One of the great achievements of modern art is the shift from art as an object to art as an experience, something that often brings wonder to the ordinary and seemingly inane moments in our everyday lives. In Typographic Universe (Thames & Hudson, $50) font enthusiasts Steven Heller and Gail Anderson bring that aesthetic to the world of lettering with their delightful collection of photographs. The conceit of the book is that letters, and thus, fonts, are around us all the time; we only need to open our eyes and look for them. The images of found typography are presented in categories including animal type, edible type, and industrial type, each with a lively introduction by the editors. Part creative inspiration, part conversation-starter, this is a book to keep on your desk or your coffee table to brighten slow days and subtly change how you look at the world around you.
Jude Stewart’s veritable explosion of historical facts, sayings, stories, cultural perspectives, and quotations about twelve colors, while literary, is not for the linear thinker. ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book about Color (Bloomsbury, $22) may be read chapter-by-chapter, but is also meant to be read like a Venn diagram or a flow chart, with the focus on the connections between colors and on the margin notes, which inform readers about saffron yellow, shocking pink, and purple prose; for example. If you ever pondered how fluid substances, visually experienced, could ever effectively be described with words, this is the book for you.
Marrying his love for vintage underground rock concert posters and sleek, minimalist design, graphic artist Mike Joyce creates a treat for designers and music fans alike with Swissted. In homage to concerts that have actually taken place, Joyce reimagines classic punk and indie rock concert posters with his unique array of angles, effervescent color, and signature “lowercase berthold akzidenz-grotesk medium” typeface. Through his adoration for almost unbelievable band line-ups, music subculture history, and sleek arrangement, Swissted manages to simultaneously please the eye and pull on the nostalgia strings. Note: Each individual poster is perforated to allow for framing or hanging!