Tag Archives: book designs

Non-Format

Complete book design for acclaimed Norwegian chef Terje Ommundsen.
Studio photography by Stian Broch. Location photography by Pål Laukli.

The Testaments

It’s been 35 years since the release of Margaret Atwood’s seminal tome The Handmaid’s Tale. Shortlisted for the 1986 Booker Prize, the novel paints a vivid picture of a modern day America that has been transformed into the totalitarian state of Gilead: a patriarchial, Puritan society where fertile women are forced to produce offspring for childless couples.

There is one central element of The Testaments’ plot that is alluded to with its distinctive cover design by Noma Bar: two of the book’s narrators are believed to be Offred’s daughters (the first of which was snatched from her and raised by a Commander family, while the younger girl was born during the course of her escape from Gilead).

Bar’s brief from the publisher was to create a contrasting image of the two sisters seen on the front and back covers, playing up to the fact that they are in wholly different situations, locations and circumstances. While the front cover bears a generic resemblance to his design for The Handmaid’s Tale cover, featuring the handmaids’ distinctive cloak and bonnet, the back cover depicts a girl that would be recognisable to most of us today, wearing earrings and her hair tied up.

“The main thing I wanted to do was to show the parallel worlds and lives of the two girls by reflecting and mirroring the sisters,” says Bar. “We chose the design as a double cover as I wanted to highlight the two characters’ presence – it’s not about one sister, it’s about two worlds.”

 

Art or garbage?

Can a plastic bag ever be art and not garbage?

Sho Shibuya, the founder of Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary brand design studio PLACEHOLDER, thinks so. One of his most cherished pieces of art is a framed plastic bag, and while there are probably stranger things you could hang on a wall, for Shibuya, it kickstarted a project that’s been long in the works for him titled PLASTIC PAPER.

This project focuses primarily on a 144-page book stacked with gorgeous photography of plastic bags with the hope of raising awareness about the waste created by single-use plastics as well as the importance of reusing and valuing these items.

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The ABCD announces book covers of the year.

NON-FICTION
Riot Days
By Marina Alyokhina
Designer: Tom Etherington
Art Director: Jim Stoddart
Imprint: Allen Lane
@tometherington

LITERARY FICTION
The Blot
By Jonathan Lethem
Designer: Jon Gray
Art Director: Suzanne Dean
gray318.com
CRIME/THRILLER
Dark Pines
By Will Dean
Designer: Mark Swan
Imprint: Oneworld Publications
kid-ethic.com
The shortlisted work in each 10 category is on the ABCD site, here

Cruz Novillo

Online bookshop and publisher Counter-Print has released several graphic design books, covering everything from social media icons to crests and East Asian book covers.

Novillo was born in 1936 and was a cartoonist, artist and sculptor before specialising in corporate identities. He went on to create logos and icons for art galleries, construction companies, schools, festivals, banks, laboratories and the Spanish Socialist Party as well as designing Peseta notes.

Writing in the book’s introduction, Counter-Print’s Jon Dowling praises the timeless aesthetic of Novillo’s work and his lasting influence on graphic design. “The influence of his use of geometric shapes, simple, strong line-work and a playful, illustrative aesthetic can be seen in the work of many contemporary designers and has helped in keeping his legacy alive.”

The book contains over 300 pages of logo designs. It also includes a Q&A with Novillo in which he discusses his creative process, his inspiration and what makes a great logo.

Explaining his process when crafting logos, he says: “I strive to have a powerful semantic idea, I try to draw it in the best possible way … then I review it so that it acquires a pragmatic quality.”Cruz Novillo: Logos is published by Counter-Print and costs £19.50. You can order copies here