The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Midweek Miscellany


Well, oh shit. Go fuck yourself — The pugnacious George Lois in BlackBook magazine:

The design was the idea. I don’t design, if you know what I mean. If you want Andy Warhol being devoured by his own fame in a can of Cambell’s soup, you just put the can there and you have him drowning in it. Case closed.

You’re knocked down by the idea, and the fact that it’s got complete clarity visually. Don’t complicate it with busy work.

That’s the way I do everything. If I was a doing a magazine, it’s not a question of if I’d be having more white space. It’s a question of every third or fourth spread I’d make a spread that would take your breath away — or piss you off. Or something.

“Yoda” — An interview with Dieter Rams at More Intelligent Life (Thanks Ben S.):

We have enough products. If you look at the market you have ten or 20 coffee makers that basically look all the same, doing all the same thing: they are making coffee. We don’t need 20 of these things, we need one good one.

Less, But Better… Less, But Better… [REPEAT].

The View From TorontoNational Post book critic Philip Marchand (formerly of the Toronto Star) talks to Conversations in the Book Trade:

I’m not sure how much “trouble” literature is in. The age of Tennyson was the last period in literature when “serious” literature found a mass market. Ever since, we’ve had a very small minority of readers for “serious” stuff, and a fairly large audience for thrillers, romance novels, detective novels, and so on. Then there’s the Da Vinci Code phenomenon in which everybody, from your dentist to your car mechanic, is reading a certain book – in order to be able to join in discussions about the book on social occasions, if for no other reason.

Frontmatters — Alex Camlin, Creative Director at Da Capo (interviewed here), has started a blog! Yay Alex!

This is Display! — Another site (along with the Alvin Lustig archive) that probably should have been on yesterday’s list of inspiring websites, Display is a “curated collection of 59 (and growing) important graphic design books, periodicals and ephemera.”

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