Diamonds in the Rough
The other day I was in our local library wandering around killing some time. I found myself in the used bookstore within the library and thought to myself, “Gee, maybe there are some old discounted books on design related things.” Eventually I found the right section, and to my surprise there were two great old books listed at a buck a piece due to a sale. Both books were probably ten or more years old, gently used, and ripe for the picking.
The first was a book put out by Pantone in 2000 called Guide to Communicating with Color by Leatrice Eiseman. It’s a fun exploration into color usage throughout design to convey different moods, feelings etc., This book is geared towards a novice designer still getting a grip on such design elements, but it has beautiful photography and ad examples that manage to inspire and remind me of some of my initial design training with color. Also included are some lovely swatch combinations that I can definitely see myself utilizing as a springboard in future projects.
The second book, Type: Design, Color, Character & Use by Michael Beaumont was realeased in 1987. This book is particularly cool to me, given the time it was released, typesetting was still profession. The book focuses on the fundamentals of typography that are timeless and because pirated advanced layout software wasn’t on everyone’s laptop, the dialogue is very technology neutral, but just as informative now. The book is overflowing with examples of ads and typographical form play of the time and truly feels like a time capsule of what older generations of designers experienced first hand.
It’s easy to drop $40-$100 bucks on design books today, but don’t forget about these second hand book stores, because amongst all the harlequin romance novels and oversized coffee table books there may just be some diamonds in the rough. Have you picked up any great design related books lately (list price or on the cheap)? Let me know in the comment section I’d love to hear about them!