Books from 2011 - design, art and street art favourites

    Here are some of our favourite books from 2011. To help celebrate the year that ended we selected titles published in 2011 that we think are particularly worth noting


    Abstract Graffiti

    Since the early days of the graffiti movement in late 1970s New York, street art has transformed cities around the world. Today it is a hugely popular, yet still highly controversial art form. In Abstract Graffiti, Cedar Lewisohn provides a vibrant account of the ‘outer limits’ of street art and graffiti that are being explored by artists in cities as diverse as London, Prague, Philadelphia and São Paulo. The work of these artists is ‘abstract’ not necessarily in the sense that it is non-figurative; rather, it may embrace a fresh, abstract approach to art. Lewisohn interviews both established graffiti artists and new practitioners of avant-garde forms of art in public spaces – such as Knit Graffiti and Street Training – and traces the art-historical lineage of these abstract trends. Addressing such issues as street art as a form of protest, graffiti as a crime, the place of street art in museums, and the evolution of materials, this book offers unrivalled insight into some of the most exciting and challenging work on the contemporary art scene

    Hardcover: 176 pages
    Publisher: Merrell Publishers


    Clients From Hell: A collection of anonymously-contributed client horror stories from designers

    A cult phenomenon among those who work in graphic, print and web design - and those lucky enough to have discovered the namesake blog - Clients From Hell has been bringing readers to tears with its unbelievable and always hilarious anecdotes from the twenty and thirty-somethings on the frontlines of design. In print for the first time, this collection brings together the same type of original stories that make the blog a hit and exposes the designer's trade for what it really is: new, misunderstood and often unappreciated. Read the quotes, bizarre requests and elaborate communication failures that are all part of the daily life of working with clients. With anonymous submissions from over a thousand creative freelancers, Clients From Hell sheds an insider's perspective on difficult - and all-too-often irrational and insane - interactions with clients. Anyone who has ever worked with clients may find these tales frighteningly familiar. New designers may think twice about their chosen profession - or at least find relief in the fact that they're not alone in absurd client interactions. And non-designers? Well, they'll just feel grateful - while they laugh and discover the new and uncharted territory of miscommunication.

    Paperback: 150 pages
    Publisher: Channel V Books


    Art in the Streets

    The first large-scale American museum exhibition to survey the colorful history of graffiti and street art movements internationally. Highlighting the connection between graffiti and street art and other vibrant subcultures, such as those that developed around Hip Hop in the Bronx and skateboarding in Southern California, Art in the Streets explores parallel movements in dance and music. The exhibition is curated by MoCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, working with a curatorial advisory committee that includes Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose

    Paperback: 320 pages
    Publisher: Skira Rizzoli


    Seattle Street Art: A Visual Time Capsule Beyond Graffiti

    Aside from its rain and coffee, Seattle, Washington is known for many things subversive, from Grunge music to the activist driven WTO riots. This region of America raised the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Lee. Today, there is a culture here that is only represented anonymously in the reclaimed public spaces of the city. Images dot the urban landscape in the typical street mediums that are used across the globe; spray paint, stickers, paste-ups, stencils, wheatpasting, posters, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, flash mobbing, installations, post-graffiti, mosaic tiling, murals, wood-blocking, LED art, reverse-graffiti and yard bombing. You will see that these are not commercial enterprises or vandalism graffiti, but individual creative statements... something we can all relate to. Street art as a medium has been popularized internationally by the likes of Shepard Fairey, Banksy, D*Face, Paul Insect, Swoon, Twist, Neck face, Faile, Space Invader and WK Interact. It can take on many purposes and sometimes involves activism, phenomenology, repetition, attention capture, culture jamming, direct action, guerrilla messaging, propaganda, subvertising, decoration and territory claiming. The following is a small window into this temporary world that’s constantly being revised in a flux of new symbols. It’s a snapshot of work on the Seattle streets over about a 3 year period, a visual capsule in time, not a comprehensive representation of Seattle street art and the people involved over the years. Some of the work only existed for a day before it was written over by other artists or removed by the city... a reminder that nothing is permanent, and control is an illusion in the chaos of a city. Contains 100 Full Color Photos

    Paperback: 100 pages
    Publisher: Seattle Street Art; 1ST edition


    344 Questions: The Creative Person's Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment (Voices That Matter)

    Each spread in this colorful, pocket-sized book contains a series of several questions illustrated in Stefan Bucher's unique, whimsical, hand-lettered style. The questions are designed to get you thinking and drawing and writing with room on each spread to fill in the blanks and jot down ideas. Sample questions include: Can you name 10 things that reliably stress you out? Do you need 10 more spaces? Was filling out lists on your list? Or the decimal system? What happens when you get stressed out? Do you think stress is heroic? Can you please convince me that that's really stupid?
    In addition to the questions provided by Bucher, the book features questions from creative celebrities who share some of the questions they were asked on the way to success, or, in some cases, the questions they wish they had been asked

    Flexibound: 144 pages
    Publisher: New Riders Press


    Saul Bass

    This is the first book to be published on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th Century, who was as famous for his work in film as for his corporate identity and graphic work. With more than 1,400 illustrations, many of them never published before and written by the leading design historian Pat Kirkham, this is the definitive study that design and film enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating. Saul Bass (1920-1996) created some of the most compelling images of American post-war visual culture. Having extended the remit of graphic design to include film titles, he went on to transform the genre. His best known works include a series of unforgettable posters and title sequences for films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Otto Preminger's The Man With The Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. He also created some of the most famous logos and corporate identity campaigns of the century, including those for major companies such as AT&T, Quaker Oats, United Airlines and Minolta. His wife and collaborator, Elaine, joined the Bass office in the late 1950s. Together they created an impressive series of award-winning short films, including the Oscar-winning Why Man Creates, as well as an equally impressive series of film titles, ranging from Stanley Kubrick s Spartacus in the early 1960s to Martin Scorsese s Cape Fear and Casino in the 1990s. Designed by Jennifer Bass, Saul Bass's daughter and written by distinguished design historian Pat Kirkham who knew Saul Bass personally, this book is full of images from the Bass archive, providing an in depth account of one of the leading graphic artists of the 20th century

    Hardcover: 428 pages
    Publisher: Laurence King Publishers


    Street Knowledge



    An encyclopedia of street culture for those who love Banksy or Irvine Welsh and want to know about the cutting-edge talents, past and present who have shaped urban cool.

    This eye-catching insider's guide includes old school graffiti legends, avant-garde street artists, film makers, DJs, designers, writers, and poets who have influenced urban culture. From the groundbreaking New York artists of the 1980s to the unique work of modern-day Iranians, this book shows how street culture has penetrated every aspect of modern life.

    Street Knowledge includes work and exclusive interviews from some of the world's most famous artists and talents, such as Banksy, David LaChapelle, Kelsey Brookes, Quik, Tony Kaye, Tama Janowitz, The KLF, Shawn Stussy, Obey, Irvine Welsh, Martha Cooper, and Benjamin Zephaniah, as well as lesser-known and up-coming talents who are literally coming up from the streets

    Hardcover: 320 pages
    Publisher: Overlook Hardcover


    Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible

    A comprehensive monograph on highly influential product designer Dieter Rams (b.1932). As head of design at Braun from 1961 to 1995, Rams created some of the most iconic objects of the twentieth century. A detailed text covering Rams’s life, the intellectual context in which he worked, his designs for Braun and Vitsoe, and the ideas and lectures he developed as an advocate for good design. Includes a foreword by Jonathan Ive, head of design at Apple Inc.. Sketches and photographs of finished products and prototypes provide insight into Rams’s design process; diverse archival material and photographs give a complete picture of his life and work

    Hardcover: 400 pages
    Publisher: Phaidon Press


    Arabic Graffiti

    Without regional borders or constraints, 'Arabic Graffiti' references the use of Arabic script in urban context. It showcases artists, graffiti writers and typographers from the Middle East and around the world who merge Arabic script and calligraphy styles with the art of graffiti writing, street art and urban culture. The project offers many different, diverging and at times contradicting ideas and approaches to treating this sensitive tradition with contemporary vision. To accompany a visual assortment of styles, the book will include several crossover topics, such as classical and contemporary calligraphy, Arabic typography, political graffiti and street art. Curated and authored by Lebanese typographer Pascal Zoghbi and Don M. Zaza aka Stone (Cubabrasil, From Here to Fame Publishing), 'Arabic Graffiti' also features essays by various writers and artists working in this field.

    Hardcover: 200 pages
    Publisher: From Here to Fame


    Steve Jobs

    Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
    At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

    Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

    Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values

    Hardcover: 656 pages
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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