Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘Gestalten’

02 JUNE, 2011

The Modernist: Graphic Design’s Mid-Century Muse

By:

Celebrating the hot-and-heavy love affair between classical modern and contemporary graphics.

Designers and illustrators have been mining the motherlode of mid-20th-century graphics for years, and now there’s a beautiful record of their inspired explorations. The Modernist, the latest exquisite anthology by Gestalten, draws the genealogical lines of graphic design from the bold images of the 1960s and ’70s to their post-millennial progeny — what we see on album and book covers, posters, and websites today.

It’s easy to see why work by masters such as Gerd Arntz and Otto Neurath provide inspiration to contemporary artists, designers, and illustrators. Especially as web design has matured, younger generations turned to the striking work of classical modernism, transforming its deliberately minimalist colors and geometry with new vector graphics tools. (And, lest we forget, the basic language of this now iconic composition itself drew on previous artistic movements like Russian Constructivism and the Bauhaus school.)

The Modernist puts all of these pictorial relationships in perspective, with gorgeous spreads of top-notch design from both eras.

Fifty years in the making, The Modernist‘s gorgeous artwork will delight your senses, and its smart connect-the-dots visual storytelling will satisfy even your most voracious inner design geek.

Kirstin Butler is writing an adaptation of Gogol for the Google era called Dead SULs, but when not working spends far, far too much time on Twitter. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA.

Donating = Loving

Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.





You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount:





Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

20 MAY, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dieter Rams: Revisiting Less & More

By:

What your favorite coffeemaker has to do with the cultural value of the unspectacular.

I love the elegant, minimalist yet eloquent visual language of iconic designer Dieter Rams (who doesn’t?), whose principles of good design I’ve previously covered, and I have a soft spot for the lavish design books of German publishing house Gestalten. (Previously: The Story of Eames Furniture and Papercraft 2: Design and Art With Paper).

Today, as Dieter Rams turns 79, there’s no better time to revisit Gestalten’s fantastic Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams — an ambitious look at Rams’ seminal work at Braun, which established him as one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, shaping both the aesthetic norms of design for decades to come as well as society’s most fundamental understanding of what design is, does and should be. The lush bilingual volume explores the underbelly of Rams’ design philosophy in 800 pages of archival photos, original sketches and models, alongside thoughtful essays by international design experts that examine Rams’ work and legacy in a contemporary context.

Design should not dominate things, should not dominate people. It should help people. That’s its role.” ~ Dieter Rams

Not the spectacular things are the important things — the unspectacular things are the important things, especially in the future.” ~ Dieter Rams

Don’t miss last week’s The New York Times interview with Rams, in which he talks about everything from what an average day is like for him to why he started a foundation to help young designers get an education — an excellent companion read to Less and More.

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s an example. Like? Sign up.

02 MAY, 2011

Papercraft 2: Analog Creativity for the Digital Age

By:

Retrostalgic craft, or what analog art has to do with digital design.

Nearly two years ago, the fine folks of Gestalten brought us the exquisite Papercraft: Design and Art With Paper. Today, they’re back with a delicious, highly anticipated sequel: Papercraft 2 — a stunning anthology of exploring how designers and artists are re-discovering the analog magic of paper in the digital age. Through a showcase of groundbreaking work, the collection reveals how designers are using various techniques — cutting, folding, gluing, collaging, shredding — to craft stride-stopping visual storytelling.

In addition to the 250 pages of mesmerizing artwork, the book features a DVD of the best paper-based stop-motion, animation and music videos from the tipping point of this art form, unraveling the bleeding-edge creative potential of this age-old material.

Needless to say, given our love for creative book trailers, Papercraft 2 gets serious bonus points for the lovely video sneak peek.

Other Gestalten goodies we love: Data Flow 2, which collects seven years of data visualization eye candy in one place; Bompas and Parr: Return of the Jelly Knights, the fascinating microdocumentary about London’s jelly architects; The Story of Eames Furniture, an astounding 800-page volume 13 years in the making documenting the golden duo of modernist design.

Donating = Loving

Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:





You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount:





Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.