Autumn 2009

Big book of books


Edited by Jason Godfrey <br>Laurence King, £30

Bibliographic is a book about books. British designer Jason Godfrey has selected 100 books about graphic design, chosen sample spreads and written a concise summary of each one’s content and design. It is a collection that for most designers will provoke memories of books owned or once glimpsed; kindle enthusiasm for books not seen before; and provide a shopping list of books to be hunted down second-hand and added to the studio library.

The books chosen range from early twentieth-century rarities like the St Bride Printing Library’s copy of Alfred Tolmer’s Mise en Page (1931) to Rob Roy Kelly’s pioneering study American Wood Type 1828-1900 (1969) and George Hardie and Storm Thorgerson’s Walk Away Rene (1978) on the album covers of Hipgnosis.

Along the way, Godfrey has asked other designers to contribute their personal bibliography of ten favourites: Matthew Carter’s list includes Sutton and Bartram’s An Atlas of Typeforms (1968), while Michael Bierut cites, among others, The Visual Craft of William Golden (1962).

Shown above is F. H. K. Henrion and Alan Parkin’s Design coordinaton and corporate image (1967), featuring corporate identity case studies from around the world, including Henrion’s own for Dutch airline KLM.

Shown below is Wood 2 (ca. 1965), wood type samples from the collection of the Morgan Press in New York, designed by one-time Push Pin member John Alcorn. It is printed on vivid uncoated stock and spiral bound.


First published in Eye no. 73 vol. 19 2009


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.