Friday, 10:00am
27 August 2021

Books received #46

Dosłownie by Janusz Górski; Eco Worrier by James Marsh; Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives

There are three titles that caught our attention in recent months.

The book Dosłownie. Liternicze i typograficzne okładki polskich książek 1944-2019 (Karakter) is exactly what it says on its cover. The title translates as Literally. Hand-lettered and typographic Polish book covers 1944-2019. Compiled by designer and scholar Janusz Górski, this weighty publication presents 75 years of Polish typographic book cover designs.

Cover of Dosłownie. Liternicze i typograficzne okładki polskich książek 1944-2019 [Hand-lettered and typographic Polish book covers 1944-2019] (Karakter).


Dosłownie follows the medieval typographic layout known as modus modernus, where the main text is surrounded by its commentary – or in this case, author’s reflections, definitions, references and almost 1000 visual examples. The result is a thorough and comprehensive investigation into Poland’s postwar typographic heritage, one that demonstrates academic rigour while remaining accessible to Polish-reading designers.

Spread of Dosłownie featuring book covers from 1956-1970.

Spread of Dosłownie with typographic book covers from Zbigniew Rychlicki and Mieczysław Orłowski.

Illustrator and designer James Marsh has self-published a small-format collection of inventive images under the title Eco Worrier. The left side of each double-page spread features a evocative phrase or word – such as ‘Butterfly Effect’ or ‘Champ’ – followed by an explanation. The right side shows artwork by Marsh that expresses and illuminates the concept in a manner that can be variously provocative, whimsical and/or emotional, using collage and photography as well as drawn and painted images.

Cover of Eco Worrier designed and illustrated by James Marsh, available from


Marsh illustrates ‘Environmental’, which he defines as the impact of human activity on the natural world, with a Stezaker-like collage that juxtaposes a hand holding a cigarette with a smokestack. ‘Futurity’ is a photo of multicoloured eggs in a nest. Some of the illustrations are closer to the obsessively detailed pictures familiar to admirers of Talk Talk, whose album cover artwork Marsh created during a long relationship with the British band.

Spread from Eco Worrier with definition of ‘Diversity’.


All texts are set in Marsh’s typefaces Sanzibar and Cyclic, two of more than 30 type families that he sells through his ArtyType foundry.

All texts are set in Marsh’s typefaces Sanzibar and Cyclic.


Faced with the global pandemic, most countries devised strategies and technologies that aimed to monitor and halt the spread of infections. Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives, edited by Linnet Taylor, Aaron Martin, Gargi Sharma and Shazade Jameson, compiles responses from 33 countries with commentary and analysis. Through communication platforms, contact tracing systems and quarantine-imposing apps, the technology designed to keep us safe also poses questions in relation to legal and political powers.

Thermochromatic cover of Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives (Meatspace Press, 2021).

The book’s design, by Carlos Romo Melgar and John Philip Sage, explores the theme of surveillance through graphic coordinates, AI-generated portraits, and – inspired by 1960s horror movie letterings – the typeface Quarantina by Héloïse d’Almeida. The bright orange cover was screenprinted with a thermochromatic ink that disappears when held, or exposed to warmth.

Visual language of Data Justice and COVID-19 explores the intersections of ‘surveillance’ and ‘technology’.

The layouts of Data Justice and COVID-19 are populated with graphic devices extracted from monitoring technologies.

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.