustrator and graphic designer who worked for Heals and Creative Playthings as well as publishing his own books. With an exhibition coming to Kemistry Gallery this year he is about to get the latter day recognition he deserves. I have a few of his books but this is my absolute favourite and I will never part with it. Check out those endpapers! Swoon.
Elsie Svennas: A handbook of lettering for stitchers
I find that old stitch patterns and alphabets can be a good source of inspiration. This collectible book from 1960s Sweden is one of the best. Dedicated to letters, each page has so many possibilities – many of which look like they could have been designed last week.
Jessica Helfand: Reinventing the Wheel
I have books on all manner of ephemera – stamps, tickets, gum labels. This is one of my favourites though, I think because I rarely come across interesting paper wheels/volvelles in real life. Jessica has an admirable collection of these interactive info-graphics. With a nice write up on their provenance and use it is a great record of these old fashioned tools.
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