Books For Your Inspiration – Three

Recommended Books For Designers And Illustrators

Recommended Books For Designers And Illustrators

The Art of Brian Bolland – By Brian Bolland – Image/Desperado Publishing

The UK has a well-known crop of big league comic writers and artists, and sitting along side Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore you will find the highly regarded (and owner of a most excellent moustache) Brian Bolland. This comprehensive book, narrated by the man himself gives a refreshingly frank look at the ups and downs of his career and includes superb reproductions of artwork from 2000 AD, Batman and Tank Girl as well as more personal and experimental work. Hundreds of examples of superb pen and ink work are on show here and makes this is another essential ‘inspiration fix’ to keep on the shelf.

Italian Film Posters – Dave Kehr – Museum Of Modern Art

The movie poster is quickly becoming a lost art form in mainstream cinema and retrospective books such as this collection from MOMA gives us the colourful and emotion fueled Italian interpretations of classic noir, western and romance movies of the 1940s – 60s. I’d recommend a look at a personal favourite of mine, the hypnotic green, red and black devil in ‘Mamma’s Heart’ by Omegna.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts – Simon Garfield – Profile Books

The first font themed book of this selection is history of type and the creation of popular fonts such as Future, Helvetica and Gill.  Simon Garfield manages to deliver an unpretentious and entertaining book with revelations about the creators (the story of Eric Gill is a peculiar one indeed) of fonts that most of us now take for granted. A special mention should to go to the  great end papers that feature a ‘Periodic Table Of typefaces’ which I often find myself using as reference tool.

Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s – By Ryan Hughes – Fiell Publishing Ltd

With the continuing success of the TV series Mad Men there’s been a renewed interest in all things 50s and 60s, and this huge 575 page collection of advertising and editorial illustrations from the 60s is a lesson in effortless cool. With what must have been a mammoth task of sourcing and digitally cleaning all of the images included here, this is money well spent on a definitive reference title. Here’s looking forward to the Lifestyle Illustration of the 50s edition, coming soon.

New Vintage Type: Classic Fonts for the Digital Age – By Steven Heller & Gail Anderson – Watson Gutptill

This book offers a look at a selection of contemporary designers that use vintage type aesthetics to create an excentric mix of modern packaging design, poster art, advertising and album covers that coerce your imaginations into a past time and place. A book worth a scan through before you set off on that next poster design.

Norman Saunders – By David Saunders – The Illustrated Press

Written and compiled by David Saunders (Norman’s son) this epic title from The Illustrated Press represents a superb collection of American pulp, sci-fi and men’s adventure magazine artwork from one of America’s classic illustrators. A massive range of work with personal favourites being the ‘Mars Attacks! – Space Adventure Bubble Gum’ and ‘Frankenstein’s Valentines Stickers.’

As a side note, anyone interested in illustration should check out The Illustrated Press’s range of magazines. They’re not easy to get hold of here in the UK, but well worth the search.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence: From Stanley Kubrick to Steven Spielberg: The Vision Behind the Film – By Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg & Chris Baker – Thames & Hudson

A beautiful ‘making of’ book to one of the most underrated and imaginative films of recent times shown through a series of concept drawings by artist Chris Baker along with commentary from crew members. The fantasy worlds and characters created Chris Baker as concept artist for this film (special mention goes to Rouge City) are an outstanding achievement and this book serves as a deserving document of the films artistic success.

New York, Portrait of a City – Reuel Golden – Taschen

If you’re looking for the definitive history of the world’s cultural hub then this is it. Coming in a nearly 600 pages this huge book offers an outstanding collection of historical photos showing all sides of New York City and leaves you with a much greater sense of the city’s energy and how it came to be. Anyone wanting to learn more or existing fans of the Big Apple (like me) should take a few hours off, pour a coffee into their I Love NY mug, sit back and enjoy.

Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-creator Joe Shuster – Craig Yoe – Abrams

He might have co-created Superman, the world’s first and most popular costumed superhero, but Joe Shuster only ever received small percentage of the profits from his (and partner Jerry Siegel’s) creation. The resulting financial trouble forced the artist to find work where could, and he found himself working for the ultimately ill-fated ‘Nights of Horror’ magazine. A title that offered its readers a suspect array of fetish tales and illustrations. American pulp historian Criag Yoe presents the tragic tale of a disillusioned comic artist and his involvement in this controversial magazine.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera – By Ron Schick – Little, Brown and Company

This was a book I needed to see for my own mental well-being. Norman Rockwell is one of those artists whose work leaves me feeling like hanging up my pens and brushes and do something else with my life. The ultimate has been achieved. I mean really, it can’t get any better than that can it? What this book offered me (and hopefully other illustrators with that sense of never being good enough) is an in-depth look at Rockwell’s working methods and the photographic processes and reference material used in the creation of his paintings. And good news! It turns out he was human after all! An excellent cure for illustrators suffering a crisis of confidence.

I hope you enjoyed looking through these books, there are more to discover here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Four

Long live print!
Wing;)

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One thought on “Books For Your Inspiration – Three

  1. Pingback: Friday Book Review – Christmas Round Up « Wing's Art & Design Blog

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