Design book reviews

Published:  January 3, 2012
Design book reviews

Reviews by Jack Mussett, Motherbird.

Studio Culture: The Secret Life of the Graphic Design Studio
Tony Brook, Adrian Shaughnessy
Unit Editions, 2009,
£25, 312 pages

Studio Culture is another gem by Adrian Shaughnessy, who is also responsible for How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul. Through a series of interviews, this book looks into the culture and secret lives of 28 leading graphic design studios. Included in the book are accounts from the brilliant Milton Glaser, Non-Format, Pentagram, Spin and Build. If you are looking to start a studio, this book is a terrific investment for you. It will give you real stories from those who have built studios from the ground up. There is also some handy start- up advice at the end of the book.

Modern Typography: an essay in critical history
Robin Kinross
Hyphen, 2010,
$47.50, 272 pages
Distributed by Books@Manic

Modern Typography: an essay in critical history (first published in 1992) is a look into how modern typography takes the form it does today, focusing specifically on Western typography dating back to 1700. It proposes the term ‘modern typography’ as a point in time when the typographic industry became self-conscious. This book is not a study of type form, but more an account of the context and process in which typography has developed. The book’s modest production values give it that essay-like feeling… definitely one for the type enthusiast.



War Posters – Weapons of Mass Communication
James Aulich
Thames & Hudson, 2011,
$59.95, 256 pages

War Posters – Weapons of Mass Communication is a publication that accompanied a poster exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London. The book catalogues more than 300 posters from World War I up to the ongoing war in Iraq. The infamous ‘Uncle Sam’ poster makes an appearance, as well as a poster with the tagline “Turn your silver into bullets… at the post office.” Along with full-colour imagery, War Posters includes insight into the context in which these posters were created, giving us a greater understanding of the semiotics behind each design.

From desktop magazine.

These titles are available in all good bookstores.

All images copyright by the respective publishers.

One Response

  1. Thanks for the blogs on design books as I love looking (and buying) excellent books. At the moment I have on order War Posters – Weapons of Mass Communication as I am fascinated about how we sell war.
    Anyway keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing more


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