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Shadow Type presents a broad spectrum of examples—advertising, shop signs, billboards, posters, type-specimen books—featuring the most popular, rare, and (nearly) forgotten dimensional letters from Europe and the United States. Compiled by the leading historian of graphic design Steven Heller and renowned graphic designer Louise Fili. Hardcover available this September from PAPress!

Happy Birthday to Dr. Edwin Land, inventor of Polaroid and man of many other talents, born on this day in 1909. You know he was Steve Jobs v1.0, right?

In the age of Instagram, “Pictures in a minute!” makes you think you’ve got a bad internet connection. But in the 1950s, that slogan fueled a technological revolution that continues to develop today.

Read more about the influence Land had—and still has—in Instant, available here from PAPress.

This monograph was originally published on the occasion of an exhibition of the architecture of Mies van der Rohe held at the Museum of Modern Art, September 16 – November 23, 1947.

A third edition of Mies van der Rohe by Philip Johnson, published in 1978, the same year the author was awarded (as a trustee of MoMA) an AIA Gold Medal. The following year, Johnson received the first Pritzker Prize. This copy is from the PAPress Design Dept bookshelf.

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75 Artist Books: The Kaldewey Press, New York
A Catalog Raisonné by Clemens von Lucius

In this abundantly illustrated catalogue raisonné, collector and Kaldewey devotee Clemens von Lucius presents in detail all seventy-five books published by the Kaldewey Press since its founding in 1985 by Gunnar A. Kaldewey. 

While few small presses have managed to produce such a large body of work, the Kaldewey Press has earned the reputation as one of the world’s finest publishers of contemporary artist books. 75 Artist Books presents work published in cooperation with artists such as Mischa Kuball, Jonathan Lasker, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Richard Tuttle, and Hans Peter Willberg.

Check out this recent title from Hermann Schmidt Mainz, distributed in North America by Princeton Architectural Press.

In 1965 Edward Ruscha published Some Los Angeles Apartments, the third in his ongoing series of photographic books, and completed a group of ten related drawings that depict variations on the ubiquitous Southern California apartment building. This exhibition and publication bring together for the first time the drawings with the book that inspired them, presenting a concise view of Ruscha’s Los Angeles in 1965.

Edward Ruscha: Los Angeles Apartments, published by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1990, from the PAPress Design Dept bookshelf.

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National Art Schools | Havana, Cuba

In Cuba, the National Art Schools once inhabited a sprawling campus designed by the architects Ricardo Porro, Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti. Now sadly unfinished, abandoned and overgrown, the buildings were intended to epitomize “the utopian aspirations of the revolution,” when Fidel Castro commissioned them in 1961.

That is, until a world-renowned Cuban dancer returned to his native Havana with an idea to breathe new life into the dilapidated institution.

Photographs from John A. Loomis’ Revolution of Forms

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Jan Tschichold wrote ”Clay in the Potter’s Hand” in late 1948 for The Penrose Annual. It has been reprinted in various other forms in the years since and is included in The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design. This pamphlet version was printed on letterpress in 1992 by Engdahl Typography in Vineburg, California. I bought this lovely copy from RIT Press. It is difficult to excerpt such a short essay, but I can’t help imagining what the typesetter thought as he composed Tschichold’s last lines:

"The knowledge that he is rendering an anonymous service to valuable works, and to a small number of optically sensitive people, is as a rule the only reward for the typographer’s long and never-ending apprenticeship."

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Grids & Guides: A Notebook for Visual Thinkers

Map out graphs, notes, schematics, and sketches with this durable cloth-covered journal and workbook. Inspired by vintage laboratory notebooks, Grids & Guides features 144 pages of graph paper (eight grid designs repeating throughout) interspersed with a multitude of scientific charts, tables, and infographics featuring everything from the periodic table to alternative alphabets to Newton’s Laws of Motion.

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But of course modern typography was not the abrupt invention of one man or even of one group. It emerged in response to new demands and new opportunities thrown up by the nineteenth century. The violence with which modern typography burst upon the early twentieth-century scene reflected the violence with which new concepts in art and design in every field were sweeping away exhausted conventions and challenging those attitudes which had no relevance to a highly industrialized society.

Interior pages featuring the work of Piet Zwart (1929), Herbert Bayer (1923), and Jan Tschichold (1929).

From a first edition of Pioneers of Modern Typography by Herbert Spencer, published in 1969 by Lund Humphries, London. Pulled from the PAPress Design Dept. bookshelf.

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Arriving in the U.S. next month, Autonomy collects the covers of all 118 issues of Anarchy, a journal published in London in the 1960s. Anarchy had many and diverse contributors, but its main author, Colin Ward, used the journal to propel ideas of mutual aid and autonomous organization outside the centralized state. The covers were designed mostly by Rufus Segar, and they illustrate a sample of the history of graphic design in Britain during those years.

Autonomy: the cover designs of Anarchy 1961–1970 is edited by Daniel Poyner and published by Hyphen Press, London. Distributed in the U.S. by Princeton Architectural Press.

Watch on blog.papress.com

Preparing for the NY Art Book Fair on the Risograph. Get your hands on one of these posters, which feature artwork from new and upcoming titles: Sign Painters, Brooklyn Makers, and the Sleepwalkers box.

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Damon Styer, New Bohemia Signs, San Francisco

"I don’t know how a new generation of sign painters is supposed to make it. It’s not just about good design and nice hand lettering. It’s about being able to do it quickly and efficiently so that you can get paid enough to keep doing it. Practice is a part of it, but so is having good supplies, the right brushes, a smooth enough board, and paint that’s going to coat in one shot."

From Sign Painters, available now!

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