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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its cover, November 19, 2007
This review is from: Designing Design (Hardcover)
A plain white cover with some black text in Helvetica. That's the dust jacket cover of a design book? If I'd judged the book solely by the cover I would have missed what is actually a quite unique and wonderful book about design.

The cloth-bound cover itself is also all type, but now white type embossed into a white cover--not the most readable (though you can read it) but in a way the essence of this book--minimal, elegant, playful, clever and thought-provoking.

This understated and often witty approach is a refreshing antidote to the frantic overkill that constitutes much of the commercial design we're bombarded hundreds of times a day.

Like the cover, the text can be mysterious. When I first read the preface I balked. But I was intrigued and read it again and this time, it was surprising and beautiful.

"To understand something is not to be able to define it or describe it. Instead, taking something that we think we know already and making it unknown thrills us afresh with its reality and deepens our understanding." It's almost as if he's talking about a Claes Oldenburg sculpture which takes a common object and shows it to us in a gigantic size that makes us see it in a new light--yet the designs and ideas featured in the book give us this new perspective right on a printed page.

You're not going to see innovative typography in this book (though the book itself is beautifully designed, typeset and produced). But you are going to see stunningly understated photography and a Japanese approach to design that can be an inspiration everywhere in the world.
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Location: Point Reyes, CA United States

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