sasek

After having had the awesome opportunity to go to Finland this past year I’ve been meaning to do a number of illustrations inspired by things I saw and experienced in a “This Is Finland” Sasek kind of way. So here’s the first of the series and I call it… “Helsinki Hat”… Poor Johan Ludvig Runeberg had no chance against those ruthless seagulls 

Vintage Kids

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i’ve got vintage books + illustration on the brain. books are my passion, but i have a special spot for kids books for sure. it’s obvious by my [somewhat hidden] collection. trying to explain to a non-designer/book lover why you collect children’s books as an adult is no easy feat. some of my favorite kids books are vintage and some are new, but miroslav sasek is definitely my favorite kids illustrator. he did the “This is” series by Universe Publishing, where the first of the series “This is Paris”, was published in 1958. These are sold in stores like Anthropologie as well as high end baby boutiques, but some people don’t know the rich history of the books and their illustrator.

According to cover notes in Stone is Not Cold, Mr. Sasek trained as an architect in Prague because his parents didn’t approve of him becoming a painter. He studied for some time at l'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He escaped from Prague in 1948 when the Communist Party came to power, and settled in Munich (he claimed he would be happy anywhere and ended up in Munich because his wife’s work was there). 

i had the privilege of working with Rodrigo Corral on a vintage remake series called the Nabokov Collection, by Vintage Books. i got to do one of the books in the series, and besides being in love with all things vintage, it was completely hands-on. no retouching, photoshop, illustrator going on here. all hand cut, spaced, and placed. then photographed in a specimen box and printed. it was true love. anyway, here are some of my favorite sasek illustrations

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i had a random conversation with some friends on the train this weekend & i was telling them i bought the Divine Secret of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2 book series when i was in probably 6th grade. i got them for about $5 at a garage sale (oh yeah, favorite event of the year was the sub-wide garage sale!) because i loved the cover, i had no intention of reading the book but eventually i decided i’d try reading the first book and ended up reading the whole series. then it hit me.. even then i had a young love of book design ;)