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    Bookshelf: Sarah Gottlieb

Graphic Design

Bookshelf: Sarah Gottlieb

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Sarah Gottlieb, as well as being a gifted designer in her own right, is also a founder of the multi-discplined London-based collective Household, the creative force behind such projects as the excellent Poundshop. We welcome her selection of literary picks for this weeks Bookshelf feature, reflecting broadly on her interest in and particular experience with, print and book publishing.

When Things Start to Think Neil Gershenfeld

While searching for books for the Future of The Book reading room at the Forms of Inquiry exhibition in Lausanne, I was lucky enough to get Neil Gershenfeld from MIT’s Media Lab to send me a copy of his book, When Things Start to Think. Gershenfeld’s starting point is that we don’t have enough technology today and that the technology we do have is sloppy and needs to be improved. Enthusiastic research writing that makes you interested in the oddest things.
www.amazon.co.uk/when-things-start-to-think

Iaspis Forum On Design and Critical Practice: The Reader Edited by Magnus Ericson, Martin Frostner, Zak Kyes, Sarah Teleman, Jonas Williamsson

This is a brick book. A blue brick book. When you have a good brick book it is worth its weight in gold and many hours of reading and re-reading. I went to the exhibition Forms of Inquiry when it first opened at the Architectural Association in London, as it travelled to Iaspis in Stockholm they decided to compliment the exhibition with a seminar and a book; The Reader. The book is built up around four conversations between graphic designers about various aspects of design relating to their practice. These well written conversations about ideas and thought processes are like a sneak peep into other designers’ minds. A bit like being a fly on the wall, eavesdropping into creative discussions between designers who share more than just an industry but a friendship. It is great to re-read texts which I read years before and discover how I have gone through experiences which changes my perspective of the very same text.
www.amazon.co.uk/iaspis-forum
www.sternberg-press.com/iaspis-forum

Conceptual Art in the Netherlands and Belgium 1965 — 1975 Stedelijk Museum

This is a book that I have actually never read, and might not get around to ever. I think it is the destiny of many books on graphic designers shelves. Simply bought because I was so taken with how well it was produced, it has become an object instead of a book to read. A friend showed it to me and I had to order it! It is of course, as many other beautifully produced books, printed and bound in the Netherlands. Printed on a quite heavy paper it opens like a dream, due to great craftsman skill in the binding, but especially due to the way the cover is glued on to the body. It uses a technique called Otabind, the principle is that the book-block is not glued to the spine, but instead to a sheet of substrate. The block is then fixed to the cover sheet by glueing it to the first and last pages of the book-block. CLEVER. I wish more books were bound like this one.
www.amazon.co.uk/conceptual-art-in-the-netherlands…

Doppler Erlend Loe

My sister first introduced me to Erlend Loe with this book, demanding that I read it in Erlend’s native language, Norwegian, as she thought the humorous situations where much funnier. In short Doppler is the name of Norwegian man who is a competent man. He becomes tired of his competent life. One day when biking in the forest, he accidentally falls off his bike and onto his head, he then decides to just keep lying there on the forest ground. Later I received it as a present from a friend in London and re-read it in English, nice to see how humour is different in the same story depending on the quality of the translation. Erlend has an ability to create tongue-in-cheek remarks which makes it worth a re-read. Nothing better than to have a giggle when you read.
www.amazon.co.uk/doppler

Internet Reads

I have numerous times received links from one of my friends to obscure but very good articles and essays online. He likes to share reads ranging from plain stupid, to weird, to serious research. Not much to say other than some encouragement to actually go and find stuff to read on the internet as well. Here’s two reads: The e-reader industry: Replacing the book or enhancing the reader experience? by Nathaniel Stone for the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and What is it about 20-Somethings? by Robin Marantz Henig, for The New York Times Magazine.

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Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Karinhagen-itsnicethat-main

    Pottery has had a bit of a bad rep until recently when people have slowly begun to realise that it’s FUCKING BADDASS. The pottery world is creaking under the weight of the amount of thrill-seeking clay-spinners popping up all over the place making vessels for cool people to put their cacti and fennel seeds in, and so we thought we’d highlight a few people who are taking the clay world by storm. Think for a minute, if you will, how few kilns there are on this earth, and how many universities have in recent years completely shut down their ceramics department due to lack of funding and demand. Then get your head around how these guys manage to create such brilliant work at such an astonishing rate while still keeping up their day jobs. Seeing as pottery is well trendy right now, I thought I’d run down a list of my personal favourite pot-heads out there.

  2. Jr-newyorktimes-itsnicethat-list

    It’s always a joy when two creative forces we like collide and produce something that harnesses their collective talents. We’re huge fans of the team at The New York Times Magazine (so much so we interviewed design director Gail Bichler for the new issue of our Printed Pages magazine) and we love the work of JR, so the coming-together of the two was right up our street.

  3. List

    Have you ever wondered what the world might have looked like after the great Old Testament flood? What bizarre events might have followed such a freak occurrence in weather? Me neither. It’s honestly never crossed my mind. But illustrator Samuel Branton has been fixating on the idea, imagining the strange fusion of land and sea that a tumultuous rise in water levels might effect. He’s gone one step further and illustrated these fictional scenarios in miniature, taking this Regency medium and making it weird. Witness crabs beating up a wild boar, monkeys tossing an elephant in the air and a sad old sperm whale incapacitated in a tree. And Deluge is available in book form too!

  4. Aakash-itsnicethat-list

    When we last wrote about Aakash Nihalani we described his practice as a series of interventions, and now that he has graduated from playful street art compositions to full blown technological mind-blowers, that vaguery seems even more apt. His newest piece sees him create a series of interactive installations which respond to the movements of the subject stood in front of them. The video demonstrates it better than I could ever hope to, so wrap your eyes around it and try to keep your jaw off the floor. Aakash is entering a new age, people; just imagine the possibilities!

  5. Ines-longevial-itsnicethat-list

    Inès Longevial is an art director and illustrator based in Paris, whose beautiful paintings of intertwined bodies are likely to have you looking twice. She breaks up the human figure into segments in a fashion Picasso himself would admire, rendering different parts in contrasting but muted colour palettes to disguise the physicality of her subjects. The effect is quite beguiling; hands play across hips and colour distinctions hint at the seams of clothes, but nothing is clear cut. It’s a geometric play on anatomy, and it has clients including fashion brand Amélie Pichard and sportswear giants Nike coming back for more.

  6. Hannahwaldron-itsnicethat-list

    “I wish I knew how to weave,” I found myself sighing longingly while clicking through Hannah Waldron’s portfolio. The UK-based multi-disciplinary artist and designer has transitioned seamlessly from grid-based image-making to create works in textile form since completing an MFA in Textiles at Konstfack, Sweden, and it looks like she’s well at home in the medium. Map Tapestries is a series of woven works inspired by various city scenes – Kreuzberg, NYC and Venice, for example – in bright colours, evocative shapes and simple geometric forms, and it’s wonderful.

  7. Jen-stark-whirl-side-int-10

    If it isn’t broke then there’s absolutely no need to even think about fixing it, as artist Jen Stark is fully aware, and there’s nothing broken about her geometric papercut sculptures. The LA-based artist has been making such work for literally as long as It’s Nice That has been running – here’s the first time we ever posted about her, back in 2007 – and although her work continues to grow in intricacy, she’s stayed true to her roots. These days her sculptures are made more and more often inside huge, unassuming black and white boxes, recreating the feeling that you’re a child about to unbundle a giant parcel of joy on Christmas morning, and they’re still as impressive as they were eight years ago.

  8. Everybody-razzle-dazzle-1-photo-mark-mcnulty-int-list

    Sir Peter Blake has designed this fabulous dazzle ship, a Mersey Ferry that will carry commuter passengers for the next two years. Named Everybody Razzle Dazzle, Sir Peter says it’s his “largest artwork to date,” and that he was “honoured and excited to have been asked to design a dazzle image for the iconic Mersey Ferry.”

  9. Boyocollage-int-list

    Some budding young design talents fresh out of university might harbour resentment about being thrust into a new job at a design studio as a “photocopier boy” (his words), but Patrick Waugh is not one of them. Instead he took full advantage of the rich archive at his disposal in his earliest and most junior jobs to make copies. Lots of them. And then took a scalpel and some masking tape to them, and transformed them into something altogether more exciting.

  10. Stephenabela-int-main

    At first, Stephen Abela’s images are all glorious bronzed bodies, sun-drenched beaches and hazy holiday reveries. But beneath the heat, there’s something else at play too, which feels a little more disquieting. In that oft-cited Edward Hopper thing: even in the densely populated scenes there feels like there’s a loneliness. Even the speech bubbles are lonely – in fact, they’re vacant – suggesting that for all the beautiful scenery, the folk that populate it aren’t quite sure what to say or what to do. There’s a joy there, for sure, but the great thing about Stephen’s work is this complexity, and the sense that all isn’t necessarily as it seems.

  11. Int-list-carsten-holler-pic

    Merging the fun of the playground with the beauty and cerebral qualities of art, a slide will transport visitors to the Hayward Gallery entrance this summer thanks to the forthcoming Carsten Höller show, Decision.

  12. Traceyemin-mybed-int-

    Sometimes I don’t really “get” modern art, but I get Tracey Emin’s My Bed. She displayed it as a piece of art in 1998 after practically living in it for about a month following a bad breakup. Back then she was rake-thin and impish with an appetite for booze and fags, in that odd age where you’re left to fend for yourself but are not perhaps quite ready.

  13. Serenmorganjones-int-list

    With the centenary of British women receiving the partial vote coming up shortly, artist Seren Morgan Jones decided it was time to focus on the Welsh suffragists who helped to make it happen. “I think it is important to show that there is more to Wales and its history than coal mining, rugby and men,” she explains, “and to draw people’s attention to the fact Welsh women were so involved in the fight for women’s rights.”