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A lockdown reading list

Last week we asked our newsletter subscribers to nominate a favourite design-related book that they’ve turned to for inspiration in these strange and stressful times and would recommend to others. We had a great response to the call-out and our highlights from the suggested titles are below. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our lockdown reading list so far — details of how you can add your book to the ongoing list are at the bottom of the post.  The latest additions to the post will appear here at the top. Rosmarie Tissi: Graphic Design by Rosmarie Tissi, 2019Nominated by Ana Ana Bettencourt F., Visual + Graphic Designer & Assistant Researcher at ITIRosmarie Tissi’s oeuvre over 60 years of professional experience as a graphic...

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Studio Culture interviews — free to download

Like everyone else, designers and design studios are facing unprecedented times at the moment as they navigate a new landscape in light of the coronavirus crisis. And whether you’re adjusting to working from home, self-isolating, or enduring any of the countless new challenges we now face, we wanted to offer a small gesture of community support.Since last week we’ve been sharing some of the Q&A interviews from our very first book, Studio Culture: The Secret Life of the Graphic Design Studio (2009), as a series of free, downloadable PDFs, in advance of our Kickstarter campaign to publish a follow-up edition, Studio Culture Now.We hope that these texts not only keep you occupied, but that they offer some advice, inspiration and a...

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Manuals 2 – interview with Michael Burke

The following is an edited version of the interview between Michael Burke and R. Roger Remington that appears in Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines – available to pre-order now from the Unit shop (and shipping later this month). Professor Michael Burke is a design scholar and expert on information graphics, and has enjoyed a career spanning England, the United States and Germany. Burke studied graphic design and later taught at Ravensbourne (formerly Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication) in London, at Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Dessau Department of Design, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. He is a professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbish Gmünd, one of Germany’s leading design schools, where he has been on the...

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Ian Anderson on the making of AZTDR™

With AZTDR™ now shipping, we spoke to Ian Anderson, TDR™-founder and the author of the book, about the process behind putting an A—Z of his studio’s work together – and how he went about the task of selecting projects for inclusion from more than 30 years of The Designers Republic™. AZTDR™ is now available to order from the Unit shop. Mark Sinclair: Can we talk about the format of AZTDR™ and why you wanted to organise the studio’s work alphabetically, rather than chronologically or by sector? What does an A—Z enable you to do? Ian Anderson: Although TDR™’s work exists in time there’s no intentional chronological development to it, just a series of obsessions punctuated by low boredom thresholds and fuelled by the clients...

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Ian Anderson’s top ten TDR™ sleeves

As AZTDR™ goes on pre-order and in honour of The Designers Republic’s longstanding involvement in music, we asked Ian Anderson, studio founder and author of AZTDR™, to pick ten of his personal highlights from the 250 single and album covers featured in the publication. “Favourites are a slippery concept for me,” he admits, “and with 33.3 years – and over 5,000 sleeves to choose from – any list is, inevitably, going to be temporary.” So “right now, based on work featured in the book, in no particular order” here are ten of Ian’s favourite TDR™ sleeves, each of which features in AZTDR™ along with the story of its conception.AZTDR™ is now available to pre-order from the Unit shop. Satoshi Tomiie — Full Lick (SMEJ Associated Records,...

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Designers pick their favourite Letraset typeface

In its heyday, the sheer variety of Letraset type available was one of the reasons the lettering system became an important tool in many a designer’s practice. We asked several friends of Unit Editions for their favourite Letraset typeface, or the one that means the most to them – the majority of which feature in Letraset: The DIY Typography Revolution, which is now available from the Unit shop for just £25 (for one month only). Read about their choices, from Sunshine to Frankfurter, Clarendon to Compacta, below. Paula Scher, PentagramMy favourite Letraset typeface was Helvetica Medium, which seemed to be the only one they had at the Tyler School of Art art supply store, where I sometimes worked.Since I could never rub down the type without it...

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Unit/10 book list – Adrian Shaughnessy, Unit Editions

For the third in our series of Unit/10 book lists, posted as part of our ten year anniversary celebrations, Unit Editions co-founder Adrian Shaughnessy picks ten of his favourite design and visual culture books.These are not the only design and visual culture books I hold in high regard. There are dozens of others. But these represent a cross section of the books I turn to for research, for inspiration, and for the sheer joy of looking at images, reading good texts and handling well-made and well-designed books. Tadao Ando: Complete Works – Francesco Dal Co (Phaidon, 1997)My favourite architect. His use of natural light is a design triumph, likewise his use of concrete. His buildings should be enjoyed in person – but if you can’t...

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Manuals 2 case study: IBM

There are, in fact, four IBM design manuals featured in Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines. Images from three are shown here, as part of our final case study on some of the outstanding projects in the M2 collection, posted to coincide with our Kickstarter campaign to republish the book – which is live now. With your help we can bring this important title back into print!In the IBM chapter in Manuals 2, alongside images from the documents that focused on the graphic identity for the corporation’s Product Center and its Sign Standards, two manuals – from 1978 and 1990 – concern themselves specifically with the classic Paul Rand-design logo and its usage. IBM’s understanding of the role of design in business had begun...

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Manuals 2 case study: First Direct

North’s 2008 design manual for First Direct is featured in our book, Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines. It is presented here as our second case study on some of the outstanding projects in the collection (the first, on Reuters, is here), posted to coincide with our Kickstarter campaign to republish the book – which is live now. With your help we can bring this important title back into print! The 224-page document that North created for telephone- and internet-bank First Direct in 2008 is a little different to most design manuals. ‘Black & White: A Conversation’ introduced a branding overhaul for the bank (founded in 1989 by Midland Bank), which included a new vertical logo and minimalist black and white colour palette. But in addition to...

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Manuals 2 case study: Reuters

Alan Fletcher’s 1965 identity system for Reuters is featured in our book, Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines. It is presented here as our first case study that examines some of the outstanding projects in the book, to coincide with our Kickstarter campaign to republish it, which is live now. With your help we can bring this important title back into print!In 1965, with the formation of the Pentagram studio still seven years away, Alan Fletcher was part of Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes, the new design group formed after Bob Gill had departed Fletcher/Forbes/Gill that same year. The international news agency Reuters presented the team with a multidisciplinary project to overhaul the company’s identity. Fletcher’s ‘dot-matrix’ design idea was born out of the holes punched out of the ‘teleprinter’ tape which was used in...

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