BY ITS COVER

Modern American Book Cover Design

BY ITS COVER

NED DREW PAUL STERNBERGER

Princeton Architectural Press

New York

Published by Princeton Architectural Press 37 East Seventh Street New York, New York 10003 For a free catalog of books, call 1.800.722.6657. Visit our web site at www.papress.com. © 2005 Princeton Architectural Press All rights reserved Printed and bound in China 08 07 06 05 4 3 2 1 First edition ISBN: 1-56898-497-9 No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher, except in the context of reviews. Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Errors or omissions will be corrected in subsequent editions. Editing: Mark Lamster Cover Design: John Gall Book Design: Brenda McManus and Ned Drew Design Consultant: Paul Sternberger Special thanks to: Nettie Aljian, Dorothy Ball, Nicola Bednarek, Janet Behning, Penny (Yuen Pik) Chu, Russell Fernandez, Jan Haux, Clare Jacobson, Mark Lamster, Nancy Eklund Later, Linda Lee, Katharine Myers, Lauren Nelson, Jane Sheinman, Scott Tennent, Jennifer Thompson, Paul G. Wagner, Joseph Weston, and Deb Wood of Princeton Architectural Press —Kevin C. Lippert, publisher

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

7

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1

JUDGING THE BOOK

8

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM: THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOOK JACKET IN AMERICA

18

2 AMERICANIZING UTOPIA: PROGRESSIVE DESIGN IN AMERICAN HANDS 3 MODERNISM AND BEYOND: HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTING THE FUTURE

42

72

4 THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND: AMERICAN BOOK COVER DESIGN DISORIENTED 5 THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND: POSTMODERNISM AND THE BOOK COVER

96

114

6 REDEFINE AND REDESIGN: MAKING POSTMODERNISM WORK NOTES

134

172

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

178

INDEX

182

IMAGE CREDITS

186

6

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are indebted to the many design historians, archivists, designers, colleagues, and friends who helped realize this book. This project would not have been possible without the groundwork laid by a number of recent design historians. Steven Heller— the tireless contributor to the history of American graphic design—has produced an astounding body of scholarship, including some of the most rigorous studies of individual designers and inspiring compilations of texts. Ellen Lupton, along with J. Abbott Miller, has written, edited, and curated many of the last decade and a half’s most influential design books and exhibitions. Roger Remington deserves the appreciation of the entire field of design history—he is a dedicated archivist who has been preserving and interpreting irreplaceable artifacts and documents of modern American graphic design. Rick Poynor is perhaps the most lucid and insightful observer of contemporary design, interweaving narrative history of design with cogent analytical observation. Philip Meggs was an outstanding educator and mentor in both the practice and history of design. He will be greatly missed.

Among the designers and their families to whom we owe many thanks are: Elaine Lustig Cohen, Roy Kuhlman, Paul Bacon, Bob Giusti, John Gall, and Carol Devine Carson. Many archivists and book aficionados have been incredibly generous with their time and knowledge, including Jane Seigel at Columbia University Rare Books and Manuscripts, Kari Horowicz and Becky Simmons of the Rochester Institute of Technology Archives and Special Collections, Gabriela Mirensky at the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Joe Skokowski of Albatross Books, Tom Dolle of Pratt Institute, and Mark Lamster and Deb Wood at Princeton Architectural Press. We would like to express our warm appreciation for the patient support of our friends and colleagues at Rutgers University in Newark, among them Edward Kirby, Annette Juliano, Ian Watson, Frank D’Asolfo, Nick Kline, Sandie Maxa, Mark Sanders, Crystal Grant, and Permelia Toney-Boss. We would also like to thank Rutgers students Suzy Morais and Paul Pereira for their indispensable assistance in the conception and organization of this project. And our deepest thanks go to Brenda McManus and Joan Cummins for their unhesitating help every step of the way.

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INTRODUCTION JUDGING THE BOOK

Books are a thing of beauty, but so are horse-drawn carriages.
DICK BRASS

Vice President of Technology Development, Microsoft 1

8

Is the printed book destined for eventual extinction? Is the thoughtfully designed book cover approaching obsolescence? The availability of ebooks has indeed increased, and print-on-demand technology will likely change the way books are marketed and purchased. But there is something special about the mass-produced book as an object– it is more than just a presentation of the ideas of an author. When a text is published and the book is designed and printed, it becomes a physical manifestation not just of the ideas of the author, but of the cultural ideals and aesthetics of a distinct historical moment. Should the physical book endure the onslaught of virtual forms of information, it will likely be its very materiality that facilitates its survival. The book as an object is comfortingly substantial in its content and its material presence. At a time when so much information is dispersed in virtual form, it is especially important to examine the book as a distinctive object reflecting a marriage of authors’ words and designers’ vision. The cover is a book’s first communication to the reader, a graphic representation not simply of its content, but of its point in history–in the history of American design, in the history of American

9

ERNST REICHL

ULYSSES

1934 Random House

10

literature, in the history of American culture. Books and their covers are vital, physical manifestations of an evolving American intellectual tradition. In retrospect, the most intelligently designed covers of American books recall particular moments in our cultural memory. The designs conjure up associations of our personal and collective encounters with the groundbreaking intellectual expressions of our times. They define what we were, what we hoped to be, and sometimes, what we have become. The study of great literature and the printed word allows us to better understand our world, and examining how designers have interpreted these words at a particular historical moment sheds light on the complexities of the American design realm. The cover design of James Joyce’s ULYSSES , for instance, was the focus of early American interpretations of modernism and has ultimately returned to its original form of seventy years ago. The first American edition of the book was made possible in 1933 with the lifting of the U.S. ban of the text for obscenity. In his cover for the 1934 Random House edition, Ernst Reichl created a functional and dramatic jacket design that seemed as modern as the text itself. Reflecting a modernist heritage that would take firmer root in America in the decades to come, Reichl used type as a meaningful compositional device in and of itself.

11

E. MCKNIGHT KAUFFER

ULYSSES

1949 Random House

12

The elongated typography echoed the path taken by the protagonist Leopold “Poldy” Bloom. Subtle, horizontal crossbars found at the base, midpoint, and top of the type helped to create a harmonious formal structure that plays against the extreme verticality of the book. The attenuated title lettering was further balanced by a blunt red rectangle anchored by the author’s name rendered in lowercase Futura Black— a typeface that had been designed only a few years earlier by German modernist Paul Renner. Reichl’s simple yet effective typographic manipulation created a striking cover that foreshadowed the rigorous formal and conceptual experimentation of American design in the coming decades. In his 1949 cover for ULYSSES , E. McKnight Kauffer pushed the typographic experiment along with an even purer modernist approach. The typographic elements of the cover dominate, but do more than spell out words. They act as abstract compositional features carefully placed to create an asymmetrical balance of form and color on a stark field of black. Perhaps acknowledging Reichl’s design, Kauffer elongated the U and L, playing with the type as image and giving graphic form to the phonetic structure of the title with its accent on the first syllable. Kauffer’s design for ULYSSES reflects a time when the distilled forms of modernism were being adapted to the realm

13

UNKNOWN

ULYSSES

1940 Random House

14

CARIN GOLDBERG

ULYSSES

1986 Random House

of American book cover design with the great hope for a visual vocabulary that could transform not just design but society as a whole. As promising as the spare typography and clean forms of modernism might have been, their formal and theoretical rigor could easily be diluted. Interpretations of modernism could turn into the suburban blandness of covers like the 1940 Modern Library ULYSSES , which stayed in print for over two decades. Here, the formal and conceptual complexity of Kauffer’s design was lost. By the 1960s many of America’s most innovative designers would look to alternatives to modernism’s stark, universalizing forms, but ULYSSES and modernism would have other encounters. Carin Goldberg’s 1986 cover for ULYSSES once again incorporated the language of modernism, but now as a self-conscious act of historical quotation. In an era when designers were exploring postmodern concepts of appropriation, authorship, and originality, Goldberg created a cover that did not simply use historical tools like Renner’s typeface Futura. She went further, audaciously basing the composition on Renner’s 1928 Applied Arts of Bavaria exhibition poster. While Goldberg’s design for ULYSSES earned its share of ridicule, it is emblematic of a moment in American design when practitioners were seriously

15

16

engaging their historical legacy and grappling with some of the most intriguing theoretical challenges of the twentieth century. Random House’s 2002 edition of ULYSSES is a facsimile of their 1934 edition, including Reichl’s now uncredited cover design. Similar facsimiles with original cover designs have been made of modern classics like Catch 22 and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and reproductions of vintage covers are prominent on the walls and shopping bags of every Barnes & Noble bookstore. The recent reappearance of these covers is an acknowledgment of the importance of not only the historical legacy of the texts, but also of their designs. With historical hindsight, the covers become the visual manifestations of groundbreaking literature, a document of a historical moment, an articulation of our cultural identity. That identity is still manifested in contemporary book cover design. In an age where some claim that an intellectual tradition is being quashed by a soulless media society, the book cover remains an amalgam of form and meaning, a reflection of an American literary legacy that continues to find new avenues of expression and new ways to explore the nature of contemporary experience. Indeed, a tradition of sophisticated, conceptual American book cover design proves to be the visual language that defines the literary legacy of an entire culture.

17

ERNST REICHL

ULYSSES

2002 (uncredited) Random House

1

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOOK JACKET IN AMERICA

1

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOOK JACKET IN AMERICA

20

The book jacket evolved from a simple utilitarian object into a highly visual and conceptualized means of communication. While the first book jackets date to the 1820s, until late in the century they had only been used as protective packaging and tended to be nonpictorial, labeled wrappers with little focus on design. Book jackets began to gain importance in the 1890s with the recognition that they could be a way to attract the attention of potential buyers. Thus the book jacket became a focus of design in and of itself, separate from the front board of the book. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the book jacket began to take root as a promotional tool, and its design received more attention.1 By mid-century in America, what had begun as prosaic illustration and straightforward lettering grew, through the adaptation of European modernism, into a sophisticated integration of type and image. The rise of the book jacket as an object of graphic design in America coincided with the definition of the field of graphic design as a profession. Just as it offered ways to add formal complexity to design, modernism also gave designers a means to reconceive the theoretical bases of their practice. By the 1930s, many of America’s leading graphic designers looked for ways to reconcile the utilitarian and economic

demands of their field with a self-image based on individualistic creative expression. Perhaps this tension between the demands of commerce and the possibility for conceptual depth made modernism attractive to so many American designers: it offered an interweaving of rigorous formal aesthetics and potential for creative expression with an ultimate goal of social and economic utility. As a forum for designers to engage modernism and define their practice, the book jacket was an intriguing choice. Book cover design required reconciliation of the individuality of the designer with the needs of the client. The jacket was understood to be an ephemeral utilitarian protective device and odious marketing necessity whose useful purpose was all but depleted when the book was purchased by the consumer. Furthermore, any book claiming to have literary merit was understood to be the creative expression of its author, thus the designer presented with the task of creating a cover for that book was asked not only to speak for the publisher but for the author as well. Yet, despite all its reputation as a crass commercial device, and the challenge to serve both publisher and author, the book cover was a vital forum for experimental graphic expression by some of the most progressive designers in America.

A NEW VOCABULARY ARRIVES

Many of the experimental approaches to book cover design in America had their stylistic and theoretical roots in Europe. European movements in the fine arts inspired new ways of thinking about graphic design. Cubism presented a means of disintegrating and distilling form, challenging traditional notions of representation, embracing the abstracted flatness of the painted surface and integrating text as a legitimate formal element of composition. The Futurists and then the Dadaists took some of the formal innovations of Cubism and applied them to more specifically design-related projects. Artists including Filippo Martinetti experimented with typography as an active expressive element, no longer subservient to the content of the text. Artists associated with the De Stijl and Constructivist movements made tremendous contributions to the idiom of modernism that would impact the design world. Not only did they attempt to contract a highly refined distillation of form into purified geometries, but they also fostered an ideological stance that this new vocabulary of forms could serve modern society–from the most basic practical needs to the most ethereal. This notion of formal innovation as both personal and social expression would greatly inform the practice of America’s first generation of true modernist book cover designers, most notably Alvin Lustig and Paul Rand. The challenge to the commercial designer was to put these lessons gleaned from the modernist worlds of fine art and theoretical experimentation to practical use. The widely published and highly respected British design and cultural critic Herbert Read pondered such challenges in the 1930s. Read pointed out the risk of superficiality when formal manifestation of art theory was applied to what he saw as the essentially utilitarian field of design. Read was one of the greatest proponents of the aesthetic potential of nonobjective art in design, but he feared that “such an art, which in the hands of a Mondrian or a Kandinsky is an art of intuitive apprehension, an infinitely subtle and varied response to form, line, and color, becomes in the hands of those who seek without real understanding to apply its principles to the construction of utilitarian objects, an art completely devoid of the intuitive element.”2 Despite the dangers of shallow stylistic quotation pointed out by Read, many European designers managed to apply the new ways of considering visual art to their field, and American designers were paying attention.

21

LADISLAV SUTNAR

THE GREEN AND THE RED

1950

Golden Griffin Books

22

A number of European publications offered American designers the opportunity to learn the theoretical underpinnings of modernist design and to see the application of modernist principles in action. Among the most influential publications to find its way to America was Jan Tschichold’s Die Neue Typographie, published in 1928. Motivated Americans also managed to get their hands on the German graphic design journal Gebrauchsgraphik, which began publication in the 1920s and included English translations. By the 1930s American trade publications such as Advertising Arts (published in New York from 1930–35) attempted at times to ponder the nature of modern design and the relationship between design and modernism. As useful as published examples were to American designers interested in modernism, the immigration of their European colleagues to America would prove more influential. In response to the threat of rising fascism in the late 1930s, many of Europe’s most gifted designers and theoreticians emigrated to the United States, where they made indelible marks on design in America. Josef Albers founded design programs at Black Mountain College and Yale University. Herbert Bayer acted as consultant for one of the great patrons of progressive design in America, the Container Corporation of America. Alexey Brodovitch served as art director at Harper’s Bazaar and taught at the New School for Social Research in New York. Will Burtin acted as art director at Fortune, as did Leo Lionni. Herbert Matter continued his unique uses of photography and type. And Ladislav Sutnar, designer of the spectacularly bold 1950 cover of THE GREEN AND THE RED , advocated extreme functionalism in modernist design.3

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

Most of these Europeans were associated with the Bauhaus, an institution that was perhaps the greatest conduit for the integration of graphic design and other fields, including the traditionally recognized fine arts. From its founding in 1919, the Bauhaus was a hotbed of experimentation in the application of modernist principles to mass-produced, socially beneficial goods.4 In the 1930s, the Bauhaus was given new life in Chicago by immigrants including László Moholy-Nagy and Gyorgy Kepes who would design book covers like THE LANGUAGE OF VISION and FALSE COIN . Veterans of the Bauhaus like Bayer and Moholy-Nagy established themselves within the American commercial and academic realms of design, each writing extensively on the both ideological and theoretical applications of modernism. The significance of this influx of Bauhaus designers was not lost on American designers at mid century. Designer and critic Marshall Lee, who was not particularly inclined to attribute advances in book design to Europe, noted in 1951 that the American manifestation of the Bauhaus was making its mark, in his estimation, taking “firmer root in the United States than on its own continent.”5

23

GYORGY KEPES

LANGUAGE OF VISION

1959

Paul Theobald & Company
FALSE COIN

GYORGY KEPES

1959

Little, Brown & Company

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT COVERS: LOOKING MODERN

24

As American designers started to focus their efforts on cover design, they felt compelled to justify putting so much effort into an object so often discounted as crassly commercial. One way designers seemed to come to terms with this problem was to consider the cover as a part of the larger project of designing an entire book. An adventuresome cover design might be created by an illustrator who had the task of creating images for the interior of the book, as was the case with Rockwell Kent and his Art Deco woodcut designs for editions of PAUL BUNYAN and MOBY DICK . This dedication to the design of the book as a whole, integrating the cover with the interior, was shared by many of the first generation of American designers to embrace book cover design as a serious endeavor, among them, William A. Dwiggins, George Salter, Ernst Reichl, Arthur Hawkins, and E. McKnight Kauffer. Rather than embracing the subtle formal and theoretical intricacies of modernism, these designers, with the exception of Kauffer, most often attempted to create a new modern look for American book cover design based more or less on stylish, decorative elements.

ROCKWELL KENT

PAUL BUNYAN

1924

Harcourt, Brace & Company

25

ROCKWELL KENT

MOBY DICK

(front board)

1930

Random House
MOBY DICK

ROCKWELL KENT

(interior)

1930

Random House

26

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

W. A. Dwiggins was among the American designers most adamantly dedicated to total book design. He chose to embrace a style more firmly rooted in traditional design and typography, but incorporating a few elements of modernism like abstracted illustrational and calligraphic elements. He brought to book cover design a sense of sobriety and depth in his carefully calculated orchestrations of type in layouts that tied together every line of his books. From the subtle variations within the system he created for the jackets of the CRITICAL STUDIES ON WRITING AS AN ART series, to the sophisticated understatement of the front board of THE TIME MACHINE , with its slip cover rather than a dust jacket, Dwiggins set the stage for generations of designers to approach book cover design with steadfast professionalism and treat the book as a precious object.

W. A . DWIGGINS

ON WRITING

1949

Alfred A. Knopf

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W. A . DWIGGINS

THE TIME MACHINE

1931

Random House

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

28

George Salter was another designer who firmly believed that book cover design could transcend the crassly commercial sphere and be an honored professional pursuit. Like Dwiggins, Salter rooted his style in tradition. Salter emigrated to the United States in 1934 after many years of working as a typographer and book designer in his native Germany. His cover design style was based in illustration, but he often would give his images a modern twist. A hint of Surrealism in his cover for THE SCARF , the blending of collage, geometric abstraction and figural drawing in THE TOWER OF BABEL , or the fragmentation of photomontage in BREAD AND CIRCUSES granted Salter’s designs an air of artistic respectability. By mid century, Salter was not only a revered cover designer, but he also had proved himself to be one of the most outspoken advocates for serious, professional book cover design in America.

GEORGE SALTER

THE SCARF

1947

The Dial Press
THE TOWER OF BABEL

GEORGE SALTER

1947

Alfred A. Knopf

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GEORGE SALTER

BREAD AND CIRCUSES

1937

Oxford University Press

30

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

ERNST REICHL

THE DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE

1934

Random House
ULYSSES

ERNST REICHL

1934 (later printing)

(title page) Random House

German-born immigrant Ernst Reichl also helped gain respectability for book cover design in America. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig at the age of 20, he started as a graphic designer in Germany and came to the United States in 1926. In an American career that lasted over five decades, Reichl designed thousands of books, working for Knopf, Doubleday, and H. Wolff Book Manufacturing Company. He started his own firm in 1945. Perhaps Reichl’s most significant design was for the first American edition of Joyce’s ULYSSES published by Random House in 1934. A proponent of whole book design, Reichl included a number of innovative features in the design of the interior of ULYSSES as well: for instance, he experimented with the use of type as image by enlarging the “U” on the title page spread. An even more remarkable playful manipulation of typography is his DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE where a mélange of styles prefigures the eclectic mixes Push Pin designers would use in the 1960s. The decorative, semi abstract style of Reichl’s ULYSSES cover might be categorized as what design historian Lorraine Wild has called “moderne,” a style in which typefaces “were designed with exaggerated geometry solely for stylistic purposes; type was used in ways that neither enhanced nor interfered with content.”6 In contrast to the language of modernism adapted by American designers like Alvin Lustig and Paul Rand, who were more dedicated to creating meaning through an interplay of type and image, Reichl’s design seems to pursue the look of the modern, but not much more. The same could be said for covers by Arthur Hawkins for LAST AND FIRST MEN and Bernard Shaw’s THREE PLAYS .

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ARTHUR HAWKINS

LAST AND FIRST MEN

1931

Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith
THREE PLAYS

ARTHUR HAWKINS

1934

Dodd, Mead & Company

32

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

ARTHUR HAWKINS

RED SMOKE

ARTHUR HAWKINS

BASES OVERSEAS

1932

National Traveler Club

1944

Harcourt, Brace & Company

With elements like bold geometric forms, deco skyscrapers, and angular lettering, Hawkins’s covers are stylish and attractive, but also had a sense of superficiality in that they seem to make little attempt at deep conceptual connections between the book’s content and the combinations of image and type. Hawkins’s covers for RED SMOKE and BASES OVERSEAS incorporate popular modern devices that appeared in magazines like Fortune. Even if some of the designs by Reichl and Hawkins were not the most thorough adaptations of modernist dogma, they understood that in the commercial realm, as one observer put it, their designs should be “remembered not only as a literary experience but as a physical fact.”7 By the 1930s and 1940s, publishers recognized that a stylish book cover could attract consumers and that if they produced a good-looking product, it was more likely to sell. Indeed, Reichl understood his role as book designer was mediated by the publisher’s need to sell the book, which was after all an object, a commodity. And the fashionable look publishers were after did not necessarily encourage conceptual rigor. As early as 1936, Reichl explained that he had to attack his task as a product designer might design packaging for breakfast cereal or champagne. The viewer, be it the average consumer or a literary reviewer “will select those books which have first enchanted him through a pleasing optical experience.”8 Still, Reichl attempted to set high standards that reached far beyond attracting the eye of a potential consumer. He experimented with new techniques and materials in the design process and in the books themselves, using type as a design element and incorporating nontraditional elements, like strips of metal and plastic, into the covers. One of his most technically innovative was his design for Gertrude Stein’s 1934 PORTRAITS AND PRAYERS in which he had a halftone portrait of the author printed directly onto the cloth of the cover by means of offset lithography. Reichl’s treatment of the front board as the main arena for design is one of many instances in which cover designers augmented or eschewed the design on the ephemeral dust jacket in favor of the cover of the book itself. Reichl would remain a vocal member of the book cover design community well into the 1970s, and while he was wary of full-blown modernism, he continually updated his style to reflect progressive contemporary approaches to design.

33

ERNST REICHL

PORTRAITS AND PRAYERS

(front board)

1934

Random House

34

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

E. MCKNIGHT KAUFFER

THE SLEEPWALKERS

1947

Pantheon Books

Another key player in early American flirtations with modernism was American-born Edward McKnight Kauffer, a designer who proved to be one of the most adept of his generation at applying a sophisticated modernist vocabulary to book cover design. Kauffer spent much of his career in London, but moved to New York during World War II and designed many American book covers before his death in 1954. Like his progressive contemporaries, Kauffer’s training in fine art and exposure to the European avant garde shaped his conception of modern design and inspired some of the more conceptually rigorous designs of his generation. While as a young man he had pursued studies in academic fine art in San Francisco and Chicago, Kauffer encountered more radical art at the Chicago showing of the Armory Show in 1913 as he readied himself to travel to Europe. By 1915 in London, he had stumbled into the field of design and had begun to hone his modernist style, especially in poster design. Inspired by cubism, Kauffer employed simplified repeating forms.9 In the 1920s and 30s, Kauffer’s style took on a jazz age flavor, a mixture of updated Art Deco or “moderne” lettering and boldly composed compositions. These striking, yet accessible images would tout familiar services and goods like the London Underground and Shell Oil products.10

35

E. MCKNIGHT KAUFFER

THE ILL-TEMPERED CLAVICHORD

1952

Simon & Schuster

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

36

By the time he returned to America, Kauffer had adapted a number of styles and techniques associated with modern art, including updated distillations of traditional illustration and compositions that revealed the influence of Cubism and modernist photomontage from eastern Europe. Kauffer’s American book covers revealed his range as a designer and his appreciation of the ways modernist elements could be applied to cover designs. His THE SLEEPWALKERS incorporates playfully rendered text and a few meandering lines that cleverly reiterate the imagery evoked by the title. Kauffer’s whimsical interpretation of Cubism in his cover for THE ILL TEMPERED CLAVICHORD echo similar explorations being made by Paul Rand in the early 1950s. Striking contrasts of color and the incorporation of a disembodied photographic face in THE FILM SENSE reveal his understanding of the potential of photomontage. Compared to work by designers like Hawkins, Kauffer’s front board for the catalogue of the 1941 BRITAIN AT WAR exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art offers evidence of a deeper sense of how figurative elements can be melded with geometric abstraction to create a sophisticated composition. And Kauffer’s version of ULYSSES is one of his boldest and purest designs, with its calculated asymmetry, and use of type as an abstracted element in a stark composition.

E. MCKNIGHT KAUFFER

THE FILM SENSE

1942

Harcourt, Brace & Company

E. MCKNIGHT KAUFFER

BRITAIN AT WAR

(front board)

1941

The Museum of Modern Art

Even if they were not always as progressive as Kauffer in their style, designers such as George Salter sensed that serious book cover design had to rise above and at the same time compete with popular, often kitschy illustrative design. “If book jacket design intends to claim its position in the field of graphic arts,” Salter chided in 1948, “it must disclaim connection with the all too conspicuous top heavy ladies draped in undress.”11 As he pondered the future of respectable book cover design, he considered its place in a larger socioeconomic context. In 1950 he observed that the United States, with its vast size, divergent populations, and unapologetic consumer society, provided a fertile environment for the advance of book cover design. While in retrospect, he seems naive not to have seen the threat of television to the significance of “the book reading public,” Salter saw America at mid-century as a growing market for books, a market with great potential. In order to succeed, proposed Salter, the book industry had to compete with the gigantic magazine industry, and innovative cover design would be necessary to entice consumers’ attention away from the glossy ephemeral pleasures of the magazine.12 At the same time, Marshall Lee was making similar observations about American society: “The very function of the book in society is being challenged by other media of information and entertainment, some of them much more accessible. . . . The publisher today is engaged in a battle for the public’s attention not against his fellow publishers but against radio, motion pictures, television, magazines, and many other distractions, ranging from war to psychoanalysis.” He saw the paperback as a means of promoting wider distribution of books and thus worthy of an improvement of standards in their design.13

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THE PAPERBACK: ACCOMMODATING THE MASS MARKET

38

The paperback was a tremendously influential phenomenon in American publishing and book cover design. While books with paper covers had been published in the nineteenth century, the first grand attempt at serious paperback publishing in America was made by Charles Boni, who introduced Paper Books in 1929. Respected titles with covers like PRIZE POEMS and THE MASTER OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT designed by Rockwell Kent, created an impressive line of books, but a required subscription of twelve titles made marketing difficult and the project was short lived.14 The real impetus to make the modern American paperback a mass marketing device arose in the late 1930s. Close on the heels of Alan Lane’s Penguin Books in England, publisher Robert de Graff, backed by Simon and Schuster, introduced a line of American paperbacks called Pocket Books in 1938 and had ten titles in print by the following year. At a cover price of twenty-five cents each, the books cost a fraction of hard covers of the day and could compete with the rental fees of commercial lending libraries.15 Heavily marketed as cheap but respectable publications, Pocket Books set the stage for the development of the paperback as a mass medium that in the decades to come would attract the increasing attention of publishing houses. In a market that expanded dramatically with a wartime demand for soldiers’ reading material and then with a burst of postwar consumerism, the paperback became a staple product in book shops and newsstands, and also in every American drugstore, be it in the largest city or in the smallest town.

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

ROCKWELL KENT

PRIZE POEMS 1913 –1929

1930

Charles Boni Paper Books

39

ROCKWELL KENT

THE MASTER OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

1930

Charles Boni Paper Books

40

Not only was the paperback culturally significant as a new means of making books accessible to a broader spectrum of buyers, but it also impacted the design world. Unlike the dust jacket, the paperback book cover was an integral part of the book itself. While the paperback was never intended to have the longevity of the hard cover, its integral cover did eventually help encourage designers to think of the cover design as something more than a crass protective and marketing device. Although 300 million soft cover books were sold in 1958 in the United States, paperback cover design was seen as in need of the same sort of refinement Salter had proposed a decade earlier. From the beginning, Pocket Books covers were straightforward and blandly illustrational, but their legacy was the bawdy and sensational pulp fiction covers of the 1940s and 1950s. A contemporary observer of paperbacks in England and America, Desmond Flower, noted that attempts were being made in early 1950s America to introduce “serious general titles into the hitherto exclusive welter of sex and crime. In order that these titles could stand side by side with the acres of cheesecake they were presented in the same way. A donkey with a lightly clad blonde together in a most peculiar position would sell Marcus Aurelius in the Bronx; a luscious red-head tangling with a swan could make Bullfinch’s Mythology a seller in Hicksville, Tennessee.”16

A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM

The jury of the 1959-60 American Institute of Graphic Arts exhibition, Paperbacks: USA, agreed. They complained of the high percentage of “poorly, if-at-all designed” books on the market and noted that small-run, high-priced paperbacks were as likely to be subjected to graphic clichés as mass-market inexpensive editions.17 Despite its shortcomings at the time, the paperback cover prompted many mid-century observers to ponder its great promise for the field of design. Ray Nash, a professor of design at Dartmouth College and editor of Printing and Graphic Arts, extolled the “alluring opportunities” for paperback design in the late 1950s: “The smooth white surface of thousands upon thousands of covers stretches out . . . to infinity. . . a fresh publishing phenomenon calls for experimentation and much rethinking by the designer.”18 The paperback, cheap and accessible, had a huge potential audience that obviously appealed to commercial publishing. But the appeal extended to those who saw the audience not just as consumers, but as consumers of literature. Musing upon the potential social impact in America of the paperback as a medium for works of literary merit, Flower wrote in 1959, “Although a number of high-brow soft-cover titles may be bought under a misapprehension and swiftly cast away, a certain percentage of the knowledge absorbed from the balance must stick and raise the general intellectual level of the country. It may be no more perceptible than the universal rise of sea-level due to the melting of the Polar ice-cap, but it is happening.”19 While his observations have an air of haughty elitism, his basic argument that social change could be effected through the well-designed paperback was shared by a number of dedicated publishers and their designers– New Directions would put out paperback editions of many of its offerings of monumental modern literary works and Grove Press sent many of its publications directly to paperback.

TAKING MODERNISM A STEP FURTHER

While some design historians have claimed that the American take on modernism was pragmatic and visual as opposed to the utopian, theoretical, and functional nature of modernism in Europe, a few American designers, most within the first generation to absorb the modernist idiom, did indeed see design as a means of both personal expression and a larger social impact.20 In America, modernism offered book cover design a new graphic language, a language of purified compositions in which spare flattened shapes could interact with type as equal elements without recourse to traditional illustrational strategies. While European modernism, both in fine art and in design, made a tremendous impact on receptive American designers, they did not merely adopt the formal tropes of modernism. The American book cover designers who wished to engage modernism thoughtfully took the visual vocabulary introduced by European designers and fine artists and turned it into a language specifically adapted to meet the needs of both commercial publishing in America and the individualized creative aspirations of the designer.

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DESIGNER UNCERTAIN

THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HELEN OF TROY

1948

Popular Library
FIERY FINGERS

MILTON HERDER

1956

Pocket Books

2

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA PROGRESSIVE DESIGN IN AMERICAN HANDS

2

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA PROGRESSIVE DESIGN IN AMERICAN HANDS

44

The movement toward progressive design in American book covers was a product of greater self-awareness on the part of both designers and publishers. In February of 1947 a group of American designers formed the Book Jacket Designers Guild “for the purpose of promoting and stimulating interest in the art of book jacket design.” With the intention of elevating the artistic level of jacket design, the group aimed to foster a collegial atmosphere and organized annual exhibitions. Their exhibitions included a broad range of styles and theoretical approaches to design. Their first show in 1949 traveled extensively throughout the United States and included relatively conservative illustrative covers by designers such as Dwiggins and Kauffer as well as more progressive work by Paul Rand and Alvin Lustig. The mélange of styles was fully intended by the committee of guild members, who chose works for the exhibition that transcended the highly popular style of bawdy pulp fiction of the day.

The American publishing world began to recognize the possibility of bold and effective visual communication as a means to orchestrate its identity and inform its audience. Thus the designer became an essential link between the corporate entity and its market, creating the visual vocabulary of American consumer culture. Good design meant good business. Modernism served that commercial language well, providing the means for articulate design that was functional yet neither simplistic nor obvious. Progressive publishing companies appreciated modernist graphic design’s marriage of type and image and were among the most important sponsors of groundbreaking American graphic work. They employed designers who could exploit the clarity and logic of modernism to develop visual systems that shaped the identities of the presses and created thematic threads from one publication to the next.

INTEGRATING ART AND DESIGN

The role of graphic designer was being defined by the American postwar publishing world, which was finding a place for graphic design in its realm. The growing significance of the modernist approach to the making of book covers was evidence of the increasing responsibility and creative sovereignty of the graphic designer within corporate America. Alvin Lustig was among the most rigorous of the American graphic designers who strove to adapt both the forms and philosophy of European modernism to the realm of design, creating complex metaphors with formal and conceptual comparisons in striking compositions. Lustig’s work was characterized by his use of uniquely cropped and arranged photographs, biomorphic shapes, and sophisticated, often poetic, typography. Educated in Los Angeles, Lustig worked for three months in 1934 with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin East in Spring Green, Wisconsin. While the experence proved less than pleasant, Lustig recalled that it helped him to refine his design philosophy. Upon returning to Los Angeles and starting his own firm, Lustig used combinations of traditional printer’s type ornaments to design abstract geometrical patterns reminiscent of Wright’s work. He experimented with these designs in his own promotional work and in commissions for Los Angeles book printer Ward Richie.

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ALVIN LUSTIG

THE WISDOM OF THE HEART

1941

New Directions

Publisher James Laughlin, who had heard about the designer’s unique experiments with type and pattern, sought out Lustig and commissioned him to design the cover for Henry Miller’s WISDOM OF THE HEART . This professional association of designer and publisher helped to inspire one of the most formidable series of book covers in twentieth-century American design, the New Directions New Classics. In the 1940s and 1950s Lustig designed dozens of covers for New Directions and other prominent progressive publishers. He explained his goals in these designs:
AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

The primary intention in designing the book jackets of the New Directions Series, was to establish for each book a quickly grasped, abstract symbol of its contents, that would by sheer force of form and color, attract and inform the eye. Such a symbol is a matter of distillation, a reduction of the book to its simplest terms of mood or idea. This spirit of the book cannot be expressed by naturalistic representation of episodes or by any preconceived formal approach, but can only develop naturally from its own nature.1 Lustig’s “distillation” of forms and images developed into a complex, abstracted, efficient, and resolutely modern visual language, simplified yet never simplistic. Lustig’s first New Directions covers began as experimentation with the Wright-inspired geometric patterns of THE WISDOM OF THE HEART , but soon shifted to adaptations of forms familiar from modern paintings. Within a few years, Lustig was often incorporating biomorphic shapes that recalled the work of Joan Miró, as in his jacket for D. H. Lawrence’s THE MAN WHO DIED , with its simplified repeated human forms and agitated linear elements that conjure up associations of death and ascension. Lustig’s most striking jackets present complex contrasts between fields of color, line and form, image and text. His jacket for Djuna Barnes’s NIGHTWOOD is composed of an asymmetrical balance of jagged shapes like those in Clyfford Still’s paintings, juxtaposed with thin calligraphic strokes and dense, aggressive masses of tangled lines.

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ALVIN LUSTIG

THE MAN WHO DIED

1950

New Directions

47

ALVIN LUSTIG

SPEARHEAD

1947

New Directions

ALVIN LUSTIG

NIGHTWOOD

1946

New Directions
AMERIKA

ALVIN LUSTIG

1946

New Directions

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AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

ALVIN LUSTIG

THREE TRAGEDIES

ALVIN LUSTIG

AMERICAN WOODS

1947

New Directions

1951

Watling & Company

Lustig also experimented with the integration of photographs into the design of his covers, creating the challenge of reconciling the transcriptive, literal visual information of the photograph with the goals of the design as a whole. His 1947 cover for Federico García Lorca’s THREE TRAGEDIES creates a formal interplay of lights and darks, sharp angles and delicately curved shapes. The textures in the photographs play off one another, and the text written in the sand becomes a seamless marriage of type and photographic image. The juxtaposed photographs suggest themes that connect the images. The moon, waves, and beach combine to conjure up associations with the cycles of the tides and the passage of time. The impermanence of the writing in the sand creates a tension between natural forces and the intellectual and belief structures suggested by the symbols of culture. These tensions, both formal and conceptual, echo the opposing forces in Lorca’s plays in which the characters are driven by human passions that collide with social and religious principles. Lustig orchestrated a visual poetry of subtle association that transcends literal illustration. His cover for AMERICAN WOODS incorporates the same strategy, constructing an understanding of the topic at hand through a tightly composed selection of fragmentary images ranging from abstracted wood grains to schematic renderings of trees. As committed as he was to progressive experimentation within graphic design, Lustig understood the practical parameters of his projects, particularly the needs of his clients to create identifiable brands through the visual language of modernist design. He conceived of his cover designs as relating not only to the content of an individual book, but to a series as a whole. To Laughlin, Lustig’s New Directions system was a success, conceptually and financially: “Lustig’s revolutionary jackets for New Directions…set a distinctive style which has come to symbolize in physical terms the desired isolation of our editorial program from that of the great commercial houses. And the jackets have more than paid their way… Our New Classics Series’ sales tripled after Lustig jackets were adopted.”2 “It is perhaps not a very good thing,” Laughlin mused, “that people should buy books by eye. In fact, it’s a very bad thing. People should buy books for their literary merit. But since I have never published a book which I didn’t consider a serious literary work and never intend to, I have no bad conscience about using Lustig to increase sales. His beautiful designs are helping to make a mass audience aware of high quality reading.” 3

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ALVIN LUSTIG

THE CONFESSIONS OF ZENO

1947

New Directions

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Modernist design was a means of expressing the publisher’s dedication to an intellectual literary tradition distinct from the mainstream—a sophisticated visual language that at once created and affirmed its market. But to Lustig, well-conceived design could make an impact far beyond the commercial realm. Lustig believed that design had the capacity to express creative individuality as effectively as any artistic medium, and he moved freely between specific practical design projects and general abstract studies such as small gouache paintings. He saw his stylistic development as a designer not only as a series of strategies to solve formal problems, but also as a struggle to integrate art and design. While his early work had been an attempt to apply the lessons learned from modern painting into the realm of design, he seemed to have come to the conclusion in his later work that the formal and typographic challenges unique to graphic design could offer enough room for creative investment to make it art in and of itself.4 As his career progressed, Lustig explored more austere compositional structures, as in his 1950 cover for Henry James’s ASPERN PAPERS AND THE EUROPEANS . Incorporating more reductive rigid geometric shapes and subtler contrasts of color, Lustig seemed to move farther from illustrative reference, allowing abstract elements to be the focus of his design. While he had been innovative with type from early in his career, perhaps Lustig’s most consistently radical and innovative work came in the years just before his death when he began to use type as a self-sufficient design element, as in his cover for Ezra Pound’s ABC OF READING . Even more striking is his cover for the Museum of Modern Art’s THE NEW DECADE: 22 EUROPEAN PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS in which subtly contrasting typefaces of different sizes, weights, and colors were all Lustig needed, eschewing all recognizable image and abstract forms.

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

ALVIN LUSTIG

THE ASPERN PAPERS AND THE EUROPEANS

1950

New Directions

ALVIN LUSTIG

UNTITLED PAINTING

51

Gauche and ink on board
ALVIN LUSTIG

ca. 1950

ABC OF READING

1951

New Directions

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AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

ALVIN LUSTIG

THE NEW DECADE

1947

Museum of Modern Art

ELAINE LUSTIG

THE STRANGE ISLANDS

1957

New Directions
IN THE WINTER OF CITIES

ELAINE LUSTIG

1956

New Directions

Without recourse to illustration, photographs, or even the biomorphic and geometric shapes reminiscent of modern art, Lustig seems to have seen these austere compositions as the ultimate reconciliation of art and design, where the formal and conceptual rigor of modernism is applied solely to typography. Lustig’s late typographic experimentation often resulted from collaborations with his wife Elaine, who became increasingly involved in his work as his eyesight deteriorated due to diabetes. Elaine Lustig pursued a purified modernist approach to type of her own in covers like THE STRANGE ISLANDS and IN THE WINTER OF CITIES , in which she superimposed different sizes and weights of letter press type in an elegantly understated design. Just after Lustig’s untimely death in 1955, James Laughlin wrote fondly of the designer’s innovations, lamenting the fact that his creative significance may have been somewhat obscured by his choice to be a designer, instead of a fine artist. Yet Laughlin recognized that Lustig did not choose between art and design, because the two did not need to be distinct, and furthermore, design offered what Lustig saw as a unique opportunity for social impact. Lustig identified a “false barrier” between “fine” and “applied” arts and identified it as “one of the major obstacles in establishing the base for a mature industrial culture, as well as providing the main source for the unhappy divorce of art and life.”5 He was compelled, Laughlin explained, “to work in the field he chose because he had had his great vision of a new realm of art, of a wider social role for art which would bring it closer to each and every one of us, out of the museums into our homes and offices, closer to everything we use and see.”6

Lustig sensed that design could incorporate not only the simplified, efficient formal language of modernism, but also some of its dedication to social progress. For him, like his European predecessors, modernism reflected larger social goals of integrating art and life, blurring the boundaries that had separated high art and utilitarian object.7 In Lustig’s view, the designer was obliged to nurture social consciousness, a task not to be taken lightly in an era in which technology offered so much promise, but also was intensifying the Cold War: “If I seem to place a heavy mantle of responsibility on the shoulders of those who are really only expected to make nice shapes and colors, it is because history demands it. Every act that allows productive facilities to serve only itself, contributes inevitably to the threat of destruction that already looms on the horizon.”8 Lustig set out to rethink the very definition of a designer. With the variety of means by which they might impact society as a whole, Lustig encouraged young designers to avoid single disciplines and work instead in a number of media and on a variety of scales: “The designer is not a single-minded specialist, but an integrator of all the art forms–and simultaneously a spokesman for social progress.”9 Lustig practiced what he preached: while he is best known for his work in print media, he also completed architectural, interior, and industrial design projects, ranging from apartment buildings to helicopters.

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“PROSE INTO POETRY”

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Although Alvin Lustig’s subtly sophisticated designs and intellectual rigor make him the most remarkable American designer to grapple with modernist book cover design in the 1940s and 1950s, Paul Rand is often seen as the quintessential American designer of the post–World War II era. Rand was thoughtful, inquisitive and extremely well read, gleaning lessons about design from sources as broad as European modernist painting, architecture, and design publications to philosophical, historical, and political texts. Uncompromising in his dedication both to the standards of design and to self-promotion, Rand was remarkably adept at transforming the visual vocabulary of the European avant garde into an Americanized commercial language that could help shape the corporate identity of his clients. Rand reconceived the rigid, erudite, stolid forms of much of European modernism into a gentler, sometimes even humorous, approach to design that created a sense of spontaneity. Rand’s strengths came from his ability to synthesize seemingly opposing elements and concepts. His art integrated into commerce, tempered abstraction with representation, and offset the deadly seriousness of modernist ideology with playful humor. Rand studied traditional art as a teenager at Pratt Institute, but got his first glimpses of modern art as it was translated in the British and German trade publications Commercial Art and Gebrauchsgrafik.10 These publications piqued Rand’s interest in the work and theories of European designers like László Moholy-Nagy and Jan Tschichold, and as he learned about the Bauhaus, he began to realize that fine art and commercial art were not irreconcilable entities, but could be integrated effectively. Over the course of his career, Rand echoed sentiments of colleagues like Lustig, proclaiming distinctions between fine art and design misguided. And, like Lustig, Rand saw design as a way to apply modernism’s reductive universality in a way that could have a social role.

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

PAUL RAND

THE DADA PAINTERS AND POETS

1951

Wittenborn & Schultz

Rand was already well-established in the magazine world by his early twenties and hailed as one of the country’s most promising young designers by his peers. Yet he questioned the conventions of magazine design and advertising in 1930s America and looked to blend the functional needs of commercial art with the complex conceptualism of modernist abstraction. “We have inherited from the great esthetic revolution of the twentieth century the task of bringing to fruition the new ideas and forms which it introduced,” wrote Rand in 1952.11 His boldest early experiments with combinations of simplified illustrations, photographs, and abstract forms appeared in his 1938-45 covers for Direction, a small anti-fascist magazine of art and culture whose modest budget and political stance lent themselves to bold simplified forms in limited colors that despite their sparseness, spoke volumes. It was in these magazine covers that Rand came closest to the spirit of the politically engaged European avant garde, but these outstanding formal and conceptual explorations are evident in his early book covers as well. While Rand is best remembered for his corporate trademarks, his book covers are better reflections of his applications of modernist reductivism, sometimes stark and rigid, sometimes playful and expressive. In the 1940s, Rand found a supportive client for his experiments with color, form, and type when he was hired by Wittenborn and Company to design covers for its art books. He was among the first American designers to break the simple illustrative and typographic conventions of art-book cover design. In both the cover and front board for THE DADA PAINTERS AND POETS he used the stark, bold forms of the type as both word and image. In 1945, Rand joined the ranks of designers working for Alfred A. Knopf, a group that spanned a broad spectrum of stylistic and theoretical approaches, from the restrained classicism of Dwiggins to the modernist technological experiments of Reichl.
PAUL RAND
THE FERVENT YEARS

55

1950

Alfred A. Knopf

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

At Knopf, Rand was given great freedom and he designed covers that continued the imposing sober modernist reduction he had often incorporated into his Direction covers. One of his most intriguing designs for Knopf is his 1950 cover for THE FERVENT YEARS, in which Rand presented the title text on a torn ticket hovering in an unmodulated background field of black. The design is bold in its sheer simplicity, incorporating a sophisticated modernist purity while at the same time alluding to the book’s subject of theater history. Furthermore, the book is remarkable because the interior was designed by W. A. Dwiggins, providing an example of a collaboration between designers with different styles and philosophies. For the 1945 publication of Thomas Mann’s THE TABLES OF THE LAW , Rand combined a stark brown background that falls short of the bottom of the composition, superimposed with the title in layered sans-serif type and a high contrast close-up of the glowering face of Michelangelo’s Moses from the tomb of Julius II. The subtle overlaps of small type on large, of a field of black from the spine onto the front, of the imposing face of Moses onto the type, all reveal a calculated compositional manipulation.12 The geometric interplay of forms reflect the grid system of European modernism, and even contemporary observers saw an architectural quality to the design.13 In the same year Rand designed for Knopf the cover of Nicolas Monsarrat’s LEAVE CANCELLED , a novel about the tragedy of lovers torn apart by war. The cover, which Alfred Knopf’s wife called “an expensive extravagance,”14 features not only understated lower case Futura and a silhouetted photograph of a sculpture of Eros on an unmodulated field of dull pink, but it also includes die cut holes peppering the jacket. In tandem with the books theme, the series of holes conjure up associations with the spray of machine gun fire. On a more abstract level, the holes call attention to the jacket as not simply an easily apprehensible illustration, but as an object that is the result of a creative process of conceptual and physical activity.

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PAUL RAND

THE TABLES OF THE LAW

1945

Alfred A. Knopf

57

PAUL RAND

THOUGHTS ON DESIGN

1945

Wittenborn & Company

PAUL RAND

LEAVE CANCELLED

1945

Alfred A. Knopf

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As one might expect from his formal and conceptual engagement in modernist design, Rand established himself by the mid-1940s as not only a calculating designer, but as a prolific writer on design and a passionate teacher (he taught at Yale for more than thirty-five years).15 In the first of several major publications of his ideas on the field, Rand presented his take on the interrelationship of art and design. The cover of his 1946 THOUGHTS ON DESIGN recalls the spirit of his designs for books like THE TABLES OF THE LAW . A photogram of an abacus forms simple, abstract elements of lines and lozenge shapes that break from strict geometric regularity to create a subtly complex composition that serves as a metaphor for the depth of the theoretical ruminations within the book’s pages. By the late 1940s and early 50s, the theoretical and formal sophistication with which Rand approached his craft was reflected in the work of many other designers, among them Jack Cesareo and Bill English. In his book cover designs, Rand always considered text not only as a carrier of conceptual meaning but also as a fundamental graphic element that could amplify or contrast both recognizable images and abstract shapes. Rand wrote that “by carefully arranging his type areas, spacing, size, and ‘color,’ the typographer is able to impart to the printed page an aesthetic message which in turn compliments the message conveyed by the words.”16 Rand’s explanations of assignments given at Yale reveal aspects of his take on modernism: “The word serves a dual purpose, verbal and pictorial. This involves the arrangement of letters in such a way as to make the word a self-explanatory kind of universal sign language.” 17

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

JACK CESAREO

SKIING THE AMERICAS

1947

Macmillan Company

59

BILL ENGLISH

ENCORE

1952

Doubleday

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Rand’s book cover designs of the late 1940s and 1950s reveal an intuitive side of the designer, one that would have the greatest impact on the next generation of book cover designers.18 As imposing as his early designs for books such as THE TABLES OF THE LAW , LEAVE CANCELLED and THOUGHTS ON DESIGN were, many of Rand’s designs for Knopf and other publishers revealed a calculated sense of spontaneous playfulness that would become his forte. Using irregular, roughly geometric fields of color, oddly shaped photographs and whimsical hand rendered script, Rand created a delicate balance of formal rigor and casual improvisation that could be quite humorous, even to the point of being cloying. An early example of the fanciful Rand is his 1946 design for Lucius Beebe’s THE STORK CLUB BAR BOOK . Here the flattened asymmetric abstract geometries are interwoven with the schematic illustration of a dapper stork sporting a top hat. Early on, Rand proved that modernism need not be deadly serious, but could vacillate between the modular simplicity of ZEN AND JAPANESE CULTURE or THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF ART series and the playful whimsy of THE STORK CLUB BAR BOOK .
PAUL RAND
THE STORK CLUB BAR BOOK

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

1946

Rinehart & Company

61

PAUL RAND

ZEN AND JAPANESE CULTURE

1958

Bollingen Series

PAUL RAND

A SOCIAL HISTORY OF ART #1

1957

Vintage Books
A SOCIAL HISTORY OF ART #4

PAUL RAND

1957

Vintage Books

62

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

PAUL RAND

PREJUDICES: A SELECTION

1958

Vintage Books

PAUL RAND

SOVIET MARXISM

1961

Vintage Books

By the 1950s, working for publishers like Vintage and Meridian, Rand was applying this informal playfulness to covers of a variety of books, from fiction and drama to social theory and philosophy. For SOVIET MARXISM and THE CONDEMNED OF ALTONA , Rand used Matisse-like irregular shapes of color that looked as if they were quickly clipped from colored paper or film overlays to form casual but meaningful references to the books’ content. In H. L. Mencken’s PREJUDICES: A SELECTION , and added photographs to his repertoire, turning an unflattering portrait of the cantankerous author into a crude silhouette of an orator. All of these covers incorporated hand-rendered script in place of type, adding to the designs’ sense of informality and spontaneity.19 Rand’s whimsical approach to design provides some important insights into the American interpretation of modernism in design. Practitioners like Rand and Lustig placed value on their creative individuality and in the case of Rand, his style underscored that valuation. His 1959 cover for Philip Roth’s GOODBYE COLUMBUS incorporated familiar devices of irregularly cut out shapes and hand-rendered type, but the striking mark of parted lips registered in lipstick red on a field of white, lent a sense of physicality much like the holes in LEAVE CANCELLED . Not only did the image relay the sexuality of the text, it suggested the sense of the designer’s hands-on process of design, which, in this case, suggested a physical interaction with the book itself. The kiss becomes a metaphor for not only the content of the book, but the creative investment of the designer. While he used phrases like the “play instinct” to describe an element of creative invention, whimsical design was not intended simply to be cute or clever–for Rand, play was a serious process in which intuition and spontaneity could be avenues to true creative expression.20 Like Lustig, Rand believed that graphic design was a viable and legitimate means of expressing creative individuality and book covers that suggested a playful process of design reflected the unique spirit of their maker. Both intuitive and thoughtful, the designer could transcend mere formalism and “transform prose into poetry.”21

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PAUL RAND

THE CONDEMNED OF ALTONA

1961

Alfred A. Knopf
GOODBYE COLUMBUS

PAUL RAND

1959

Meridian Fiction

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

THE SIGNATURE AND IDENTITY

As early as the 1930s, observers of design were looking for ways to foster and legitimize the expressive role of the designer. While he saw the application of geometric abstraction as a more obvious connection between art and design, Herbert Read wrote in 1937 that designers could learn from surrealism’s subjectivity and free associative methods, specifically mentioning book covers as an appropriate forum for this “emotive” mode.22 In 1951 Marshall Lee observed that A major development of modern literature is the trend toward expressionism and away from the literal, representational style of writing. Modern writing plays heavily on the creation of mood and atmosphere. The evocation of mood then becomes a primary concern of the designer. It is not enough for the designer to be ‘unobtrusive.’ In dealing with a literature aiming at the subconscious, …the book designer must now participate actively in the author’s attempt to contact the poetic sensibilities of the reader.23

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Lustig and Rand signed their cover designs as if they were paintings. Their signatures demand acknowledgment that design is an expression of creative individuality akin to any other form of artistic expression. Design historian Steven Heller has argued that American graphic design had been a field of virtually anonymous artisans until the 1930s, when European emigrants including Herbert Bayer and László Moholy-Nagy began to raise the profile of the designer. He points out that it was then that “some of the American followers of the modern movement also realized the deleterious effects of anonymity on their professional standing and began to seek ways to forge their own identities.” The signature, Heller claims, was a way for the designer to advertise his or herself, and he cites Rand’s admission that “having my name on an ad or magazine cover in the public’s eye was the best promotion I could ever get.”24 Yet to attribute the inclusion of a signature on a designer’s work merely as self-promotion would be a mistake. The fact that those designers who were devoted to the modernist idiom were consistent signers of their work was evidence that they valued that idiom, not just as a set of stylistic tropes, but as a means of social engagement and creative expression. The fact that their clients would allow them to include the self-referential signature was a sign that these designers had earned respect and were granted creative autonomy. By the late 1960s the signature was rarely, if ever, present on the cover of the book, suggesting that both the social dedication of the designers and the clients’ willingness to grant unrestricted creative freedom had both waned. Now, the thought of their publishers’ reaction to the audacity of signing a cover design makes even the most prestigious twenty-first-century designers grin and shake their heads.

A GREAT COLLABORATION: PUBLISHER AND DESIGNER

Designers like Rand and Lustig set the stage for a generation of book cover designers who would build upon their experiments with the suggestion of an intuitive design process and the interrelation of type, image, and abstract forms. Among the most remarkable successors to Rand and Lustig’s adaptation of modernism was the vastly underappreciated book cover designer Roy Kuhlman, who, at the start of his career, was lucky enough to stumble into a job at Grove Press, a publishing house that would rival New Directions in its commitment to progressive design. Grove, under the leadership of Barney Rosset, who bought the publishing house in the early 1950s, became one of the major conduits for avant-garde European literature and drama and a primary outlet for American beat writers. His unwavering dedication to groundbreaking literature from at home and abroad led Rosset to be one of the country’s most outspoken opponents of censorship and to publish D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and William H. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, with the help of Abstract Expressionist painters Joan Mitchell (then his wife), Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline, Rosset learned to appreciate the expressive possibilities of nonrepresentational art. As he acquired the rights to American editions of progressive European publications, Rosset focused on paperbacks as his primary format, foregoing the more common practice of considering the paperback as an adjunct to a hardcover edition.

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ROY KUHLMAN

CHEKHOV: A LIFE

1955

Grove Press
THE PIT

ROY KUHLMAN

1956

Grove Press

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AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

ROY KUHLMAN

THE GIRL BENEATH THE LION

1958

Grove Press

In 1951, Rosset was visited by Kuhlman, a young designer with an art-school education and the fading dream of becoming a famous painter. Kuhlman presented Rosset with an unimpressive portfolio, but accidentally showed him a couple of abstract studies he was planning to pitch as a design strategy for Atlantic Records. The paintings seemed to be the sort of visual identity Rossett wished Grove Press to project. Indeed Rosset, understanding the value of a clear identity, had designed the first few covers he published himself, emulating Lustig’s New Directions style. In Kuhlman, Rosset saw the chance to fashion his own look.25 Kuhlman took advantage of this golden opportunity, thriving in the relationship that allowed him freedom to foster his method of instinctual, spontaneous design. Working with Grove for two decades, the prolific Kuhlman produced one of the most consistently distinctive bodies of work in the history of book cover design. Produced quickly and cheaply, Kuhlman’s designs were spontaneous, clever, and distinct. Often with only a slight sense of the content of the book for which he was designing, Kuhlman would follow his instincts, building compositions with the materials at hand. Given a great deal of autonomy in the design process, Kuhlman would present his designs to Rosset, who most often quickly accepted them. On the rare instances when Rosset was not pleased by a design, Kuhlman would start from scratch rather than revise the rejected design according to Rosset’s criticism.

67

ROY KUHLMAN

THE OTHER AMERICA

1964

Penguin Books

68

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

ROY KUHLMAN

KILLACHTER MEADOW

1960

Grove Evergreen

ROY KUHLMAN

PING PONG A PLAY

1959

Grove Press
MURPHY

ROY KUHLMAN

1957

Grove Press

Kuhlman’s quickly conceived experiments simplified objects and images and transformed typography into potent compositions. Reflecting his inspirations from European modernist artists like Matisse and Picasso, Kuhlman used torn films and fragments of photographs to create vivid, semi-abstract collages. His style could be subtle and restrained, as in THE OTHER AMERICA , or it could be spontaneous and whimsical, as in THE GIRL BENEATH THE LION . In his 1960 cover for KILLACHTER MEADOW , Kuhlman transformed a highcontrast photograph of the shadow of a Venetian blind falling across a man’s back to create abstract shapes that suggest a landscape. Covers like PING PONG and MURPHY showed that Kuhlman was as adept as any of his modernist colleagues in the use of type as image. Of all the designers working in the wake of Lustig and Rand, Kuhlman had the best instinctive grasp of the potential of modernist spontaneity. In the early 1970s after a tumultuous few years for Grove, Kuhlman was fired by Rosset for freelancing for a competitor. Kuhlman went on to work for Columbia Records, IBM, and clients like the magazines High Times and Dealer, but his designs never again achieved the stellar consistent quality of his work for Grove Press. By the mid-1980s Kuhlman sensed that his innovations of the 1950s and 1960s had become conventions and clichés, and he retired from design. Roy Kuhlman was not alone in his embrace of improvisational modernism. Even Ernst Reichl delved into the look of spontaneous process in his designs for the American Century Series put out by the newly founded Sagamore Press. Dedicated to making respected literature both profitable and widely accessible, the series was a group of paperback books that had previously been available only in rare and more expensive editions. In covers such as his 1957 SISTER CARRIE , Reichl layered bits of torn colored paper to construct the composition, creating a cover that made little attempt to allude to the content of the book, but created an abstract visual system for the publisher’s series.26

69

ERNST REICHL

SISTER CARRIE

1957

Sagamore Press

70

One of the best examples of the integration of playfully improvisational design is in the work of Leo Lionni. His career was punctuated by prestigious design positions such as art director at Fortune and he received cross-over recognition as a fine artist, his paintings included in many prestigious exhibitions.27 Many of Lionni’s book covers incorporate playful collages of overlapping shapes that seem to have been quickly clipped or torn from colored paper, as in his 1962 design for THE AMERICAN CHARACTER . This strategy proved especially apt in his design for the catalogue for the blockbuster 1955 Family of Man exhibition of photographs at the Museum of Modern Art. THE FAMILY OF MAN cover celebrated good-natured creative expression in both its forms and its photographic image, echoing the exhibition’s heart-warming universalization of human experience. Like many a major designer before and after him, Lionni found children’s books to be an ideal forum for playful modernism, as seen in his whimsical constructions of color and drawings in LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW .28 By 1960, designers like Lustig, Rand, and Kuhlman had proven that modernism could be effectively adapted and truly integrated into the realm of American book cover design. They showed that it could provide a language that spoke not only for the publisher and the author, but for the designer as well. The next generation of designers would continue to be inspired by modernism’s spare, purified forms and its potential for playful modification. This inspiration would take forms ranging from further distillation of its reductive marriage of type and image, to passionate rejections of its austerity and claims to universality.
LEO LIONNI
THE AMERICAN CHARACTER

AMERICANIZING UTOPIA

1962

Time Books
THE FAMILY OF MAN

LEO LIONNI

1955

Simon & Schuster

LEO LIONNI

MICHAEL BAKUNIN

1961

Random House
LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW

LEO LIONNI

1959

Astor

71

3

MODERNISM AND BEYOND HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTING THE FUTURE

3

MODERNISM AND BEYOND HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTING THE FUTURE

74

Lustig and Rand set the stage for book-designers to explore the possibilities of marrying type with illustrative elements reduced to essential, purified forms. If references to the philosophical grounding and potential social impact of modernism became less frequent by the 1960s, designers including George Giusti, Fred Troller, Rudolf de Harak and the team of Chermayeff and Geismar continued to push modernism’s austere formality to new frontiers. At the same time, others were beginning to look for thoughtful alternatives to modernism’s severity, embracing techniques that had been set aside by earlier progressive designers. Seymour Chwast, Vincent Ceci, and Milton Glaser, all working at Push Pin Studio, advocated a more pluralistic and eclectic approach to design. The Push Pin group embraced traditional illustration and historical typefaces, and they were willing to create mélanges of styles that would have been virtually unthinkable to their modernist colleagues.

These two distinct directions in design–the further distillation of the modernist idiom and the embrace of historicist eclecticism–both reflect larger social and cultural upheaval in 1960s America. As post–World War Two optimism and economic boom gave way to the political and racial tensions of the 1960s, the previous generation’s styles seemed to offer great promise to some and seemed hopelessly out of date to others. On one hand, a modernist visual language offered order and rationality at a time when nuclear weapons proliferated, race riots raged, and war in Asia dragged on. On the other hand, a broader conception of style in which type, image, and illustration merged into what might be considered a more accessible, humanist acknowledgment of history.

“DEDICATED TO THE CONCEPT OF FORM”

The work of George Giusti perhaps best exemplifies the ability of the designer to give visual expression to the conceptual or the abstract. His diagram-like illustrations communicated complex information and ideas from fields such as mathematics, physics, and sociology in simple graphic form. Giusti studied art in his hometown of Milan, receiving an education that would provide him with the foundations to develop into not only a highly respected graphic designer, but a recognized architect and sculptor as well. Giusti came to the United States in 1939 after several years practicing design in Zurich, where he acquired an appreciation for both the playful whimsy of Paul Klee, and the rigid formalism of Mies van der Rohe.1 Among Giusti’s early American projects were a number of ads in Fortune and a series of masterful posters for the Forest Service with remarkable graphic impact.2 From an illustrative style in the 1940s similar to Salter’s and Kauffer’s, Giusti went on to develop a crisp, reductive style in which he integrated schematic illustrations, diagrammatic symbols, and straight-forward type. For Giusti, modernism provided the primary foci of design: purity, directness, and clarity. In his contribution to the voluminous and somewhat extravagant 1967 pedagogical publication Famous Artists Course In Commercial Art, Illustration and Design, Giusti repeatedly underscored themes like the “power of simplification,” and “simplifying and subtracting.”3

75

GEORGE GIUSTI

THE BIRTH OF A NEW PHYSICS

1960

Doubleday Anchor Books

76

Giusti was at his best with covers for books dealing with the driest of material, bringing to life topics like THE BIRTH OF A NEW PHYSICS . His covers for the Science Study Series are emblematic of his ability to distill a book’s theme into essential conceptual and graphic elements. Studies from Giusti’s sketchbooks give a sense of how he crafted compositions to create strata of complexity in meaning. A selection of colored rectangles superimposed on a map-like web of lines suggest the process of analysis of AMERICAN SOCIAL PATTERNS , and a pair of gracefully curving lines within an organic plane of color is enough to illustrate the concept of CLOUD PHYSICS AND CLOUD SEEDING . For the cover of RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN AMERICA , Giusti created a simple illustration of a steeple reduced to bold, nonrepresentational colors. Then he overlaid that image with a series of curving arrows that serve as a conceptual translation of the book’s content, symbols of the complex interplay of religion and American culture. Finally, after the other graphic elements had been reconciled, he added the type, almost as an accent, and continued to tweak the design until he came to the final version that appeared on the cover.

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

GEORGE GIUSTI

AMERICAN SOCIAL PATTERNS

1956

Doubleday Anchor Books
CLOUD PHYSICS AND CLOUD SEEDING

GEORGE GIUSTI

1962

Doubleday Anchor Books

77

GEORGE GIUSTI

RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN AMERICA

GEORGE GIUSTI

1964

Doubleday Anchor Books

RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN AMERICA

Cover Studies, 1 & 2 c. 1964

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

78

As systematic and diagrammatic as his approach could be, Giusti’s images are not entirely geometrically precise, and his covers still have a hand made quality. His many covers for the magazines Graphis and Holiday reveal a more whimsical, collage-like style that reflects the sensibility of Rand and Kuhlman.4 A contemporary of Giusti, Anita Walker Scott conceived her own diagrammatic combinations of bold, flattened, semi-representational forms combined with schematic symbols for a series of books dealing with history and the social sciences addressing topics such as POLITICS, REFORM AND EXPANSION and THE RISE OF THE WEST .

ANITA WALKER SCOTT

POLITICS, REFORM AND EXPANSION

1963

Harper & Row
THE RISE OF THE WEST

ANITA WALKER SCOTT

1966

Harper & Row

Like Giusti, Rudolph de Harak systematically restricted shapes, composition and color, applying a modernist essentialization of forms into rigid, austere cover compositions and producing engaging descriptions of a book’s content. The poignant, conceptual play of text and purified image reflect de Harak’s deep understanding of the reductive modernist idiom. Before moving to New York, de Harak was a founding member, along with Lustig, Saul Bass and others, of the Los Angeles Society of Contemporary Designers. De Harak remembered being struck by both the content-consciousness of Bass and the strong formalism of Lustig, aspects that he would integrate into his own work. As a formalist, de Harak described himself as “dedicated to the concept of form. I was always looking for the hidden order, trying to somehow either develop new forms or manipulate existing form. Therefore, I think my work was more obscure, and certainly very abstract . . . One thing I did was to sharpen my design sensibilities to the point that my work generally fell into a purist category.” De Harak was also inspired by German designer Will Burtin, who first introduced him to the notion of “visual communication” in which purified modernist forms could suggest objective rationality without being cold and inhuman. De Harak recalled that Burtin described “four principle realities of visual communication: The reality of man, as measure and measurer; the reality of light, color, texture; the reality of space; the reality of science.”5 The “purist category” in which de Harak placed himself, with its faith in the reality of man and the rationality of science, was firmly rooted in both the formal and philosophical tenets of modernism. To de Harak, modernist design was not only about forms that “were impeccable in their sense of order,” but also about forms that “covered the entire emotional spectrum.” De Harak explained in 1987, “I wanted, to create constellations so rich that they could communicate content.”6

79

RUDY DE HARAK

THE STRESS OF LIFE

early 1960s

McGraw–Hill

De Harak designed book covers for a number of presses, including Meridian and New Directions, but his most notable body of covers was made for McGraw-Hill Paperbacks, who commissioned over 350 covers from him during the 1960s. Subtle juxtapositions of type, abstract forms, and photographic images suggest adaptations of hard-edged painting, and the op and conceptual art of the period. These recognizable images and expressionistic forms or colors made de Harak’s designs accessible to his audience and communicative of the themes of the publications they advertised. For McGraw-Hill, de Harak devised a compositional system in which the title and author usually appeared in two colors, flush left, in the upper section of the stark white cover in the typeface Akzidenz Grotesk. In the field of white, de Harak placed a single, bold image that served as an “objective,” visual parallel to the theme suggested by the title. De Harak used high contrast fragments of photographs to underscore the themes of the texts, allowing recognizable objects like a knot to play off the title THE STRESS OF LIFE , or an old wheel to suggest the endless progression of time in A PREFACE TO HISTORY . In other covers, de Harak’s images were sometimes purely graphic, like the right angle arrows that simultaneously form a swastika and suggest converging forces in his 1964 cover for 7 THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD .

80

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

RUDY DE HARAK

A PREFACE TO HISTORY

early 1960s

McGraw–Hill

81

RUDY DE HARAK

THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD

1964

McGraw–Hill

While his cover designs for McGraw-Hill are severe, even radically distilled, they are rarely cold.8 As precise and stark as de Harak’s designs could be, he aimed at expressing emotion and meaning through type and image, and while his graphic vocabulary was indeed more similar to Minimalist and Conceptual trends in the art of the 1960s, de Harak was a great admirer of Abstract Expressionism and hoped his designs could communicate on both rational and alternative levels of perception.9 De Harak’s interest in multi-leveled communication with his viewers led him to pursue projects in three dimensions as well as two, paralleling Lustig’s belief that the true designer should not limit his or her activities to the printed page. His dedication to thoughtful design of space and control of a viewer’s experience of it is evident in the many three-dimensional projects he took on, from the Cummins Engine Company museum and the Man, His Planet, and Space pavilion at the 1967 Montreal exposition, to the 1970 entrance of 127 John Street in lower Manhattan, with its huge digital clock and neon tunnel.10 Like de Harak, Fred Troller distinguished himself by systematizing sober modernist typography with striking diagrammatic illustrations. Born and educated in Switzerland, Troller had his own design studio in Zurich before coming to New York in 1960. As he established himself in the design community of New York, he befriended many of the leading designers of the day, including Rand, Glaser, Giusti, de Harak and Massimo Vignelli. Troller engaged a variety of design media, becoming well-established in corporate design, and he began designing book covers for Anchor Books in 1967, going on to do work for Random House and Simon and Schuster. Often Troller’s covers were inspired by forms he had derived in his own personal artistic endeavors, leading his designs to be less dogmatic than those of many of his contemporaries who adopted a mechanically precise abstraction in a more formulaic way.11 In SEEING AND THE EYE , Troller laid spectral bars over an image of a human eye, creating an arresting cover from fragments of technical diagrams, and in SUPERIOR MATHEMATICAL PUZZLES , he cropped and rotated numbers to make an abstracted grid of forms that encourages the viewer to see the cover as a puzzle in and of itself.

82

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

FRED TROLLER

SUPERIOR MATHEMATICAL PUZZLES

1968

Simon & Schuster

83

FRED TROLLER

SEEING AND THE EYE

1973

Doubleday Anchor Books

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

FROM INDIVIDUALISM TO PLURALISM

84

Many of the more progressive established designers of the 1950s had insisted on design as an act of unique creative expression. This insistence legitimized their field and their status as artists. While collaborations were certainly not unknown, many designers felt the need to distinguish themselves as individuals and to establish a market for their particular style, just as their clients sought the services of a designer to set them apart. Lustig seems to have only resorted to collaboration with his wife Elaine, herself a highly talented designer, when diabetes was diminishing his eyesight. And Rand was a staunchly independent worker, resisting the complexity and dilution that “design by committee” could create.12 But several of the dominant forces in graphic design that emerged in the 1960s were teams, among them Chermayeff and Geismar. Thomas Geismar and Ivan Chermayeff met as graduate students at Yale, and after short independent careers, they joined with Robert Brownjohn to form their own firm in 1957, although Brownjohn left the partnership in 1960 and moved to England. Well-versed in the formal tenets of modernism from their mentors in and out of academia, they were ready to push the limits of the canon, conceiving of modernism as a logically shifting and evolving tool.13 They crafted book covers based on collages of photographic images, symbols, and simple forms, creating layered compositions that reflected the themes of the publications they enclosed. By the late 1950s, Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar were masters of building meaning with the integration of text, type, sharp graphic symbol and photographic image, often creating visual puns that play the content of the title off of the content of image. Some of the firm’s best early covers present a bold literalness of text and image that is at once remarkably forthright and clever.

BROWNJOHN, CHERMAYEFF & GEISMAR
COMMON SENSE AND NUCLEAR WARFARE

1959

Simon & Schuster

Their 1959 cover for Bertrand Russell’s COMMON SENSE AND NUCLEAR WARFARE creates a visual analogy to the title through the image of a mushroom cloud superimposed over a photo of the back of a man’s head. Just as the two parts of the title seem diametrically opposed (especially at the height of the Cold War), the image of the incomprehensibly large nuclear explosion is contained within the head. Similarly, the simple, flat heart symbol, hovering in place of the head of a bust-length photo of a man in the 1960 cover of Henry Miller’s THE WISDOM OF THE HEART creates a graphic analogy to the ironic hand-scripted title. The heart shows up again in Chermayeff and Geismar’s cover for POKER FOR FUN AND PROFIT , a design that incorporates an inverted repetition of the title in opposite corners, playing off the multi-oriented legibility of a playing card. Their use of pictorial type in the cover for TOWARD A SANE NUCLEAR POLICY is the result of their systematic experiments into how the formal arrangement of typography can heighten the meaning of words.14 While much of their work of the late 1950s and 1960s continued a reductive modernist tradition of balancing type and image, Chermayeff and Geismar began to diverge from the legacy of designers like Rand and Lustig in the way they conceived the role of style in design. For a designer like Lustig, the theory and practice of modernist design were inextricably interconnected as a means to marry effective social impact with personal expression. A newer generation of designers like Kuhlman and Giusti stayed true to modernism, not because of an impelling devotion to its theory, but because it provided a fruitful set of formal strategies. Yet by the 1960s many designers, including Chermayeff and Geismar, were beginning to question the wisdom of fidelity to one particular style. They proclaimed in 1959 that they operated on a principle that design is “a solution to problems, incorporating ideas in relation to that problem, rather than a stylistic or modish solution.”15

85

CHERMAYEFF & GEISMAR

THE WISDOM OF THE HEART

1959

New Directions

86

By 1979, Chermayeff and Geismar cited the diverse styles they had put to service in their designs of the past decades. Distinguishing themselves from the strict updated modernism and eclectic historicist pastiche that would become associated with their colleagues at Push Pin Studio, they proclaimed, “we do not have an office style like some designers who concentrate on graphics systems, such as grids. And we don’t have a special style of illustration like those who are collectors of historical style motifs, Art Deco or 19th-century typography. We are not involved in style of fashion that way.”16 To them, a broader spectrum of styles offered a wider selection of tools with which to approach design problems. Indeed their work in poster design and print advertising of the 1960s revealed a broader approach to design than strict modernism could accommodate. Keenly aware of the value of enhancing meaning through repetition and thoughtful, sometimes whimsical juxtaposition, they felt that stylistic pluralism could foster progressive design.

Over the course of the 1960s, even Ernst Reichl, who had established himself by adapting modernism to his needs, would begin to question blind adherence to stylistic convention. Speaking in 1970, Reichl presented the work of such designers as Lustig, Rand, and Ladislav Sutnar as benchmarks of modernist design, but asked if perhaps “It is possible that we’ve abused the freedom given to us?” and that even some of the pages by these exalted designers have a “somewhat quaint, musty smell about them?”17 Milton Glaser recalled that part of his inspiration as a young designer was to break free from the modernist, particularly Swiss, canon. To Glaser and his associates, modernism in design “wasn’t going anywhere, it was not improving on the original model. It seemed to have limited people’s options enormously. . . . In terms of its expressive potential it seemed to me it had reached its fullness.”18 To Glaser, austere attempts at universality through modernist reductiveness seemed arrogant and incapable of reflecting life’s complexities.19 In an era when political and social upheaval were challenging the complacent optimism of the 1950s, the austere formality and diluted utopianism of modernism seemed to lack the vitality of visual forms that were emerging in popular culture. Glaser and some of his colleagues began to reconsider illustration as an innovative tool in book cover design. Other designers echoed the low-budget visual vocabulary of underground psychedelia, or fostered what Steven Heller has called a “flea market aesthetic” of pastiches of old type and ornament.20

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

87

CHERMAYEFF & GEISMAR

POKER FOR FUN AND PROFIT

CHERMAYEFF & GEISMAR

TOWARD A SANE NUCLEAR POLICY

1968

Cornerstone Library Publications

1960

National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

MORE THAN MODERNISM

88

While modernism had been recognized as the predominant stylistic mode for progressive designers at midcentury, some did look to thoughtful illustration as an alternative to modernist austerity and to pulp fiction’s hackneyed images. For instance, Ben Shahn, an artist in many media, sought options not found in modernism, options that could reflect his political and social engagement with the world. Best known for his painting and photography of the WPA era, Shahn is strikingly neglected as a designer and design theorist. He incorporated into his designs elements including drawings, self-generated type, and hand-sketched lettering. His covers were not merely illustrative, but attempted to create meaningful analogies to the content of the books while at the same forging a unique, recognizable style. In designs for late 1950s and early 1960s covers including THE QUIET BATTLE , THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE , and THE RISING GORGE , Shahn paired his own drawings with collaged backgrounds reminiscent of the seemingly spontaneous and intuitive work of Rand. Yet with Shahn, the illustration and hand crafted text are the predominant features. The examination of social and historical issues in these books is perfectly suited for Shahn’s deeply charged drawing style, in which agitated ink lines create striking images that are calculatedly crude and awkwardly calligraphic.21

BEN SHAHN

THE QUIET BATTLE

1963

Doubleday Anchor Books
THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

BEN SHAHN

1959

Vintage Books

89

BEN SHAHN

THE RISING GORGE

1961

Simon & Schuster

By the 1960s Shahn’s desire to look to other fruitful modes of design for book covers was echoed in the work of innovative designers like Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser of Push Pin Studio. These designers began to embrace illustration and enthusiastically mine historical design sources, combining modernist typography with playful mixtures of Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco inspirations. They found new means of expression and problem solving in a more pluralistic understanding and acknowledgement of style.
MODERNISM AND BEYOND

90

As a youth in 1930s and 1940s New York, Seymour Chwast was drawn to the vitality of the popular imagery. In high school, instructors encouraged him to explore the marriage of the formal principles of design combined with illustration, a field deemed unsophisticated and artless by staunch modernists. Chwast went on to study at Cooper Union (his future fellow founders of Push Pin Studio, Edward Sorel, and Milton Glaser also attended Cooper Union). Chwast shared Lustig and Rand’s belief in the social responsibility of the designer, yet he was willing to accept illustration as a dominating facet of design, and he found affirmation in the work of socially engaged illustrators like Honoré Daumier, Ben Shahn, and George Grosz.22 Like Chwast, Glaser was devoted to illustration as a legitimate tool of the designer, and he saw the role of painter and illustrator as interchangeable in a history of image making that spanned back to early humans drawing on the walls of caves.23 Chwast and Glaser helped found Push Pin Studio in 1954, after each had explored the field a bit, both in big publishing and on their own. As a means to promote their studio and underscore the possibilities for the intersection of illustration and design, they published Push Pin Almanack and then Push Pin Graphic. Free from the stipulations of clients’ needs and the dictations of corporate style, the publications served as a laboratory for graphic experimentation with type and illustration, and, like the firm that produced them, they proved to be influential in the design world in the late 1950s and 1960s.

SEYMOUR CHWAST

FDR: ARCHITECT OF AN ERA

1967

Macmillan Company

The style of illustration Push Pin designers chose to use could vary dramatically, from a dedication to classic drawing to stylized pop imagery. Yet representation, most often figural representation, was a “germinal” element, and was, in the eyes of contemporary observers, evidence of an undercurrent of humanism and romanticism.24 Even when Push Pin designers approached a distillation of type and image that compared with the starkness of de Harak’s McGraw-Hill work, the image often created as sense of accessibility. Chwast subverted the cold anonymity of a bold modernist “D” by cleverly transforming it into the silhouette of FDR’s profile in his 1967 cover for Rexford Tugwell’s FDR: ARCHITECT OF AN ERA . De Harak used similar juxtapositions of type and image, but for him, the image served as a metaphor. Push Pin designers embraced the direct connection between image and text, shunning the symbolic generalization of stricter modernists. This specification and humanization of symbol is quite direct in Glaser and Vincent Ceci’s cover for FREEDOM–NOT LICENSE! The designers replaced the stars of the American flag with a grid of photographs of people’s faces. While these photographs do serve to represent types, they are also unmistakably identified as individuals as well.

91

MILTON GLASER & VINCENT CECI

FREEDOM-NOT LICENSE!

1966

Hart Publishing Company
A SITTER FOR A SATYR

MILTON GLASER

1965

E. P. Dutton

92

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

MILTON GLASER

GERTRUDE

1969

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

SEYMOUR CHWAST

THE PLAGUE

1962

Time Books
SEVEN MEN AND TWO OTHERS

MILTON GLASER

1959

Vintage Books

Straight-forward accessible illustration predominated in most covers by Push Pin designers. Glaser’s 1965 design for A SITTER FOR A SATYR features one of Glaser’s light-hearted and expressive illustrations, creating an easily apprehensible image that encouraged the viewer to delight in the jocular representation rather than piece together conceptual references more typical of modernist generalizations. Similarly, his cover for one of a series of Herman Hesse works, GERTRUDE , focuses attention on the designer’s remarkable talent as an illustrator. The cover portraits in the series reveal Glaser’s ability to make traditional illustrative methods contemporary and fresh, blending techniques like watercolor with a loose calligraphic touch and accents of bright color. In covers such as his 1959 SEVEN MEN AND TWO OTHERS , Glaser juxtaposed a somber drawing with a diverse typographic variation. If appropriate to the tone of the book, Push Pin illustration could be strikingly dark as well, as in Chwast’s cover for an edition of Albert Camus’s THE PLAGUE in which a grimacing profile dominates both the front and back covers. While Push Pin was tremendously influential in the legitimization of illustration as a tool in progressive American book cover design, they had an even more momentous effect due to their willingness to quote and commingle historical styles of both illustration and type. By the mid 1950s, Bradbury Thompson had been melding a modernist taste for layered, simplified forms with a love for old engravings, integrating found, disparate appropriated images into tightly structured, often quite clever, designs.25 But more adamantly than any of their predecessors or contemporaries, Push Pin designers fostered an eclectic new style that took Victorian, Art Nouveau, and other historical styles and melded them into a playfully contemporary language of design. In a period when designers were beginning to carefully consider their stylistic heritage, Push Pin’s mixture of stylistic quotations was a means to broaden the possibilities of design in the wake of modernism, to use styles of the past to construct a new contemporary style that celebrated its own eclecticism.

Glaser explained that what he and his colleagues did with various historic stylistic elements was to use them as subject matter, just as a painter might use a landscape to convey his personal perceptions. It’s not hacking; there is simply no belief nowadays in any ‘correct,’ ‘true,’ or even ‘suitable’ styles or esthetic philosophies. We no longer believe that a particular philosophy or set of values is what we must stick to in our work. We don’t need to dedicate ourselves to one or even a succession of styles anymore. In fact, it’s impossible.26 The stylistic mélange of type and illustration that Push Pin designers incorporated into their book covers was as diverse as the sources available to them. Chwast’s 1969 design for THE CONNOISSEUR’S BOOK OF THE CIGAR , was based on actual cigar boxes, contrasting modernist designers’ preference for cleaner, mechanized forms. To the Push Pin designers, mixed references and varied stylistic sources were not a stultifying contamination of modernist purity, but rather a way to enhance the graphic impact and communicative potential of their designs. By superimposing a portrait of a Renaissance political theorist over type based on a contemporary newspaper financial page for example, Ceci used anachronistic references to underscore the application of centuries-old theory to modern conditions in Antony Jay’s MANAGEMENT 27 AND MACHIAVELLI .
93

94

MODERNISM AND BEYOND

SEYMOUR CHWAST

THE CONNOISSEUR’S BOOK OF THE CIGAR

1969

McGraw-Hill

VINCENT CECI

MANAGEMENT AND MACHIAVELLI

1968

Holt, Rinehart & Winston
OF MEN AND MACHINES

SEYMOUR CHWAST

1963

E. P. Dutton

In his 1963 cover for OF MEN AND MACHINES , Chwast used type that recalled old broadsides and newspapers and constructed a face from images that seem to have been lifted from nineteenth-century technical illustrations. These historical sources are reconstructed into a new, whimsical composition typical of Push Pin’s light-hearted thematic association of text and image. An excellent example of Push Pin’s humorous and eclectic mix of styles is Chwast’s cover for BACKYARD POULTRY RAISING , featuring a “chicken farmer” and a lengthy title printed in eighteen different fonts from various historical periods. Over the course of the 1960s, Push Pin’s highly visible commissions helped to establish its eclecticism as a recognized graphic vocabulary. Receiving the remarkable honor of being showcased in a 1970 exhibition at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décorativs, Push Pin was heralded as the most innovative and influential force in American graphic design. Contemporary observers marveled at their “imaginative application of styles to diverse problems.”28 In some ways, the eclecticism of Push Pin and their willingness to appropriate and quote from a variety of historical sources was a foreshadowing of more highly theorized postmodern design in the 1980s. However, the earlier quotation of historical styles at Push Pin was not a conscious reaction to cultural theory in the manner of late-twentieth-century pastiche. Rather than pointing the instability of meaning and historical constructs as postmodernists would in the 1980s, for Push Pin, quoting past styles was a means to underscore historical continuity. “Why use the Bauhaus as your only model, as the Modernists did,” Glaser queried, “when you can see the Arts and Crafts Movement, and Mackintosh, Ruskin, William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Viennese Secession, as well as the Bauhaus as a continuing series of linked ideas?”29 One of the tenets of postmodern theory is a loss of individuality and authorship expressed through a pastiche of already existing styles and images. For the Push Pin designers, however, stylistic quotations were framed as creative innovation, and designers like Glaser could be described in 1969 as having a “personal vision . . . more transcendent than their contemporaries” with the “ability to transcend, influence and mutate his environment, both physically and intellectually.”30

95

SEYMOUR CHWAST

BACKYARD POULTRY RAISING

1977

Doubleday & Company

4

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND AMERICAN BOOK COVER DESIGN DISORIENTED

4

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND AMERICAN BOOK COVER DESIGN DISORIENTED

98

The early to mid 1970s was a time of restraint in book cover design, perhaps reflecting the broader social and cultural upheaval brought on by a decade of war, racial tension, and political scandal. The volume of truly innovative work in book cover design dropped, the result of a number of factors within the world of publishing, most notably an increasing corporatization of commercial publishers. Small presses like New Directions and Grove, presses that had played such a pivotal role in encouraging progressive design in their covers, were eclipsed by big publishing houses. Editorial committees and executive boards replaced dedicated individual entrepreneurs like Laughlin and Rossett.1 At the smaller presses that flourished in the 1950s and 1960s, the publishers perceived their task as a privilege to present the work of their authors and a duty to present their audience with important literature. On the other hand, the larger presses that dominated the 1970s seem more authoritative, almost dictatorial in their pursuit of commercial success.

These shifts in publishing made it less likely for designers like Lustig and Rand to emerge and pursue freely individual styles as romantic modernist expressions of their creative identity and commitment to social growth. Large presses were more likely to publish covers incorporating the familiar blend of illustration and historical typefaces popularized by Push Pin or starkly mechanical mixes of modernist type and unexpressive abstraction. While corporate conservatism and the demands of big business did encourage a great deal of mediocre design in the 1970s, designers like Paul Bacon emerged—designers who were masterfully adept at building upon earlier stylistic innovations within the framework of their clients’ needs.

99

MILTON GLASER

HYPNOTISM

late 1960s E. P. Dutton & Company

HERB LUBALIN

HARLEM ON MY MIND

1968

Random House

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND

TYPE, IMAGE, AND CULTURE AT LARGE

100

By the late 1960s the commercial realm quickly adopted graphic innovations like those being made at Push Pin Studio and by inventive typographer Herb Lubalin. In covers like HYPNOTISM , Glaser brought an illustrative sensibility to the handling of clean, modernist typography, playfully blurring the line between type and image. Lubalin, a master of what design historian Philip Meggs calls “figurative typography,” experimented with phototypographic techniques that enabled him to create and manipulate type in unprecedented ways.2 Covers like Lubalin’s 1968 HARLEM ON MY MIND broke down barriers between type, image, and illustration. Lubalin’s groundbreaking magazine and advertising work of the 1960s and early 1970s set the stage for type-dominated book cover design throughout the 1970s. Designers realized they could acquire or create just about any typeface they could imagine, and they felt that the type itself offered enough plasticity to be a solitary design element. Covers like THE GODS THEMSELVES and BRIEFING FOR A DESCENT INTO HELL reveal such purely typographic solutions. Many of these covers seem to aim at concrete directness rather than deep conceptual connections between cover, text, and viewer.

DAVID NOVEMBER

THE GODS THEMSELVES

1972

Doubleday & Company
BRIEFING FOR A DESCENT INTO HELL

JOHN GERBINO

1971

Alfred A. Knopf

101

DESIGNER UNKNOWN

PURPLE-VIOLET-SQUISH

1969

Zondervan Publishing House

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND

102

LAWRENCE RATZKIN

ASHES TO ASHES

1971

Simon & Schuster

After a decade of Push-Pin-inspired eclecticism, the dialog between the broader cultural realm and serious designers became much more active than it had been for their modernist predecessors. The undulating, nested, bubble lettering and vivid complementary colors that had been the visual language of a psychedelic counter-culture quickly found their way into commercial publishing, as in the cover for PURPLE-VIOLET-SQUISH . In his cover for ASHES TO ASHES , Lawrence Ratzkin emulated the comicbook look made fashionable by pop art. The brassy impact of vernacular advertising and signage inspired Bob Giusti’s cover for BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS and Neil Stuart’s cover for METROPOLITAN LIFE . Eclectic juxtapositions of type styles and droll blendings of text and image became standard tropes for designers as in George Maas’s cover for BANKERS AND CATTLEMEN . Alan Peckolick and Tom Carnase’s BEARDS and Ratzkin’s THE FRANCHISER built upon the familiar Lubalin strategy of type as illustration and Push Pin’s witty and accessible interplays of word and image. In each of these cases, the designers made the word an integral part of the image, blurring the line between pictorial and textual representation.

103

GEORGE MAAS

BANKERS AND CATTLEMEN

1966

Alfred A. Knopf

ROBERT GIUSTI

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

1973

Delacorte Press
METROPOLITAN LIFE

NEIL STUART

1978

E. P. Dutton

104

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND

ALAN PECKOLICK & TOM CARNASE

BEARDS

1976

Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich

LAWRENCE RATZKIN

THE FRANCHISER

1976

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

THE VOICE OF BIG BUSINESS

An alternative to the light reincarnations of Lubalin typographic innovation and Push Pin eclecticism was a distillation of modernist austerity. This austerity reflected the prevalence of increasingly pervasive corporate identity programs that can be understood, at least in part, as responses to the social upheaval of the 1960s. The intellectual optimism that had possessed publishers like Laughlin and Rossett and had inspired designers like Rand and Lustig was more difficult for both designers and publishers to accept blindly. The grand illusion of design changing the world was harder to swallow after a decade punctuated by assassinations, escalating racial tension, and deepening resentment of military involvement in Southeast Asia. As the Bronx burned, the subways fell into disrepair and the city’s economy foundered, the New York-dominated field of book cover design embraced a severe geometry that mirrored the gargantuan anonymity of Sixth Avenue skyscrapers. In an increasingly corporate milieu of conglomerate takeovers of publishers, the bottom line came under the scrutiny of managers who were less likely to accept diminished profits for the sake of literature. Publishing houses were less apt to publish unknown or cutting-edge authors and were more likely to opt for less risky bestsellers. The industry embraced cover designs that reflected its increasing conservatism.3 Inspired by Massimo Vignelli’s “Unigrid” model and Ladislav Sutnar’s starkly functional “information graphics,” many designers of the late 1960s and 1970s depended on strict systems of geometric forms, hard edged shapes, and large scale type.4 As graceful and efficient as Vignelli’s designs could be, systems such as the one he developed for THE AUDUBON SOCIETY FIELD GUIDES spawned less inspired, starkly reductive corporate visual languages. The bold authority of the corporate look was reflected in cover designs produced for large presses.5 While earlier presses, large and small, had most certainly attempted to use design to create unique and recognizable visual identities, by the 1970s that desire had grown to a point where it began to eclipse visual evidence of the creative individuality of the designer and author alike. The playfulness of Rand and the spontaneity of Kuhlman gave way to the more distanced, cooler sensibility of sanitized corporate programs. The mythic designer-as-artistic-creator was waning in favor of a more professionalized designer who could be an effective cog in the gears of a corporate machine.

105

MASSIMO VIGNELLI

THE AUDUBON SOCIETY

1979

Alfred A. Knopf

As Milton Glaser observed, modernism had become a detoxifying agent for corporations that could use it to appear “progressive and above the human squabble without ever having to deal with human sweat.”6 Many book cover designers adapted the grid, along with mechanically precise typography and abstract shapes, without the carefully conceived interplay of form and idea that had driven earlier modernist experiments. By the mid 1970s the superficial trappings of ultrapure modernist formalism had become a standard design trope in run-of-the-mill book cover design. Typical cover designs like I’M OK—YOU’RE OK incorporated flat abstract forms and simple type with little attempt to communicate the book’s content. The design carries little more expressive or interpretive content than a corporate letterhead. This unexpressive anonymity was compounded in later paperback editions that not only included promotional quips, but transformed a blue peace sign seen in earlier hardcover editions by Harper and Row into a simple blue circle (along with other slight modifications to the design). Meaningful signifiers became decorative abstraction. Even designers who, in previous decades, had been quite adept at shaping meaning from carefully crafted juxtapositions of type and image, drifted toward this more anonymous corporate style. Rand had established himself as the corporate icon man; Kuhlman was doing uninspired ads for IBM and low budget layout at High Times; and Giusti was designing book covers with typical 1970s bubble lettering and decorative geometric abstractions.

106

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND

DESIGNER UNKNOWN

I’M OK—YOU’RE OK

1973

Avon Books

THE BIG BOOK LOOK

One of the most remarkable designers to adapt to the needs of the corporate publishing world of the 1970s was Paul Bacon. Bacon’s talent as a designer and illustrator, blended with a humble attitude, allowed him to bridge the eclecticism of the Push Pin legacy and the austerity of corporate design. Bacon, recently back from service with the Marines in the Pacific during World War II, managed to work his way into jobs combining his talent for drafting and his passion for jazz. Designing for small jazz periodicals and the newly established Blue Note and Riverside record labels, Bacon made a place for himself in the New York design scene. His foray into book cover design was modest– in 1950 he was asked to do the cover for Chimp on my Shoulder, a book he had illustrated. Commissions trickled in, and Bacon’s reputation grew slowly, until 1956, when he was asked to design the cover for Meyer Levin’s COMPULSION , a book headed for the bestseller charts. Bacon read each manuscript for which he was asked to design a cover, a practice that was not necessarily the norm. He looked for what he called the “graphic key” on which he could base a design that complimented both the book and its publisher.7 This desire to create a connection with the content of the book and healthy respect for the efforts of the author led Bacon to foster an interpretive element in all of his designs, even in the 1970s when decorative anonymity was embraced by so many corporate publishers.

107

PAUL BACON

COMPULSION

1956

Simon & Schuster
CATCH-22

PAUL BACON

1961

Simon & Schuster

108

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND

PAUL BACON

THE MOST OF S.J. PERELMAN

1958

Simon & Schuster

Bacon’s best known early cover is his 1961 design for Joseph Heller’s CATCH-22 , a composition that went through many manifestations before it was finally accepted. This process sheds light on the publishing world that would evolve into the 1970s. Bacon’s early sketches included an isolated hand with its middle finger raised in an indelicate gesture of defiance. The publishers quickly rejected Bacon’s forthright graphic interpretation of the novel and initiated a process in which Bacon responded to their feedback. Over the course of many sketches, the red figure in the design became smaller and smaller as the name of the author and the book’s title became bigger and bigger.8 The graphic impact of the design was systematically toned down to say less about the design and more about the book. Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, Bacon designed covers that incorporated progressive design ideas of the era, from the eclectic mix of type faces in his cover for THE MOST OF S. J. PERELMAN , to the hand generated lettering and collage aesthetic of his cover for Ken Kesey’s ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST . He was equally comfortable creating meaningful imagery through type, as in his cover for WE BOMBED IN NEW HAVEN as he was using historical typefaces and illustrations that recall the era of a bloody slave rebellion in the novel THE CONFESSIONS OF NAT TURNER . By the late 1960s Bacon had perfected an approach that paid homage to the authority of author and publisher, an approach that would be labeled “the big book look.” Bacon was a sort of corporate chameleon–his covers were thoughtfully and cleverly designed, yet the design was translucent, letting the statement be that of the publisher as facilitator for the author. The look featured the author’s name and the title in a large typeface along with a centered spot illustration dominating a field of unmodulated color. Hank O’Neil pointed out that this approach, which he described as “sparse, accessible, to the point, and completely lacking in gratuitous ornament,” was most often used for a noted author whose name would be the most effective marketing tool for the book.9 Bacon’s 1975 cover for RAGTIME showed how the cover could be a corporate marketing tool, with the author’s name and an advertising statement incorporated into a bold but historically referential and handcrafted design.

109

PAUL BACON

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST

1962 (facsimile)

Viking Press

110

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND

PAUL BACON

WE BOMBED IN NEW HAVEN

1968

Alfred A. Knopf

PAUL BACON

THE CONFESSIONS OF NAT TURNER

1967

Random House

While observers like O’Neil and Steven Heller applauded Bacon’s “big book look,” in truth that look describes only part of the designer’s oeuvre. Considering covers like SAINT JACK in comparison with THE MOST OF S. J. PERELMAN or RAGTIME , it becomes clear that Bacon had the capability to generate designs in a vast spectrum of styles. Bacon’s stylistic plasticity was less the result of the calculated eclecticism of Push Pin, but rather more in the spirit of Chermayeff and Geismar and their pragmatic avoidance of stylistic continuity.10 Bacon’s gift as a designer was that he was so adept at making his voice as a designer subordinate to the voices of author and publisher. An avid musician as well as designer, Bacon has been described as “a sideman,” rarely taking center stage, an accompanist and collaborator.11 Self-assured yet completely unassuming, he was willing to put his thoughtful creative voice in the service of the client in a way that gave him a sort of anonymity that would have been intolerable for a designer like Rand. Bacon recalled, “I’d always tell myself, ‘You’re not the star of the show. The author took three and a half years to write the goddamn thing and the publisher is spending a fortune on it, so just back off.’”12 Indeed, Bacon’s ability to create designs that complimented author and publisher made him one of the most sought after designers in big publishing and earned him the praise of some of the most respected popular writers in America. Working for all the major publishing houses, but most consistently for Simon and Schuster, Bacon’s own estimates put the number of jackets he designed at 6,500.13

111

PAUL BACON

RAGTIME

1975

Random House

THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND

FROM HISTORICISM TO PASTICHE

112

PAUL BACON

SAINT JACK

1973

Houghton Mifflin Company

By the end of the 1970s, a few book covers began to foreshadow themes that would become more prominent in the 1980s and would come to be thought of as characteristics of postmodernism. John E. Johnson Jr.’s 1978 cover for “A” , with its striking field of pink and sophisticated typography combined with a photographic image, looks as if it could have been designed twenty-five years earlier by Paul Rand. Johnson’s direct emulation of an earlier style suggests not only an awareness and understanding of the past, but a willingness to quote from it unapologetically. This sort of historical quotation would be a strategy taken up in the 1980s by many designers who would self-consciously appropriate styles and forms as a means to engage the past and rethink the creative role of the designer. George Corsillo’s 1979 cover for NANA hints at another characteristic of postmodernism of the 1980s– pastiches of discordant styles and images that create a purposeful disjuncture. The collage of hovering, unresolved photographic elements, combined with a hodgepodge of typefaces, has an aesthetic of rawness that suggests roots in both punk graphics and the postmodern theory that would help shape the understanding of graphic design in the 1980s.13

113

GEORGE CORSILLO

NANA

1979

Summit Books

JOHN E. JOHNSON JR.

“A”

1978

University of California Press

5

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND POSTMODERNISM AND THE BOOK COVER

5

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND POSTMODERNISM AND THE BOOK COVER

116

Building upon the work of literary theorists like Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-François Lyotard, design’s postmodern theorists pointed out a slippage and contingency of meaning that exists in a society barraged by images that seem farther and farther from the real. They sensed that the universal truth and personal expression that modernism seemed to promise were romantic delusions that had been co-opted and defiled by corporate power. Those who attempted to apply these theories tried to tear apart grand historical narratives through the juxtaposition of purposefully discordant historical styles in nonhierarchical, interwoven compositions. They broke modernism’s rules of logic and legibility with dizzying layered images, fragments of type, and indecipherable signs. In graphic design, postmodern analysis engendered a variety of formal characteristics: pastiches of traditional and vernacular styles; unapologetic appropriation of historical sources; mixed typefaces; collages of seemingly disparate images; openly computer-generated images; and purposefully vague and complex compositions that defied direct reading and fixed meaning.1

By the late 1970s important strides in the application of postmodern theory were being made by American designers, but innovative strategies rarely found their way into the more commercial realm of book covers. Designers such as April Greiman and Dan Friedman, American disciples of the groundbreaking Swiss typographer Wolfgang Weingart, applied the flattened forms and functional typefaces of modernism and added layers of interpretive, subjective and formal elements. Weingart encouraged his students to consider the practice of design in a post-industrial society in which the logic and clarity of modernism might be destabilized by designs that allowed for intuitive and subjective readings. Combinations of styles, weights, and spacing of type were seen by designers like Weingart as ways to acknowledge the transient nature of meaning and interpretation.

POSTMODERNISM IN THE DESIGN LABORATORY

APRIL GREIMAN

BUILDING IN LOS ANGELES

1997

Southern California Institute of Architecture

Building on ideas like those expounded by Weingart, April Greiman laid much of the foundation for American postmodern graphic design. Trained in the tradition of Swiss modernism, Greiman began to rethink the tightly structured logic of the grid as she pursued graduate studies with Weingart and Armin Hoffman at the Basel School of Design in the early 1970s. In the early 1980s, Greiman found that advances in computer technology opened new paths of exploration into the means by which images and text could be combined. By 1984 she had acquired her first Macintosh and used the then crude technology to layer bit-mapped text with images from a variety of sources, from digitally manipulated photographs to computer-generated textures, to stills captured from video.2 Greiman’s work was akin to graphic styles labeled “techno” and “new wave” by critics in the 1970s. “New wave,” which was often used interchangeably with “postmodern” in the early 1980s, characterized a pastiche of disconnected images, type and patterns. The blips and dots, swishes, and patterns were a melding of 1970s illustration and early computer-generated images, and they shared a similar aesthetic to the bright, contrasting, patterned laminates of objects designed in the 1980s by Milan’s highly influential Memphis group. Greiman’s work was emblematic of a period of intense theoretical reflection in the field of graphic design. This new visual language, still evident in her 1997 cover for BUILDING IN LOS ANGELES , lent itself to design that made a self-conscious exploration of the mechanics of legibility and meaning.

117

A CLASH OF THEORY AND PRACTICE

118

An even more intense exploration of the application of postmodern theory to design took place at The Cranbrook Academy of Art. The school nurtured a broad conception of the designer, not limited to a single mode of design but rather a more Lustig-like multifaceted practice of design. Under the guidance of co-chairs Katherine and Michael McCoy, who directed the department of design from 1971 to 1995, the program emphasized an exploration of different areas of design, from graphic to interior, while fostering larger conceptual and sociological analysis. In the 1980s, the program encouraged the consideration of literary theory to take into account the interconnection of the structure and semantics of visual language, exploring how formal qualities of design effect meaning. Faculty and students alike produced densely packed designs that demanded focused reading, allowing multi-layered meanings, and aiming at both complexity and intelligibility.3 Another important innovator in postmodern design in America was the design magazine Emigre, which began publication in 1984. Founder Rudy VanderLans and partner Zuzana Licko used the journal to showcase experiments in computerized layout and font design in the presentation of theoretical and critical texts. Much to the consternation of modernists like Massimo Vignelli, the magazine challenged traditional notions of order and legibility in design, forcing a deeper, more subjective engagement by its viewer.4 While Emigre was undeniably an influential source of innovative design, it was intended for a limited, knowledgeable design audience. Such a forum fostered a spirit of exploration, but also catered to a very small realm of insiders familiar with the technological, theoretical, and cultural issues.5

Rigorous investigations of syntactical structure and the meaning of typography and image built much of the foundation for postmodern design. Yet these innovations, appearing in posters, pamphlets, and design journals, tended to reach a limited academic and design audience and thus seem more selfreferential, even self-indulgent, than designs conceived for the more public realm. To understand and appreciate many of these designs, the viewer had to be conversant in the language of design and aware of the theoretical issues they addressed. While Cranbrook designers’ amalgamations of type and image have been credited for the “denaturing of the permanence that Modernism seemed to promise,” they have also been described as illegible and chaotic.6 As early as 1981, work generated by Cranbrook designers irked observer Marc Treib enough that he labeled them “typographic blitzes [that] exceed mere graphic affectations and enter the realm of actual graphic afflictions.” While in the hands of some designers, postmodern design worked. Treib complained, “it is like listening to six radios playing at once, each with a different station. This is not charged complexity, it is noise.”7 Over the next two decades, devout modernists would assail postmodernism and its practitioners– Massimo Vignelli launched a critical attack on Emigre and Paul Rand resisted what he saw as the undisciplined, opaque language of more recent approaches to design.8 Even historian and critic Steven Heller attacked the layered illegibility of Cranbrook design in an infamous 1993 essay “Cult of the Ugly.”9 The vehement resistance to highly theoretical, academic postmodernism came most vociferously from designers whose practice was rooted in the practical, commercial application of modernism.

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

LORRAINE WILD

MASK OF MEDUSA

1985

Rizzoli
THE BODY

LUCILLE TENAZAS

1994

Chronicle Books

While academic postmodern exercises in design did lend themselves to an insular community of insiders, designers emerging from theoretically engaged programs like Cranbrook’s have proved to be among of the late-twentieth-century’s more thoughtful designers. The McCoys have done book covers for MIT Press, one of the few academic publishers dedicated to innovative design. And Cranbrook graduates have found ways to temper dramatically the intensity of their theoretical background in cerebral yet reserved covers such as Lorraine Wild’s 1985 MASK OF MEDUSA and Lucille Tenazas’s 1994 THE BODY . Even so, with a few exceptions, broader applications of aspects of postmodernism would tend to come from less theoretically engaged designers who adapted some of the formal characteristics associated with the likes of Greiman, Cranbrook, and Emigre. These more mainstream designs were not necessarily conscious adaptations of the theoretical underpinnings of postmodernism, but nevertheless reflected the pluralistic historical sampling and depersonalization of the postmodern spirit.

119

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

A POSTMODERN ANONYMITY

120

The plasticity of style encouraged by corporate publishing beginning in the 1970s nurtured aspects of postmodern design, particularly the questioning of a coherent individual style. The publishing world that dominated in the 1970s rewarded designers like Paul Bacon who could shift from style to style. This denial of a consistent style set the stage for depersonalized historicism and unapologetic stylistic quotation of 1980s designers. Like Bacon, Fred Marcellino fostered a vast spectrum of depersonalizing styles in the 1970s and early 1980s in order to meet the needs of his clients. Marcellino, who had been trained as a painter, established his design career doing album covers, but by the mid-1970s had switched to designing book covers.10 Perusing his portfolio in 1979, critic Carol Stevens praised “such a variety of graphic techniques and interpretations that the separate pieces appear to have been produced by more than one person.” Later she proclaimed, “Marcellino has no desire to use his work as a vehicle for the expression of some compelling personal vision.” Working for many of the major players in the publishing world, Marcellino knew that his designs, rather than speaking with his voice, had to speak for the publisher and the author. Marcellino was quite self-conscious about setting aside the notion that a designer must foster a grand, coherent and individualized style: “I do something different every time. The solution comes from the job. I do not have a singular cohesive style.”11

BASCOVE

HAD I A HUNDRED MOUTHS

1985

Clarkson N. Potter
BIG BOB

BASCOVE

1981

Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich

121

FRED MARCELLINO

THE TRUTH ABOUT LORIN JONES

1988

Little, Brown & Company

122

As with THE TRUTH ABOUT LORIN JONES , most of Marcellino’s book covers are at least partially illustrative, marrying clean, smoothly rendered images with equally polished lettering. An emphasis on illustration, which can be traced back to Push Pin, had a resurgence in the 1980s at the hands of many designers in addition to Marcellino, among them, Anthony Russo and Bascove. These designers’ combinations of text and image effectively suggest the themes of the books they advertise, but rarely call attention to themselves as designs. In a strategy that was shared by many of his 1980s colleagues, Marcellino explored various historical styles that seemed appropriate for projects, and he particularly favored variations of Art Deco lettering. In addition, many of Marcellino’s covers create an illusion that they have been pieced together, retaining a sense of a constructed object with three-dimensional properties. For instance, the lettering and portraits arranged in the cover of ALIVE AND DEAD IN INDIANA are rendered so they seem to protrude from the background plane. Significantly, the illusion of space in ALIVE AND DEAD IN INDIANA is not consistent–the regularly spaced lines of the background deny traditional perspectival diminution, creating a tension between two and three dimensions. This sort of tension reflects the complexities of representation created in collage. Marcellino continued his experimentation with type and spatial illusion in covers like RUMOR HAS IT , which presents bands of text seeming to hover above the open pages of a book, and THE RUNAWAY SOUL , in which skewed type suggests a sense of depth.

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

FRED MARCELLINO

ALIVE AND DEAD IN INDIANA

1984

Alfred A. Knopf
RUMOR HAS IT

FRED MARCELLINO

1991

William Morrow & Company

The use of collage and collage effects like those in Marcellino’s covers reflect the filtering of postmodern theory into the larger, nonacademic design realm. Not only would designers adopt a collage aesthetic to create spatial contradictions, but they would also use it to explore many styles simultaneously, constructing postmodern jumbles that challenged modernist notions of continuity and creative individuality. Collage in the early 1980s was certainly a continuation of a long history that included not only Surrealists, Dadaists, and Constructivists, but also Rauschenberg, Warhol, Push Pin designers, and the raw anarchic visual language of the late 1970s punk scene that seemed to be one of the inspirations of George Corsillo’s 1979 cover for NANA [page 113]. By 1983, the observations of critics like Steven Heller hinted at new uses for collaged imagery. Heller complained that collages in design could be “deceptively conceptual, giving the impression that a statement exists, when in reality the pseudo-poetic imagery camouflages the fact of a nonexistent point of view.”12 Heller looked for the poetic, the personal, and the expressive, applauding designer/illustrators who employed techniques of collage that were uniquely their own, missing the point that a “nonexistent point of view” might have significance in and of itself.

123

FRED MARCELLINO

THE RUNAWAY SOUL

1991

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

124

Pondering changes in design practice in the last two decades of the twentieth century, Milton Glaser noted a transition of the designer from image maker to image miner. He pointed out that not only was the designer distanced from the image-making process, but other makers of images, like photographers, artists and illustrators were “reduced to the level of anonymous image providers.”13 Naomi Osnos’s 1981 design for FABRICATIONS presents an illusionistic landscape occupied by images and type appropriated from many sources and collaged in a way that makes no claim to a new stylistic resolution. Instead, the cover is a hodgepodge of material from a variety of sources, creating what some critics felt was visual chaos. By the mid-1980s, designers would use collage techniques to create more intriguing covers, like the seemingly improvised INNER TUBE by Marc Cohen.

NAOMI OSNOS

FABRICATIONS

1981

Alfred A. Knopf
INNER TUBE

MARC COHEN

1985

Alfred A. Knopf

FROM ACADEMIA TO THE REAL WORLD

As the 1980s wore on, mainstream design would incorporate postmodernism’s opacity of meaning and depersonalized expression; the mixing of disparate images and styles would become an indispensable tool for mainstream postmodernist designers. Starting in the late 1970s, in an approach sometimes labeled “retro,” book cover designers built compositions around Deco-inspired typefaces, as in THE STARS AT NOON and WHERE THE JACKALS HOWL AND OTHER STORIES . Other designers crafted whimsical but sophisticated mélanges of styles and liberally spaced typefaces mined from any source they found useful. Louise Fili freely made references to past design sources; Paula Scher was especially interested in historical typefaces and formal arrangements, building and varying themes from De Stijl and Constructivism; and Carin Golberg used a spectrum of historical references and typographical experimentation. Reflecting the critical theory of the day, these designers quoted the past unapologetically, creating a conscious and deliberate questioning of originality and boldly obscuring the creative presence of the designer. And, as design historian Philip Meggs noted in 1989, the practitioners breathing new life into commercial design were women, a sign that the previously male-dominated field of design was beginning to overcome generations of gender bias.14

125

ROBERT SCUDELLARI

THE STARS AT NOON

1986

Alfred A. Knopf
WHERE THE JACKALS HOWL

PAUL GAMARELLO

1981

Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich

126

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

LOUISE FILI

THE LOVER

1985

Pantheon Books

LOUISE FILI

PERFECT GALLOWS

1988

Pantheon Books
CHROMA

LOUISE FILI

1987

Simon & Schuster

FORAGING THROUGH HISTORY

Louise Fili had worked with the master of innovative typographic design, Herb Lubalin, in the 1970s. Later, she adapted the light pluralism of corporate publishing of that decade into a style of more forceful, yet subtle historical reference. As art director at Pantheon from the mid 1970s to the 1980s, she appropriated and pastiched traditional styles, yet tempered the audacity of her adaptations with artful combinations of understated color and matte finishes. Fili’s 1985 design for Marguerite Duras’s THE LOVER was a subtle adaptation of 1930s style, marrying a historicist typeface with an evocative photograph of the author from the era addressed in her memoir. The refined type, combined with the relentless, knowing stare of the young woman in the photograph, reveal Fili’s ability to use spare historical sources to create striking covers in a style that has been described as “hyper-elegant.”15 The strength of Fili’s designs, and her true contribution to book cover design at the end of the twentieth century, have come from her love of the physicality of her sources and her rigorous attention to history. Fili combed French and Italian flea markets for ephemera with inspirational typefaces, and when she adapted her inspirations to book cover designs, the products tended to be imbued with the tactility of her beloved flea-market finds. Fili has also proven to be one of the most historically savvy designers of her era. Along with her husband, design historian Steven Heller, Fili has authored several books exploring the styles that she finds so inspirational.16 Historical quotation for Fili most often began with a resurrected typeface that would elicit the connotations and associations she wished to conjure up. In covers like PERFECT GALLOWS and CHROMA , Fili showed how elegant, historically inspired typefaces can create a stage for the literary exploration through visual associations, with or without illustrative elements.

127

PAULA SCHER

UNCOMMON WISDOM

1988

Simon & Schuster

128

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

PAULA SCHER

REAL ESTATE

LORRAINE LOUIE

THE QUARTERLY 4

1988

Poseidon Press

1987

Vintage Books

As a designer at CBS Records in the 1970s, Paula Scher built upon the legacy of Push Pin eclecticism, employing mixtures of typefaces mined from historical sources she found scouring old type books and specimen pages.17 By the late 1970s, she was shifting freely between historical styles from project to project, incorporating modernist aesthetics as varied as Constructivism, Art Deco, Futurism, and de Stijl. Scher’s admirers such as Philip Meggs saw her stylistic pluralism not as design plagiarism, but rather as a use of a past “vocabulary of forms and form relationships, reinventing and combining them in unexpected ways.”18 Her historicist approach to design congealed in her post-CBS career when she partnered with Terry Koppel. Their firm put out a 1984 selfpromotional brochure, Great Beginnings, in which they designed the opening pages of great literary works in styles appropriate to the period of the text. At their best, Koppel & Scher’s historical quotations could be outrageous parodies of past design. Perhaps the most famous and controversial was Scher’s 1986 Swatch watch ad based on a 1934 Herbert Matter travel poster.19 Scher started designing book jackets while still at CBS records, but book cover design for publishers like Simon and Schuster and Random House became a major focus of her work at Koppel & Scher. Because of her emerging reputation as a manipulator of typography, publishers enlisted her to design books, in Scher’s words, “that had to look somewhat important, but cerebral in nature.”20 Scher could adopt and adapt an established style, as in her 1988 Constructivist-inspired cover for UNCOMMON WISDOM , or she could present a typically postmodern hodgepodge of unresolved images and style as in her cover for REAL ESTATE from the same year. Lorraine Louie came to New York in the early 1980s and by the middle of the decade was freelancing for publishers like Vintage. Like Scher, Fili, and Goldberg, she was inspired by styles of the first half of the twentieth century, but distinguished herself from her colleagues with a less intense focus on typography. While she incorporated historically inspired typefaces into her designs, she was equally drawn to color, composition, and imagery as design elements.21 Her covers for the literary journal THE QUARTERLY exemplify her willingness to combine carefully composed type with layers of purely decorative geometric forms.

Carin Goldberg, who had worked with Scher at CBS records in the 1970s, embraced a quiet style that often incorporated unique and sophisticated typographic constellations that seem to enhance and support the mood of the image. In the early 1980s, Goldberg started her own business and began designing book covers, incorporating pastiches of historical styles and references in an attempt to find alternatives to the formulaic bestseller designs of the previous decade. For Goldberg, the history of graphic design provided a vast array of modes of visual communication from which she could pick and choose appropriate elements according to the demands of her project. Indeed, Goldberg, like Scher and Fili, established her career in an era when the legacy of Push Pin eclecticism was firmly entrenched. Mining the past was, by the 1980s, as legitimate an approach to design as any other.22 Goldberg’s covers for Dell’s editions of Kurt Vonnegut novels played off contemporary postmodern styles of architectural ornament, reflecting her precise sense of typographic structure and an understanding of architectural education and practice. Her system of simple lines of color forming the background for title and author, overlapping a large “V” combined with varyingly kerned secondary text created a sense of flattened and applied ornament that echoed the superficial decorative pastiches of style in the work of architects such as Michael Graves.

129

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

130

CARIN GOLDBERG

SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE

1989

Dell Publishing

Goldberg’s dialog with graphic design history is perhaps best revealed in her 1986 design for ULYSSES , [page 14] in which she based her composition on a poster by Paul Renner and quoted the enlarged “U” of Kauffer’s edition of the text. As Ronald Labuz rightly observed, it is a book design about the history of book design.23 Goldberg proved herself to be among the most successful book cover designers to adapt theoretical postmodernism’s inquiries into style and authorship, earning praise from theoretically engaged historians like Ellen Lupton who credited Goldberg with creating a “series of icons that have functioned in the brutal arena of retail sales while also engaging head-on the cultural debates internal to the design profession.”24 From the nostalgic collaged images in A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES to the Constructivist style of MUSSOLINI: A BIOGRAPHY and the Viennese Secessionist style of THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS , Goldberg’s designs from the 1980s reflect issues of postmodernism with a versatility unmatched by most of her colleagues. And Goldberg would continue to refine her style to become one of the more innovative designers of the 1990s as well.

As impressive as work by designers like Goldberg was, historical quotation and stylistic appropriation were not without vocal critics. Influential and respected designers like Tibor Kalman resisted the purposeful historical eclecticism of postmodernist practice, accusing designers like Goldberg of “pillaging history” and creating “jive modernism,” a superficial, decorative use of formal elements of earlier twentieth-century styles without their theoretical and revolutionary bases.25 Design historian Ronald Labuz wrote that the deliberate historicism of 1980s design reflected a desire to give the viewer something that is already familiar and thus already understandable.26 Even so, considering historicism simply as cliché, even in what Labuz called a “rerun” decade, may be an underestimation of the more theoretically savvy designers of the era. Indeed, Lubaz pointed out the duality of historicist practice that, on one hand, presented the viewer with familiar visual languages, and on the other, spoke to fellow designers on a more sophisticated, self-referential level. The audacity of the quotations like Goldberg’s should be considered within a larger theoretical exploration of authorship and appropriation during the 1980s. Ideas that had been stewing for more than a decade in literary theory and were beginning to boil over into self-conscious explorations in the visual arts as in the work of Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman. Artists like these made work that suggested that identity is merely a construct of society, that originality is a myth, and that the notion of creative individuality is a romantic fiction. Furthermore, the self-reflective activity of historical quotation revealed that graphic design was becoming aware of its own historical legacy. This intensified historicism coincided with the publishing of major works of design history, like Philip Meggs’s 1983 A History of Graphic Design, and with more sophisticated historical inquiries using theoretical and methodological approaches far more complex than linear narrative.27

131

CARIN GOLDBERG
WHERE WATER COMES TOGETHER WITH OTHER WATER

1985

Vintage Books
A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES

CARIN GOLDBERG

1987

Simon & Schuster

132

THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND

CARIN GOLDBERG

MUSSOLINI

1983

Vintage Books
CARIN GOLDBERG
THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS

1985

Simon & Schuster

THE PROMISE OF POSTMODERNISM

While postmodernism infused intellectual life into the field of graphic design and made waves that did indeed jostle the realm of commercial book publishing, many of the challenges that had faced book cover designers at the beginning of the 1980s were still present in the following decade. Media conglomerates were snapping up a huge portion of the book-publishing industry, and, with increasing frequency, they were making superstar deals with best-selling authors. Publishers’ tendency to bet on a sure thing rarely fostered the support of inventive design.28 Paula Scher found the process of designing book covers frustrating in an increasingly market-driven environment where many corporate voices had opinions about design and the authority to enforce those opinions. Louise Fili was also inclined to refocus her energy on product design and high-end restaurant identity programs in which she was able to design sumptuous objects and environments for receptive clients. Milton Glaser drifted away from a focus on print design in favor of commissions in which he could assert more creative control. He explained that “the design process has now been integrated into a client’s control system.… Clients now have a much greater preconception of what they want.…The determinations of what is appropriate are very often those of a marketing department.”29 Glaser saw fewer possibilities for experimentation and creative innovation in a field where publishers conformed to models that had already proved successful.

Paul Rand lived to witness postmodern trends in graphic design and, with a blustery self-assurance that earned him a reputation as a curmudgeon, he soundly condemned what he saw as an embrace of trendy flash in lieu of formal rigor and thoughtful content.30 Rand’s often unflattering self-importance might make it tempting to attribute his uneasiness with approaches to design in the late twentieth century to an ego bruised by the waning popularity of his beloved modernist take on design. Yet for Rand style wasn’t just about style, it was a vehicle of meaning, a vehicle that carried the burden of social responsibility. In 1946 he ended his Thoughts on Design with a consideration of the responsibility of the designer within the social realm. “Even if it is true,” he wrote, “that the commonplace advertising and exhibitions of bad taste are indicative of the mental capacity of the man in the street, the opposing argument is equally valid. Bromidic advertising catering to bad taste merely perpetuates that mediocrity and denies him one of the most easily accessible means of aesthetic development.”31 Rand’s grumblings were still relevant more than a half-century later–in 2001 Rick Poynor complained of the hollow trendiness of recent cover designs. While the books may be commercial successes, chided Poynor, “to suggest that sales are the ultimate yardstick of good design (or good anything), is to dive headfirst down the slippery slope to Philistinism.”32 The challenge to the book-cover designer at the end of the 1980s was to make use of the lessons learned from postmodernism and apply them in an increasingly market-driven environment. Academic postmodernism was design for designers and theoreticians, not a more general audience. Superficial stylistic elements of these experiments had found their way into more mainstream design, but it would take further refinement to make the language of postmodernism work in the field of book cover design. In the eyes of some observers, the contemporary designer needed to relearn some of the lessons of modernism and apply them to the formal innovations of postmodernism: re-marry poetry to structure and ideal to practice.33 In its acceptance of opacity and complexity, postmodernism opened up room for subjective individuality in both the creation and the reception of designs. As book cover design of the 1990s would prove, the obtuse academicism of early postmodernism could indeed be purged while retaining the fluid meanings of layered images and stylistic pluralism.

133

6

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN MAKING POSTMODERNISM WORK

6

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN MAKING POSTMODERNISM WORK

136

Despite assertions of order and function, modernism in its earlier forms was essentially a romanticized search for the essential and the expressive. By the 1970s, corporate adaptation of the idiom in America had embraced its clarity and cleanliness, but quashed its attempts at meaningful expression. Academic postmodernism attempted to present the world not as a series of essential truths, but as a contradictory array of decentered contingencies in constant flux. In the wake of what some saw as the “urbane and defeated irony”1 of 1980s postmodernism, observers in the 1990s began to look for ways to reinsert meaning and expression into design while at the same time applying a juxtaposition of styles and layering of images.

If literary theory presented meaning as in a state of constant flux, buffeted by the influence of external sociological forces, in design, this indeterminacy was transformed into a means of internalized personal expression. Roland Barthes’s speculation of the “death of the author” was an attack on the possibility of unique individual expression. The fragmented constructions of 1980s academic postmodern graphic designers seemed to affirm Barthes’s assertion that all cultural products are simply a rehashing of already existing material and that a particular design is more a result of particular cultural conditions and systems of communication than individual creative inspiration. Yet ambiguity and contingency have been presented over and over by more recent designers as vehicles of the creative interpretation and expression Barthes proclaimed dead. As Rick Poynor has pointed out, it is in the last few decades that designers have received greater recognition as creative individuals rather than anonymous image-makers who simply give form to the ideas of others.2

THE NEW INDIVIDUALIZED VOICE

Innovative designers have recently tried to reestablish a sense of subjective creativity and interpretation through the formal devices and theoretical bases of postmodernism. In a way, they are returning to the creative, communicative role espoused by designers such as Lustig and Rand in the 1940s and 1950s, but without the more romantic notions of a universal creative language or the urgent sense of social responsibility. Contemporary book cover designers, especially those working within the realm of large corporate publishing, are afforded little opportunity to engage in deep sociopolitical commentary, and they must be clever and diplomatic if they want to pursue progressive graphic experimentation. The most innovative recent book cover designers manage to balance the often heavy-handed demands of commerce with richly evocative graphic communication. The eloquent body of work produced over the last decade represents a renaissance in evocative, conceptually driven book cover design. Some book designers have managed to use design as a force of active professional re-evaluation. Bruce Mau has found ways to integrate ideological rigor into his book designs, taking on projects where he can claim a role as a collaborator rather than just as a packager of others’ ideas who is “always singing someone else’s song and never saying what he thinks should be said.”3 Since 1985, Mau has worked consistently on Zone Books, a series of volumes of cutting-edge theoretical writings on visual culture. Taking a cue from Lustig’s New Directions series, Mau developed a visual system that creates an identifiable visual connection between the individual books yet also allows for experimentation. Mau’s Zone covers most often depend on subtle but inventive imagery, with type as a secondary, less conceptually dynamic feature.

137

BRUCE MAU

THE LIBERTINE READER

1997

Zone Books

138

CARIN GOLDBERG

JILTED

1993

Simon & Schuster

In the 1990s, technological advances made the integration of various forms of media envisioned by the previous decade’s designers more and more viable. This integration of text, image, sound, animation, and video was labeled “hypermedia” by critics and historians. It provided a richness in possibilities of interpretation because of the variety of user-controlled paths of navigation in an interactive environment. The notion of hypermedia most obviously applied to the World Wide Web and interactive digital environments, with their capacity for animated multilinear structures.4 But, at times, the fluidity of interpretation made possible with hypermedia, combined with the formal visual language of postmodernism, has inspired traditional print-based publishing. Designers found that the decentered, nonlinear, nonhierarchical narrative of interactive environments could be produced by layered images to produce “new associations out of contradictory elements.”5 Critic Max Bruinsma has observed that the “postmodern aesthetic favors much more open relationships between fragments of content” than the rigid hierarchies of modernism. “It favors, the ad hoc narrative that is the greatest asset of good storytellers, rearranging the basic elements of their tales each time they tell them.…The very principles of transparency in ordering information, which have ruled for so long, have been changed. More than ever, graphic design is now about subjective interpretation of signs.”6

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

139

CARIN GOLDBERG

THE HISTORY OF THE BLUES

1995

Hyperion Books

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

140

The work of Carin Golderg perhaps best exemplifies the transition of book cover design in the late 1980s and 1990s, a move away from historicist formalism into more evocative, fluid narratives. While in covers like ULYSSES [page 14] and THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS [page 132], she proved adept at incorporating historical styles with a sense of dispassionate bluntness, her work in the 1990s began to use postmodernism’s stylistic quotations and layered images to reveal an expressive depth and whimsical humor. Plays of type and image could be brash and disquieting as in JILTED and THE HISTORY OF THE BLUES or wistfully kinetic as in BONE . Like many of her contemporaries, she frequently incorporated photographs into her designs, creating complex relationships between fiction and truth, specific and general, real and imagined, as in her cover for SINATRA .7 While Goldberg stands out as one of the most versatile and inventive designers of the 1990s, she is one of the many recent designers who have found it increasingly difficult to do innovative freelance book cover design. In recent years, she has moved on from the relative isolation of independent book cover work to larger-scale, total-publishing projects and magazine consulting.8

CARIN GOLDBERG

BONE

1993

Hyperion Books

The trajectory of Goldberg’s career shows that while new technology, combined with new ways of fostering subjective interpretation, offered the book-cover designer of the 1990s the potential for innovative exploration, the designer in the realm of mainstream publishing needed a nurturing corporate environment. Trends in market-driven corporate publishing for the previous two decades had made that environment hard to find. Many book-cover designers who had made an impact in the 1980s became frustrated with commercial publishing and moved on. Paula Scher noted that in the 1980s, young, less-powerful art directors were forced to shuttle design ideas between the various divisions of large companies, and often a design that had already gone through five or six revisions would be rejected by a more powerful corporate authority. In the 1990s, she felt the situation was made worse because publishers could further micromanage the design process once computer-generated layouts made comps of every version of the design available for corporate scrutiny. At the same time, editors also sought marketing advice and feedback from major bookstores, bringing yet another large corporate voice into the design process.9 Similarly, designer Richard Eckersly related how the process of judging the 2001 American Institute of Graphic Arts 50 Books/50 Covers competition left many observers noting the “pernicious influence of commercial distributors and bookstore chains” in an atmosphere in which “market insecurity and a resultant conservatism has eroded the confidence and authority of the designer.”10

141

CARIN GOLDBERG

SINATRA

1995

Scribner

142

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

CAROL DEVINE CARSON

WOMEN OF SAND AND MYRRH

1992

Anchor Books

CAROL DEVINE CARSON

THE ASH GARDEN

2001

Alfred A. Knopf
DAMAGE

CAROL DEVINE CARSON

1991

Alfred A. Knopf

A BASTION OF INNOVATIVE DESIGN

Despite the often stultifying demands of corporate publishing, environments where innovative design can flourish have been established, most notably at Random House’s Knopf Group, which includes the imprints Knopf, Anchor, Everyman’s Library, Pantheon, Schocken, and Vintage. From its beginnings early in the twentieth century, the press’s founder Alfred A. Knopf expressed a steadfast dedication to the quality of its product. That quality came not only from the literary content of its books but also from the books’ designs and materials. At one point or another, Knopf employed most of the book cover designers who made a mark in American book cover design, from early serious practitioners like Dwiggins, Kauffer, and Salter, to groundbreaking modernists like Herbert Bayer, Lustig, and Rand.11 Yet Knopf’s biggest contribution to American book cover design may very well be its recent establishment of an in-house design group that is able to navigate the relentless demands of editors, marketers and authors while maintaining a relatively high level of creative autonomy.12
143

The strength of the current design group at Knopf is the fortunate coincidence of the arrivals, in 1987, of Sonny Mehta and Carol Devine Carson. Mehta was brought in as editor-in-chief of Knopf and proved to be a dedicated proponent of inventive, sophisticated, and consistent design as a valuable corporate endeavor. At the same time, Carol Divine Carson took over the art department. Mehta gave Carson the opportunity to build an in-house design department, and with shrewd diplomacy, she was able to hire a stable of talented, self-sufficient designers and provide them with a remarkably supportive workplace. The distinctiveness of Knopf’s team has earned the publisher and its designers a great deal of respect from the design field. The committee that awarded Alfred A. Knopf the 1999 Design Leadership Award proclaimed, “The most recent crop of book designers, who have so refreshingly redefined what a book can look like, are only the latest expressions of a corporate commitment to quality and innovation in publishing that goes back farther than most of us can remember.”13 And while she points out that in-house teams make freelance careers very difficult to pursue, Paula Scher observes that, “the book jackets currently produced by Knopf are consistently better than those of most publishing companies. Knopf’s corporate management has a history of valuing design and fosters a condition that has allowed talented people to produce their best work.”14

CAROL DEVINE CARSON & GABRIELE WILSON

IF NOT WINTER

2003

Vintage Books

144

In her work for Knopf, Carson has cultivated a style that melds image, type, and ornament, creating understated cover compositions that compliment the authors’ work. Given the opportunity, Carson enjoys designing the entire book, especially those by authors she particularly respects. The decorative type and ornament of many of Carson’s designs testify to her appreciation of designers like Dwiggins and Rudolf Ruzicka. Carson draws these elements from an archive of vintage specimens she has built by combing flea markets and antiquarian bookshops. In the cover of WOMEN OF SAND AND MYRRH , she uses bold North African patterns that seem to lock the type into place, and in THE ASH GARDEN she incorporates a purposefully pixilated line engraving with areas of type that look like the labels from an old archive. Carson’s designs can be austere and dramatic, as in DAMAGE , but more often, the sparseness of her work is remarkably subtle. Carson gives the viewer intriguing clues in her designs, inviting the close inspection of details in covers such as IF NOT WINTER: FRAGMENTS OF SAPPHO and EVER AFTER . Using typography as a subordinate accent, Carson is willing to let the image take center stage, whether it hovers in a field of white or dominates the cover, as in PHOENIX . Projects she has overseen, like the Everyman’s Library series (relaunched in 1991), attest to a love of books as delicate, precious objects. GARDEN POEMS incorporates an early nineteenth-century engraving and ornate decorative borders, creating a contrast between the richly layered composition and saturated color of the front and understated elegance of the back. The subtle type, gold-embossed front boards and lack of dust jackets employed in other books from the series pay homage to early modernists’ desire to design the book as an elegantly crafted whole.15

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

CAROL DEVINE CARSON

EVER AFTER

1992

Alfred A. Knopf
PHOENIX

CAROL DEVINE CARSON

2000

Alfred A. Knopf

145

CAROL DEVINE CARSON & BARBARA DE WILDE

GARDEN POEMS

c. 2000

Alfred A. Knopf

146

Carson has led a team of talented and influential designers, including Barbara de Wilde, Archie Ferguson, Susan Mitchell, John Gall, and Chip Kidd, and she has brought in a number of promising young designers, among them Gabriele Wilson and Abby Weintraub. In an environment that fosters experimentation with new and challenging graphic modes, the team has built upon earlier postmodern eclecticism and helped revitalize book cover design at the end of the twentieth century. Reaching far beyond the corporate blandness of the 1970s and impracticable early experiments in postmodernism, these designers, each in his or her own way, have worked with text and image to create meaningful cover compositions that create sophisticated dialogues with the content of the books. While much of the excitement in the field of design in the late 1980s and 1990s was spurred on by digital technology, Knopf’s design team did not start using computers until 1994. The depth of their designs reflects their hesitance to embrace technology blindly. Wary of the ease with which image and type could be manipulated by the computer, Knopf’s designers were dedicated to the conceptual rigor, interpretive plasticity, and physical quality of their covers. Many of the designers rejected the slick polish possible with the computer-generated design, preferring to create rawer images with scans of real objects and textures. Even as digital technology has come to dominate their design process, they have been able to maintain their fidelity to the book as a finely crafted object and the cover as a deeply communicative medium.

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

CHIP KIDD

THE BOOMER

2000

Alfred A. Knopf
REMOTE

CHIP KIDD

1996

Alfred A. Knopf

Knopf’s Chip Kidd, probably the highest-profile contemporary book cover designer, has pursued a range of sophisticated stylistic approaches, including his early partiality for subtle minimalist interplays of type, image, and fields of color. Kidd was hired at Knopf in the mid-1980s, just after he had graduated from design school. In over 1500 covers, as well as in his freelance covers for other major publishers, Kidd has helped define book cover design at the end of the twentieth century.16 Kidd earned his reputation combining a carefully honed sense of formal composition with a love of pop culture imagery, creating a uniquely witty and irreverent stylistic voice.17 Kidd’s best-known work, however, depends not only on subtle formal manipulation but also on an integration of vernacular visual language that owes something to such designers as Art Chantry and Tibor Kalman. The mid-century designers’ desire to distinguish high design from kitsch has been tempered in the last few decades by a willingness to accept and even embrace pop culture imagery. Kidd’s comic-book look, the busty vamp, and the feel of a supermarket window ad have become acceptable features of contemporary design. Not only is this acceptance the result of a general cultural taste for recycled nostalgic imagery in the 1980s and 1990s, but it is a factor of increased professional self-esteem. With a sense of their own history, recognition of innovative work, and generally broader definitions of art and art practice, designers like Kidd are free to admit that they are creating pop culture and thus that their work can be in dialogue with that culture. As Steven Heller has pointed out, the “pioneering few” waged and won the battle to distinguish thoughtful modern design. With professionally and critically legitimate ground to stand upon, subsequent designers have been able to refine and redefine the tools available to them.18

147

CHIP KIDD

WATCHING THE BODY BURN

1989

Alfred A. Knopf

148

Kidd delights in the incorporation of elements he adapted from realms beyond the traditional worlds of art and literature. A lifelong fan of comics, science fiction, and other facets of highly commercialized popular culture, Kidd draws upon the sensational visual and textual proclamations that have grown to be an inextricable part of American culture since the 1950s. Covers for BOOMER , WATCHING THE BODY BURN , and REMOTE reflect Kidd’s wholehearted embrace of the clichéd pop culture of comic books and television. Yet Kidd’s covers are not simplistic, superficial adaptations of nostalgic pop culture. As crass as his inspirations may sometimes be, Kidd’s designs are not easy: his covers lead his viewers through a process of perusing and decoding multi-leveled combinations of images and type.19 DARLING is a subtler embrace of middlebrow culture, in which the 1950s family portrait, cowhide, and childish scrawl create a strange interplay of textures and an unsettling rawness that is appropriate for a book about bestiality and fratricide. As an author himself, Kidd has had the luxury of designing his own book, THE CHEESE MONKEYS: A NOVEL IN TWO SEMESTERS . Even when the creative voice of author and designer become one, Kidd shows how calculated ambiguity, pastiches of objects, styles, and vernacular visual language make an impressive cover. Kidd incorporates a highly convincing photo of an unfinished comp with an unexplained rebus on the front board by illustrator Chris Ware, leaving his viewer to ponder possible meanings. He has clever messages printed on the sides of pages, encouraging the book to be handled and bent to reveal the messages while at the same time, recalling vernacular uses of the same device as advertisements printed on the sides of telephone books. At his best, Kidd manages to elicit some the best interpretive dialogues between cover and content in contemporary book cover design while at the same time allowing his viewer to delight in his endearingly sophomoric humor, so apparent in covers like SEXUAL SLANG .

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

CHIP KIDD

DARLING

1992

Alfred A. Knopf
THE CHEESE MONKEYS

CHIP KIDD

2001

Simon & Schuster

149

CHIP KIDD

SEXUAL SLANG

1995

HarperCollins

150

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

JOHN GALL

A NEW WORLD

2000
JOHN GALL
PRAGMATISM

Alfred A. Knopf

1997

Vintage Books

Among Knopf’s most versatile and sophisticated designers is John Gall, who designs and art directs covers for Vintage, Knopf’s trade paperback division. Gall, who had served as art director at Grove/Atlantic, greatly admired Roy Kuhlman’s work for Grove, and has expressed a reverence for the egalitarianism of the paperback that recalls his midcentury predecessors, saying the “real life of the book is in paperback, which is affordable to all.” Gall strives for a conceptual complexity as well, though he tempers it with a wry sense of humor. A cover truly works, he explains, when it “satisfies all the communication needs of the book: it conveys the subject matter in an interesting way, sets the tone of the text, and draws attention to itself while adding extra levels of meaning to the content.”20 Gall’s covers are emblematic of the conceptual rigor and stylistic variety at Knopf. In covers such as PRAGMATISM and A NEW WORLD , he uses highly detailed digital images of real objects to echo the threedimensionality of the book itself, while at the same time playing the images off the books’ content. Gall’s designs can be heavily layered with provocative images and carefully chosen combinations of typefaces or they can be whimsically simple as with his covers for THE VERIFICATIONIST , THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND , and THE ELEMENTARY PARTICLES . With consistently daring and arresting covers, Gall manages to maintain a restrained clarity that is apt to rivet the viewer with his conceptual rigor and dry humor.

151

JOHN GALL

VINTAGE AMIS

2004

Vintage Books

152

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

JOHN GALL

THE VERIFICATIONIST

2000

Vintage Books

153

JOHN GALL

THE ELEMENTARY PARTICLES

2001

Vintage Books

JOHN GALL

THE O. HENRY PRIZE STORIES

2002

Anchor Books
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

JOHN GALL

1998

Alfred A. Knopf

154

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

ARCHIE FERGUSON

THE CINNAMON PEELER

1991

Alfred A. Knopf

Knopf’s Archie Ferguson and Barbara de Wilde are each remarkable manipulators of layered type and image. They are as comfortable building an image with photographs as they are creating purely type-driven compositions. In his cover for THE CINNAMON PEELER , Ferguson creates a subtle interplay of fields of type and overlaid architectural motifs. For Jon Stewart’s NAKED PICTURES OF FAMOUS PEOPLE , he builds an irreverent image that echoes the humor of the author. Through a reversal of tones and type arranged in an “x” in the cover for THE REVOLUTION OF LITTLE GIRLS , de Wilde transforms a cute vintage photo into a strikingly disquieting image. In their designs for PUSH and WHERE THE ROAD BOTTOMS OUT , Ferguson and de Wilde each rely on type and its interplay with a background field to compose covers with as intense an impact as their photo-based designs.

155

ARCHIE FERGUSON

NAKED PICTURES OF FAMOUS PEOPLE

1999

Rob Weisbach Books/William Morrow
PUSH

ARCHIE FERGUSON

1996

Alfred A. Knopf

156

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

BARBARA DE WILDE BARBARA DE WILDE
THE LAST THING HE WANTED

WHERE THE ROAD BOTTOMS OUT

1996

Alfred A. Knopf

1995

Alfred A. Knopf

157

BARBARA DE WILDE

THE REVOLUTION OF LITTLE GIRLS

1991

Alfred A. Knopf
THE OLD MODERNS

BARBARA DE WILDE & CHIP KIDD

1994

Alfred A. Knopf

158

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

ROBERTO DE VICQ DE CUMPTICH

EAT ME

1997

Broadway Books
GUERNICA AND OTHER PLAYS

JAMES VICTORE

1995

Grove Press

A SPECTRUM OF TALENT

As dominant as the Knopf designers have been under the company’s accommodating patronage, they do not have a monopoly on recent innovative book cover design. Despite the intense competition for market share, a number of mainstream presses have encouraged both in-house and freelance designers to produce remarkable covers. Even in a corporate environment where marketing analysts, editorial boards, and authors insist on significant participation in the design process, designers such as Michael Ian Kaye, Rodrigo Corral, and Paul Sahre have distinguished themselves in the design of book covers, and remarkable covers have been produced by dozens of contemporary designers, among them, Evan Gaffney, James Victore, Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich, David High, Paul Buckley, Steven Brower, Angela Skouras, Ori Kometani, Christine Kettner, and Elizabeth Kairys, Krystyna Skalski, and John Fulbrook III.

159

DAVID HIGH

DID MONKEYS INVENT THE MONKEY WRENCH?

1995

Simon & Schuster

160

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

SUSAN MITCHELL

JUST AS I THOUGHT

1998

Farrar Straus & Giroux

GABRIELE WILSON

THE BIOGRAPHER’S TALE

2001

Alfred A. Knopf
THE YOKOTA OFFICERS CLUB

GABRIELE WILSON

2001

Alfred A. Knopf

161

EVAN GAFFNEY

PAIN MANAGEMENT

EVAN GAFFNEY

THE IBIS TAPESTRY

2001

Alfred A. Knopf

1998

Alfred A. Knopf

162

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

STEVEN BROWER

SYLVIA

PAUL BUCKLEY

GIOVANNI’S GIFT

1992

Carol Publishing Group

1997

Viking Press

163

CHRISTINE KETTNER

DIVE

1999

Hyperion Books

ORI KOMETANI

THE SIMPLE SCIENCE OF FLIGHT

1998

MIT Press
ANNIE LENNOX

ANGELA SKOURAS

1993

St. Martin's Press

164

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

ELIZABETH KAIRYS

MCSWEENEY’S 8

2002

McSweeney’s Quarterly

KRYSTYNA SKALSKI

ON CLOWNS

1992

Grove/Atlantic

Michael Ian Kaye became art director at Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the early 1990s and took on much of the cover design responsibility himself, quickly transforming the look of the press. In 1996, he was hired away to be creative director at Little, Brown and Company. For his cover for LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD , a novel that revolves around a rare first edition of Jack London’s Cruise of the Snark, Kaye created a replica of the vintage book’s cover and overlaid it with dayglow fields containing the title and author information, punctuated by an illusionistic bullet hole. For ELIZABETH , Kaye deftly incorporated understated, and quite elegant, fragments of photographs and type, creating a design that is not only visually striking, but also constructs a subtle visual dialogues with the content of the book. With a background as a conceptual painter and installation artist, Kaye finds ways to use the juxtaposition of vague images and objects to transform the mundane into the profound. Keenly aware of artists who, in Kaye’s own words, “made you see things differently,” he has built upon the lessons of artists, including James Turell and Jenny Holtzer, who transform space into expressive and communicative environments, as well as photographers such as Joel-Peter Witken and Gary Winogrand, who transform the real world into a seductive vision of horror or humor.21

165

MICHAEL IAN KAYE

LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD

1998

Little, Brown & Company
SLOW LEARNER

MICHAEL IAN KAYE

1998

Little, Brown & Company

166

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

MICHAEL IAN KAYE

ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY

MICHAEL IAN KAYE

ELIZABETH

2000

Little, Brown & Company

1996

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

The book cover design work of Rodrigo Corral and Paul Sahre begins to shed light on future possibilities for book cover design and testifies to the creative flexibility some designers manage to assert even within the realm of corporate publishing. Building on the appreciation they share with colleagues like Carson for the book as an evocative object, Corral and Sahre have produced remarkable conceptual covers that minimize and eliminate the use of type. While limited edition and specialty books like the catalogue for MoMA’s MUTANT MATERIALS IN CONTEMPORARY DESIGN and Stefan Sagmeister’s MADE YOU LOOK have incorporated unusual materials and text-free covers, Corral and Sahre have managed to introduce such devices into the less adventuresome realm of commercial publishing. Covers like Corral’s LULLABY and Sahre’s KILLING THE BUDDHA allow suggestive images alone to shape the viewer’s interpretation of the cover. The exile of type from the cover also underscores the spine as an integral element in the book’s design and has given recent designers another field on which to explore the communicative possibilities of cover design, sometimes with striking results. The bookshelf browsers who encounter the spine of John Gall’s MELANCHOLY OF ANATOMY [page 6], for example, are confronted with an image of an eyeball staring back at them.

167

RODRIGO CORRAL

THE LIFE OF INSECTS

1998

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

168

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

RODRIGO CORRAL

A NEUTRAL CORNER

1997

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

PAUL SAHRE

HELLO WORLD: A LIFE IN HAM RADIO

2003

Princeton Architectural Press

169

ERIC BAKER WITH GAETANO PESCE & PESCE, LTD

MUTANT MATERIALS IN CONTEMPORARY DESIGN

1995

Museum of Modern Art

170

REDEFINE AND REDESIGN

STEFAN SAGMEISTER

MADE YOU LOOK

2001

Booth Clibborn Editions

WHAT NOW?

Writing at the end of the 1980s, historian Maud Lavin saw few places in the corporate world where a designer could challenge “the profession as a whole to redefine the societal role of the designer in a way that more broadly engages the mass-communicative powers of graphic design.”22 Personal expression has been reintroduced even into the corporate world, but what about the social engagement that was so central to modernists like Lustig? What does this challenge mean for the book cover designer who must survive in a world where publishing is an increasingly corporate realm in which business drives the availability of literature? In her recent considerations of the role of digital technology as a design tool, critic Ellen Lupton looks back to the modernist conception of the artist as producer where “artists and designers treated techniques of manufacture not as neutral, transparent means to an end, but as devices equipped with cultural meaning and aesthetic character.”23 She revives a call for the consideration of work, not as an isolated creative act, but as an activity of integrating object, means of reproduction, and audience. The best contemporary book cover design reflects this sort of broader engagement in which the designers consider their viewers to be participants in the construction of meaning. With this sort of conceptualized practice, contemporary designers can aspire to much the same goals as early modernists like Lustig; helping the publisher sell its product while at the same time expressing an individualized creative voice, engaging to the viewer in an active interpretive exchange, and maybe even encouraging someone to read a book.

171

RODRIGO CORRAL

LULLABY

2002

Anchor Books
KILLING THE BUDDHA

PAUL SAHRE

2003

Free Press

NOTES

INTRODUCTION - JUDGING THE BOOK
1

Tracy Mayor, “Book Industry Adapts to Digital Revolution,” CNN.com, 20 September, 2000, http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/09/20/ electrifying.book.industry.idg/index.html.

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Marshall Lee, “What Is Modern Book Design,” Books for Our Time (New York, Oxford University Press, 1951), 14. Wild, “Europeans in America,” 154. “Ernst Reichl Offers Revealing Pointers on ‘The Look of the Book,’” Printing News, 26 October, 1968, 18. Quoted in “Ernst Reichl,” Contemporary Books, February/March, 1936, n.p. Steven Heller, “The Essential Modernist,” Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts 13 (1992) 26–36; Keith Murgatroyd, “E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in the World of Commerce,” Print, January/February 1969, 30–34. Heller, “The Essential Modernist,” 30. George Salter, “Book Jacket Designs: 1940–1947,” Print VI, 1 (1948): 13–4. Salter, “The Book Jacket,” n.p. Lee, “What Is Modern Book Design,” 20–1. Desmond Flower, The Paper-Back: Its Past, Present and Future (London: Arborfield, 1959), 10. A popular alternative to public libraries, commercial lending libraries were often run out of retail establishments and required readers to pay membership and rental fees. Richard A. Lupoff, The Great American Paperback (Portland, Oregon: The Collectors Press, 2001), 21–3. Flower, The Paper-Back: Its Past, Present and Future, 21; 28. Paperbacks: USA An Exhibition of Covers (New York: American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1959), n.p. He used Roy Kuhlman’s arrangements of lettering, type, and color as his first example of notable paperback design. Ray Nash, “For the Graphic Artist Challenge and Expanding Opportunity,” New York Times, 17 January, 1960. Flower, The Paper-Back: Its Past, Present and Future, 34. Lorraine Wild sees the difference between European and American modernist design as one of “ideological framework” versus “visual aesthetic.” Wild, “Europeans in America,” 154.

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CHAPTER 1 - A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM: THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOOK JACKET IN AMERICA
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See Peter Curl, Designing a Book Jacket (London and New York: Studio Publications, 1956); James A. Findlay, “Brief History of the Book Jacket,” Pictorial Covers: An Exhibition of American Book Jackets: 1920–1950 (Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Bienes Center for the Arts, 1997); Alan Powers, Front Covers: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design (London: Octopus Publishing Group, Ltd, 2001), 6–11; George Salter, “The Book Jacket,” Third Annual Exhibition: Book Jacket Designers Guild (New York: The Book Jacket Designers Guild, Inc., 1950), n.p. Herbert Read, “A Choice of Extremes,” Penrose Annual, 1937, 22. See also Herbert Read, Art and Industry (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1935). Sutnar emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1939 under the sponsorship of Ernst Reichl. Describing Herbert Bayer’s treatise on design, published in the trade journal PM, design historian Lorraine Wild described one of the basic tenets of Bauhaus philosophy, “he conflated art and design, presenting irresistible arguments for the devising of beautiful new forms as the only rational response to modern conditions.” Wild presents an excellent overview of the various manifestations of European modernism that would be adopted and adapted by American designers. Lorraine Wild, “Europeans in America,” in Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, ed. Mildred Friedman (New York: Harry Abrams, 1989), 153–69.

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CHAPTER 2 - AMERICANIZING UTOPIA: PROGRESSIVE DESIGN IN AMERICAN HANDS
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Alvin Lustig, “Notes for PW on Jackets,” undated manuscript, Archives of American Art, n.p. James Laughlin, “The Designs of Alvin Lustig,” Publishers Weekly, November 5, 1949, 2005–6. Bookjackets by Alvin Lustig for New Directions Books with Statements by James Laughlin and Alvin Lustig (New York: Gotham Book Mart Press, 1947), n.p. The emphasis on individual creative expression in the work of several of the first and second generation American modernist designers, Lustig among them, may reflect the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism. By mid century, Abstract Expressionism was receiving international recognition as a groundbreaking product of post-war America. Its rhetoric of individualized, spontaneous expression aimed at universal themes seemed to have captured the attention of designers like Lustig and Rand, who were key members of the first generation of American designers to make book cover design a forum in which they could create a natural amalgam of modernist formal austerity and expressive individuality. Alvin Lustig, untitled draft of a grant application in the Archives of American Art, c. 1950, 1. Among the many projects that reached beyond the realm of commercial design and traditional academics, Lustig proposed workshops coordinated between Yale University and the Museum of Modern Art as well as a book on his design and design philosophy. James Laughlin, “The Book Jackets of Alvin Lustig,” Print, October/November, 1956, 54. See Alvin Lustig, “Contemporary Book Design: 1” Design Quarterly 31 (1954): 2. Quoted in “Alvin Lustig, A Young Man of the West,” undated manuscript in the Archives of American Art, 5. “Alvin Lustig: Biographical Notes,” manuscript in the Archives of American Art dated 1939–40, 4. For a benchmark study of Rand that includes detailed biographical information see Steven Heller, Paul Rand (New York: Phaidon, 1999). Paul Rand, “Modern Typography in the Modern World,” Print, January/February 1964, 14. (Essay originally published in Typographica in 1952). Rand also designed the bindings of The Tables of the Law and Leave Cancelled. The first featured a loose configuration of embossed gold glyphs on a green background and the second a series of embossed lines and images of the broken hands of a clock. Will Ransom, “Problems in Book Design: No. 99,” Book Binding and Book Production, October 1945, n.p. Quoted in Steven Heller, “Paul Rand’s Laboratory: The Art of Book Jackets and Covers,” Baseline, 27, 1999, 22. See Jessica Hefland, “Paul Rand: The Modern Designer,” and “Paul Rand: The Modern Professor,” Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), 136–49; 150–63. Allen Hurlburt, “Paul Rand,” Communication Arts, March/April 1999, 119–35. Yale was a hot bed of advancement in the theory, practice, and teaching of design, as well as, the first American university to establish a degree in graphic design. The department was founded in 1950, and headed by Joseph Albers. It attracted prestigious lecturers including Herbert Matter, Walker Evans, Leo Lionni, Lester Beall, Bradbury Thompson, Alvin Eisenman, and Alvin Lustig. See Rob Roy Kelly, “The Early Years of Graphic Design at Yale University,” Design Issues, Summer 2001, 3–14.

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Paul Rand, Thoughts on Design, (New York: Wittenborn Schultz, 1946), 113. Quoted in Hefland, “Paul Rand: The Modern Professor,” 158. By the late 1960s, Rand was pursuing a more typically rigid style in his book covers reflecting both his quest for formal rigor and his skill at crafting slick corporate identities. Innovative uses of improvised and hand-rendered shapes and lettering were necessary for many designers working with tight deadlines and meager budgets. At times, Rand and Ben Shahn used hand-rendered lettering because budgets lacked funds for type and typesetting. For Rand, the hand-rendered lettering reflects his earlier work at Direction, which may have paid him little and provided him few resources, but also allowed him great freedom to experiment with collaged forms and informal script. Steven Heller, “Cheapskates in History,” Critique, Winter 2000, 26; 28. See Paul Rand, “Design and the Play Instinct” in Education of Vision, ed. Gyorgy Kepes (George Braziller, 1965). Rand, Paul. Design, Form, and Chaos (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1993), 3. Herbert Read, “A Choice of Extremes,” Penrose Annual, 1937: 23–4. Marshall Lee, “What Is Modern Book Design,” Books for Our Time (New York, Oxford University Press, 1951), 15. Steven Heller, “The Anonymous Profession,” in Lift and Separate: Graphic Design and the “Vernacular,” ed. Barbara Glauber (New York: Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, Cooper Union, 1993), 15. Steven Brower and John Gall, “Grove Press at the Vanguard,” Print, March/April 1994, 60–7. “Basic Design for Paperback Series,” Book Production, August 1957, 53. See Carol Stevens, “Bursting through Boundaries: Leo Lionni’s Life with Design,” Print, May/June 1980, 35–40; 93; Steven Heller, “Deeper Meanings,” Critique, Spring 1999, 35–41. Lionni was not the only major designer to explore the creative sphere of children’s books: Rand found them to be an intriguing creative outlet; Milton Glaser collaborated on several and a number of European artists like George Grosz, El Lissitzky and Kurt Schwitters had made books for children.

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CHAPTER 3 - MODERNISM AND BEYOND: HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTING THE FUTURE
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R. Roger Remington, “Remembering George Giusti,” Graphis, May/June 1993, 96–101. Giusti was quite respected for his posters–in 1950 he was identified by Charles Coiner, art director at N. W. Ayer and Sons, NY as one of fifteen designers pushing the limits of the medium of poster design. Charles T. Coiner, “Pictures for Sales,” Fortune, August 1950, 90. See “Principles of Experimental Design,” Famous Artists Course In Commercial Art, Illustration and Design (Westport, Conn.: Famous Artists Schools, 1967), Sect. 18, 16–8. By the 1970s, however, Giusti had further sanitized his style, incorporating fewer forms that seemed hand-rendered and instead relying on bloated pop-art-inspired shapes, type, and colors that were typical of less-inspired 1970s design. Quoted in Steven Heller, “Rudolph de Harak: A Humanist’s Modernist,” Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts 14 (1993): 14; 15. Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff, and Rudolph de Harak. “Some Thoughts on Modernism: Past Present and Future,” in Design Culture: An Anthology of Writing from AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, ed. Steven Heller and Marie Finamore (New York: Allworth Press, 1997), 137. De Harak was probably as comfortable using either photographs or purely graphic forms–he had worked as a professional photographer to make ends meet and he clearly knew how to extract the essential from photographic specificity. Their austerity could inspire design historian Steven Heller to call them “paradigms of purist visual communication,” yet they could also earn the designer the label of “humanist.” Heller, “Rudolph de Harak: A Humanist’s Modernist,” 20. Steven Heller and Karen Pomeroy, “McGraw-Hill Paperback Covers: Rudolph de Harak,” Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design (New York: Allworth Press, 1997), 167–9. For descriptions of other de Harak environmental projects see Joel C. Cahn, “The Graphic Designer as Architect, as Landscape Architect, as Interior Designer,” Print, November/December 1970, 52–5. Mark Owens, “Soft Modernist: Discovering the Book Jackets of Fred Troller,” Dot Dot Dot 6 (2002): 70–8; Steven Heller, “Fred Troller, 71, Champion of Bold Graphic Style,” New York Times, 24 October 2002, B8. Jessica Hefland, “Paul Rand: The Modern Designer,” Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), 145. Chermayeff worked for Lustig in New York in the summer of 1954 and his father, Serge, was president of the New Bauhaus in Chicago and taught architecture at Harvard and Yale. See Lustig correspondence May 1954, Archives of American Art. Glaser, Chermayeff, and de Harak. “Some Thoughts on Modernism: Past Present and Future,” 134–5. The most famous manifestation of these experiments is Brownjohn, Chermayeff, and Geismar’s 1959 pamphlet Watching Words Move.

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Quoted by de Harak in his presentation of the 1979 AIGA medal to Chermayeff and Geismar. “AIGA Medallists, 1979: Ivan Chermayeff and Thomas Geismar,” Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts 1 (1980) 15. “AIGA Medallists, 1979: Ivan Chermayeff and Thomas Geismar,” 16. Quoted in “Overview of Modern Book Design Given by Reichl in Heritage Talk,” Printing News, 14 February 1970, 12. Interview with Steven Heller, “Milton Glaser,” Eye, Summer 1997, 12. Glaser, Chermayeff, and de Harak. “Some Thoughts on Modernism: Past Present and Future,” 132. Steven Heller, “Cheapskates in History,” Critique, Winter 2000, 26; 29. William Golden at CBS recognized the marriage of “humanistic” and graphic impact in Shahn’s style, using his drawings in advertisements for late 1950s documentaries about social issues. Maud Lavin, “Design in the Service of Commerce,” in Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, ed. Mildred Friedman (New York: Harry Abrams, 1989), 137–8. Steven Heller, “The AIGA Medallist 1985: Seymour Chwast,” Graphic Design USA 7 (1986): 14. Marshall Arisman, “Toward a Holistic Profession: An Interview with Milton Glaser,” AIGA Journal of Graphic Design 18, 1 (2000): 16. Jerome Snyder, “Milton Glaser: The New Imagery,” Print, January/February 1969, 97. See for instance Eugene M. Ettenberg, “Bradbury Thompson, Designer in the American Tradition,” American Artist, April 1955, 52–7. Quoted in Jean Progner, “Art Deco: Anatomy of a Revival,” Print, January/February, 1971, 32. Interestingly, Ernst Reichl designed the interior of the book. Jerome Snyder in The Push Pin Style (Palo Alto: Communication Arts Magazine, 1970), n.p. Glaser left Push Pin in 1974, starting his own studio which did both graphic and interior design. Heller, “Milton Glaser,” 12. Snyder, “Milton Glaser: The New Imagery,” 97.

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4 NOTES

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CHAPTER 4 - THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND: AMERICAN BOOK COVER DESIGN DISORIENTED
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CHAPTER 5 - THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND: POSTMODERNISM AND THE BOOK COVER
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These changes were not necessarily a dumbing-down of publishing. While the mass marketing of best sellers was indeed a focus, big presses also published erudite social theory, philosophy, and literature in inexpensive paperback editions. Philip B. Meggs, A History of Graphic Design, Third Edition (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1998), 355–61. Valerie Brooks, “New York Books,” Print, November/December 1982, 50–1. See Steven Heller, “[Sutnar],” Eye, Summer 1994, 44–56; Allon T. Schoener, “Sutnar in Retrospect,” Industrial Design, June 1961, 732–7. In her analysis of the corporate and design realms, historian Maud Lavin makes several astute observations about the interrelationships of design and corporate identity. Drawing on cultural critics like Stuart Ewen and a bit of Lacanian psychoanalysis, she notes that design increasingly served to promote corporations as sanctified individuals with a sort of paternalistic authority. Maud Lavin, “Design in the Service of Commerce,” in Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, ed. Mildred Friedman (New York: Harry Abrams, 1989), 127–43. Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff, and Rudolph de Harak. “Some Thoughts on Modernism: Past Present and Future,” in Design Culture: An Anthology of Writing from AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, ed. Steven Heller and Marie Finamore (New York: Allworth Press, 1997), 133. Hank O’Neal, “This is Not a Comb,” The Graphic Art of Paul Bacon (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, 1999), 11. Authors’ interview with Bacon, 28 March, 2003. Hank O’Neal, “This is Not a Comb,” 11–2. It comes as no surprise that Chermayeff and Geismar received the AIGA medal in 1979, at the end of a decade in which the sacrifice of individualized graphic style in service of corporate authority became increasingly admired. Stanley I. Grand, “Jacket Design by Paul Bacon,” The Graphic Art of Paul Bacon (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, 1999), 16. Quoted in Steven Heller, “The Man with the Big Book Look,” Print 56, 1 (2002): 49. Heller, “The Man with the Big Book Look,” 48–57.

See Rick Poynor, No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003). Poynor’s book is by far the best source for an analysis of postmodernism and graphic design. Sharyn O’Mara, “April Greiman: You Can’t Fake the Cha-Cha,” Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts 20 (1999): 23–35. Susan Braybrooke, “Cranbrook at Sixty,” Print, November/December 1985, 77–89; 124–6; Rick Poynor, “Katherine McCoy,” Eye, Spring 1995, 10–6. Michael Dooley, “Critical Conditions: Zuzana Licko, Rudy VanderLans, and the Emigre Spirit,” Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts 19 (1998): 40–9. Designers like David Carson, art director of the magazine Ray Gun, managed to bring the look if not the theory of postmodernism to the mainstream. Carson introduced some of the visual tropes of theoretical postmodernism to a broader audience, incorporating the intuitive, anti-hierarchical mélange to advertising. These stylistic characteristics began to be graphic markers of corporations catering to an audience eager to be affirmed as a hip, stylish “Generation X.” Poynor, No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism, 61–3. Bruce Wright, “The McCoy Generation,” Print, November/December 1996, 30. One of the few postmodern designs Treib really seemed to admire was Greiman’s now famous California Institute of Arts Bulletin. He seemed to find it acceptable because, “as a publication for an art school, it establishes its own validity.” Marc Treib, “Blips, Slits, Zits and Dots: Some (Sour) Notes on Recent Trends in Graphic Design,” Print, January/February 1981, 30; 33–6; 90. Jessica Hefland, “Paul Rand: The Modern Designer,” Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), 141. Steven Heller, “Cult of the Ugly,” Eye 3, 9, 1993, 52–9. Steven Heller, “Fred Marcellino, 61, Designer of Elegant Best-Seller Covers,” New York Times, 15 July 2001. Carol Stevens, “Special Interests,” Print, January/February 1979, 58; 62; 64. Steven Heller, “Passionate Collagists,” Print, September/October 1983, 47–67. Milton Glaser, “The War is Over (Part Two: Illustration),” AIGA Journal of Graphic Design 14, 3 (1996): 46. Philip Meggs, “The Women Who Saved New York!,” Print, January/February 1989, 61–71; 163–4. Illustrator R. O. Blechman quoted in Tracie Rozhon, “Louise Fili: Design Archaeologist,” Graphis, September/October 1999, 36–51; 116–8; 132–5. Ellen Lupton, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), 117–9; Ronald Labuz, Contemporary Graphic Design (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991), 107–8; Meggs, “The Women Who Saved New York!,” 71. While she never worked for Push Pin, Scher had more than a casual inclination toward that firm’s idiosyncratic historical quotation– she not only wrote for its humor magazine, but twice married Seymour Chwast. Melissa Milgrom, “Visual Environmentalist: Paula Scher,” 365: AIGA Year in Design, 2001: 33–47. Meggs, “The Women Who Saved New York!,” 70.

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CHAPTER 6 - REDEFINE AND REDESIGN: MAKING POSTMODERNISM WORK
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Labuz, Contemporary Graphic Design, 102–6; Meggs, “The Women Who Saved New York!,” 61; 70. As Frederick Jameson has pointed out, a parody, which can pay tribute as well as mock, is more self-conscious than a simple stylistic pastiche and reflects a more critical engagement with the past. This critical self-awareness helps distinguish Push-Pin-inspired eclecticism from a postmodern sensibility. Paula Scher, Make It Bigger (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), 77. Meggs, “The Women Who Saved New York!,” 71; 163. Lupton, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture, 119; Meggs, “The Women Who Saved New York!,” 71. Labuz, Contemporary Graphic Design, 111. Ellen Lupton, “Carin Goldberg’s Variations on Book Cover Design,” Graphis, November/December 2001, 76. Kalman quoted in Lupton, “Carin Goldberg’s Variations on Book Cover Design,” 76. Still, Kalman was willing to appropriate the somewhat clumsy language of vernacular advertising into the realm of serious design. Labuz, Contemporary Graphic Design, 101–3. See for instance, Andrew Blauvelt, ed., New Perspectives: Critical Histories of Graphic Design in Visible Language 28; 29, 3–4; 1 (Spring 1994; Fall 1994, Winter 1995). Blauvelt’s dedication to attempt to bring theoretical rigor to design history is testimony to his Cranbrook education. For an insightful evaluation of this series, see Rick Poynor, “Book Monitor,” AIGA Journal of Graphic Design 13, 1 (1995): 44–5. Randall Rothenberg, “A Love Child in Hell: Book Design at the Millennium,” Speaking Volumes 3 (New York: American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1995), 10–6. Quoted in Steven Heller, “Milton Glaser,” Eye, Summer 1997, 10. See Paul Rand, “From Cassandra to Chaos,” Design, Form, and Chaos (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993). Paul Rand, Thoughts on Design (New York: Wittenborn Schultz, 1946). 136. Rick Poynor, “You Can Judge a Cover by Its Book,” Eye, Spring 2001, 10. Max Bruinsma, “Sampling the Modern Inheritance,” Eye, Spring 1999, 3.

1

Natalia Ilyin, “Warm, Fuzzy Modernism,” AIGA Journal of Graphic Design 16, 2 (1998): 4–5. Ilyin sees a revival of the clarity of modernism as a nostalgic embrace of the familiar. Rick Poynor, No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 120. For the book S,M,L,XL Mau worked with the subject of the massive volume, Rem Koolhaas, helping to shape the nature as well as the presentation of the book’s content. Will Novosedlik, “The Producer as Author,” Eye, Winter 1994, 44–53. Donald Albrecht, Ellen Lupton and Steven Skov Holt. Design Culture Now: National Design Triennia (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000), 166–7. Dan Friedman found the world of commercial design, even at a progressive firm like Pentagram, too stifling, too strongly dictated by corporate demands. In order to pursue the design’s subjective possibilities and social responsibilities, Friedman forged his own career in which he could practice graphic design as a facet of a larger creative endeavor that existed within the world of fine art as much as that of graphic design. Peter Rea, “Born in Ohio: Dan Friedman,” Eye, Autumn 1994, 10–6. See Bob Cotton and Richard Oliver, Understanding Hypermedia: From Multimedia to Virtual Reality (London: Phaidon Press, 1993). William Owen, “Design in the Age of Digital Production,” Eye, Autumn 1994, 35. Max Bruinsma, “The Aesthetics of Transience,” Eye, Summer 1997, 43. Recent critics have pointed out that the use of conceptual photography has become a marker of cutting-edge literature and that illustration seems a bit passé. Véronique Vienne, Chip Kidd (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 7; 13; 15. Ellen Lupton, “Carin Goldberg’s Variations on Book Cover Design,” Graphis, November/December 2001, 79. Paula Scher, Make It Bigger (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), 78–82. Richard Eckersly, “Book Design: 50 Books/50 Covers,” 365: AIGA Year in Design 23 (2002): 345. Véronique Vienne, “The Company It Keeps,” Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts 21 (2000): 42–53. Still, even the designers at Knopf have claimed to be stifled by a corporate marketing sensibility. Chip Kidd: “We really don’t get a say in this”; Archie Ferguson: “They’re trying to cloak everything in something they’ve done already”; Carol Carson: “they only want to see what they’ve seen before.” Randall Rothenberg, “A Love Child in Hell: Book Design at the Millennium,” Speaking Volumes 3 (New York: American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1995), 10; Authors’ interview with Carol Devine Carson, 13 January, 2004. Vienne, “The Company It Keeps,” 42–53. Paula Scher, Make It Bigger, 78–82.

2

3

20

21 22 NOTES

23 24

25

4

26 27

5

6

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7

28

8

29 30

9

10

31

11

32

12

33

13 14

15

Authors’ interview with Carol Devine Carson, 13 January, 2004. Many of Knopf’s designers aim to acknowledge and even amplify the viewers’ understanding of the book as an object, as Ellen Lupton put it, “a concrete, physical artifact, not simply as a neutral solid to be cheerfully concealed by a paper wrapper.” Ellen Lupton, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), 119. Vienne, Chip Kidd, 9–10; Ken Coupland, “Chip Kidd,” Graphis, March/April 2002, 62–75. In his cover for the paperback version of Sexual Slang, Kidd overlaid parts of images of nude figures with their slang labels, replacing words with pictorial icons. He managed to convince the publishers to have male and female versions of the cover, but ran into trouble when major book chains bristled at the female version of the cover. Chip Kidd, “Run with the Dwarves and Win: Adventures in the Book Trade,” Print, May/June 1995, 21–3. Steven Heller, “Culture Wars,” AIGA Journal of Graphic Design 17, 2 (1999): 5. Kidd’s covers with their evocative, multifaceted combinations of photographs and text have been compared to those of Alvin Lustig. Vienne, Chip Kidd, 16. Gall rates Lustig’s cover for Lorca’s Three Tragedies as an example of a design that satisfies these needs and at the same time “pushes the design envelope.” John Gall, In the Hat’s Designer, John Gall,” Critique, Winter 1998, 64. Steven Heller, “Complex Understatement,” Print, July/August 1996, 44–9. She points to Barbara Kruger as an example of a designer who has stepped beyond the design world into a socially active role as a fine artist. Kruger worked at Mademoiselle from 1967–78 as a designer and picture editor. Maud Lavin, “Design in the Service of Commerce,” in Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, ed. Mildred Friedman (New York: Harry Abrams, 1989), 139–43. Rick Poynor, contemplating the early 1960s manifesto by Ken Garland, recently restated the need for the designers to be aware of how their practice shapes society, echoing observers like Katherine McCoy and Johanna Drucker who point out that design is neither passive nor neutral, but is a tremendously active medium that reflects the agendas of its clients. Rick Poynor, “First Things First,” AIGA Journal of Graphic Design 17, 2 (1999): 6–7. Ellen Lupton, “The Designer as Producer,” AIGA Journal of Graphic Design 15 (1997): 6.

16

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18

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INDEX

INDEX

A
“A” 112, 113 ABC OF READING 50, 51 82

B
BACKYARD POULTRY RAISING 95, 95 Bacon, Paul 7, 98, 107, 107, 108, 109, 109, 110, 111, 111, 112, 120 Baker, Eric 169 Banbury, Jen 165 BANKERS AND CATTLEMEN 102, 103 Barnes, Djuna 46, 47 Barthelme, Frederick 126 Barthes, Roland 116, 136 Bascove 120, 122 Basel School of Design 117 BASES OVERSEAS 32, 33 Bass, Saul 79 Battan, Louis J. 76 Bauhaus 22, 54, 95 Bayer, Herbert 22, 64, 143 Beckett, Samuel 68 BEARDS 102, 104 Beebe, Lucius 60, 60 Beerbohm, Max 92 Begbie, G. Hugh 83 BIG BOB 120 BIOGRAPHER’S TALE, THE 160 Bird, Sarah 160 BIRTH OF A NEW PHYSICS, THE 75, 76 Black Mountain College 22 Bloch, Robert 28 Blue Note 107 Bock, Dennis 142 BODY, THE 119, 119 Bollingen Series 61 BONE 140, 140 Boni, Charles 38, 38, 39 Book Jacket Designers Guild 44 BOOMER, THE 146, 148 Booth Clibborn Editions 170 Boyd, Blanche McCrary 157 Bradford, Sarah H. 166 Brass, Dick 8 BREAD AND CIRCUSES 28, 29 BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS 102, 103 BRIEFING FOR A DESCENT INTO HELL 100, 100 BRITAIN AT WAR 36, 37 Broadway Books 61 Broch, Hermann 34 Brodkey, Harold 123 Brodovitch, Alexey 22 Brogan, D. W. 70 Broun, Hob 124 Brower, Steven 159, 162 Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar 84, 84 Brownjohn, Robert 84, 84 Bruinsma, Max 138 Buckley, Paul 159, 162 BUILDING IN LOS ANGELES 117, 117 Burroughs, William H. 65 Burtin, Will 22, 79 Byatt, A. S. 160

C Camus, Albert 92, 93 Canetti, Elias 28 Cape, Jonathan & Harrison Smith 31 Capra, Fritjof 127 Carnase, Tom 102, 104 Carol Publishing Group 162 Carr, E. H. 71 Carson, Anne 143 Carson, Carol Devine 7, 142, 143, 143,
144, 144, 145, 146, 167 131 CATCH-22 16, 107, 109 Cather, Willa 26 CBS Records 129 Ceci, Vincent 74, 91, 91, 93, 94 Cesareo, Jack 58, 58 Chantry, Art 147 Chaudhuri, Amit 150 CHEESE MONKEYS, THE 148, 148 CHEKOV 65 Chermayeff and Geismar 74, 84, 85, 85, 86, 87, 111 Chermayeff, Ivan 74, 84, 84, 85, 85, 87, 111 CHROMA 126, 127 Chronicle Books 119 Chwast, Seymour 74, 90, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 95 CINNAMON PEELER, THE 154, 155 CLOUD PHYSICS AND CLOUD SEEDING 76, 76 Clurman, Harold 55

Abstract Expressionism Adamov, Arthur 68 Adams, John F. 95 Advertising Arts 22 Albers, Josef 22
ALIVE AND DEAD IN INDIANA

122, 122 70, 70 69 88, 88 7, 40, 141

Al-Shaykh, Hanan

142 AMERICAN CHARACTER, THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, THE

American Century Series

Carver, Raymond

American Institute of Graphic Arts 50 Books/50 Covers 141
AMERICAN SOCIAL PATTERNS 76, 76 AMERICAN WOODS 48, 49 AMERIKA 47 Amis, Martin 151 Anchor Books 6, 82, 142, 153, 170 Andrzeyevski, George 91 ANNIE LENNOX 163 Antonelli, Paola 169 Antrim, Donald 152

182

Applied Arts of Bavaria Exhibition Poster Armory Show, 1913 35 Arrabal, Fernando 158 Art Deco 24, 35, 86, 90, 122, 129 Art Nouveau 90, 93 Arts and Crafts Movement 95
ASH GARDEN, THE 142, 144 146 ASHES TO ASHES 102, 102 Asimov, Isaac 100 ASPERN PAPERS AND THE EUROPEANS 50, 50 Astor 71 Atlantic Records 67 AUDUBON SOCIETY FIELD GUIDE TO NORTH AMERICAN BUTTERFLIES, THE 105, 105

15

Asher, Marty

Cohen, Elaine Lustig, see Lustig, Elaine Cohen, I. Bernard 75 Cohen, Marc 124, 124 Columbia Records 69
COMMON SENSE AND NUCLEAR WARFARE 84, 85 COMPULSION 107, 107 CONDEMNED OF ALTONA, THE 63, 63 CONFESSIONS OF NAT TURNER, THE 109, 110 CONFESSIONS OF ZENO, THE 49 CONNOISSEUR’S BOOK OF THE CIGAR, THE 93, 94 Constructivism 115, 129 Cooper Union 90 Coover, Robert 131 Cornerstone Library Publications 87 Corral, Rodrigo 159, 167, 167, 168, 171 Corsillo, George 112, 113, 123 Cranbrook Academy of Art 118, 119 CRITICAL STUDIES ON WRITING AS AN ART 26, 26 Cruise of the Snark 165 Cubism 21, 35, 36 “Cult of the Ugly” 118 Cummins Engine Company Museum 82

Avon Books

106

D
DADA PAINTERS AND POETS, THE 54, 55 Dada 21, 123 DAMAGE 142, 144 DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE 30, 31 Dark, Larry 153 DARLING 148, 148 Dartmouth College 40 Daumier, Honoré 90 Davidoff, Zino 94 Davis, Francis 139 de Cumptich, Roberto de Vicq 158, 159 de Graff, Robert 38 de Harak, Rudolf 74, 79, 79, 80, 80, 81, 82, 91 de Kooning, Willem 65 De Lynn, Jane 128 de Mandiargues, Andre Pieyre 66 De Stijl 21, 115, 129 de Wilde, Barbara 145, 146, 155, 156, 157 Dealer 69 Delacorta 113 Delacorte Press 103 Dell Publishing 130 Derrida, Jacques 116 Dial Press 28 Dickinson, Charles 122 Dickinson, Peter 126 DID MONKEYS INVENT THE MONKEY WRENCH? 159 Didion, Joan 156 Die Neue Typographie 22 Dinesman, Howard P. 82 Direction 55, 56 DIVE 163 Doctorow, E. L. 111 Dodd, Mead & Company 31 Dolan, J. D. 144 Donoghue, Dennis 157 Doubleday 31, 59, 75, 77, 83, 88, 95, 100 Dreiser, Theodore 69 Duras, Marguerite 126, 127 Dutton, E. P. 91, 94, 99, 103 Dwiggins, William A. 24, 26, 26, 27, 28, 44, 55, 56, 143, 144

F
FABRICATIONS 124, 124 FALSE COIN 22, 23 FAMILY OF MAN, THE 70, 70

H H. Wolff Book Manufacturing Co.
HAD I A HUNDRED MOUTHS Hall, Peter 170 120, 125 HARLEM ON MY MIND 120 24, 32, 36, 104, 31

Famous Artists Course In Commercial Art, Illustration and Design 75 Farrar, Straus and Giroux 92, 104, 122, 160,
165, 166, 167, 168 Fast, Howard 162

Harcourt, Brace & Company
99, 100

Faulkner, Harold U. 78 FDR: ARCHITECT OF AN ERA 90, 91 Ferguson, Archie 146, 154, 155, 155 FERVENT YEARS, THE 55, 56 FIERY FINGERS 41 Fili, Louise 125, 126, 127, 129, 133 FILM SENSE, THE 36, 36 Flower, Desmond 40 Foden, Giles 153 Fortune 22, 33, 70, 75 FRANCHISER, THE 102, 104 Free Press 171 FREEDOM–NOT LICENSE! 91, 91 Friedman, Dan 116 Friedwald, Will 141 Fulbrook III, John 159 Futurism 129 G Gaffney, Evan 159, 161 Gall, John 6, 7, 146, 150, 151, 151, 152, 153, 167 Gamarello, Paul 125
GARDEN POEMS 144, 145

Harper and Row 78, 106 HarperCollins 149 Harper’s Bazaar 22 Harrington, Michael 67 Harris, Thomas A. 106 Hart, Josephine 142 Hart Publishing Company 91 Hauser, Arnold 61 Hawkins, Arthur 24, 31, 31, 32, 33, 36 Hejduk, John 119 Heller, Joseph 107, 109, 110 Heller, Steven 7, 64, 86, 111, 118, 123, 127, 147
HELLO WORLD: A LIFE IN HAM RADIO 168 Herder, Milton 41 Hesse, Herman 92, 93 Higgins, Aidan 68 High Times 69, 106 High, David 159, 159 History of Graphic Design, A 131 HISTORY OF THE BLUES, THE 139, 140 Hoffman, Armin 117 Hoffman, Jill 138 Holiday 78 Hollander, John 145 Holt Rinehart & Winston 94 Holtzer, Jenny 165 Houellebecq, Michel 153 Houghton Mifflin Company 112 Hyperion Books 139, 140, 163 HYPNOTISM 99, 100

Gardner, Erle Stanley 41 Gebrauchsgraphik 22 Geismar, Thomas 74, 84 84, 85, 85, 86, 87, 111 Gerbino, John 100
GERTRUDE 92, 93 GIOVANNI’S GIFT 162 GIRL BENEATH THE LION, THE 66, 69 Giusti, Bob 7, 102, 103 Giusti, George 74, 75, 75, 76, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82, 85, 106 Glaser, Milton 74, 82, 86, 90, 91, 91, 92, 93, 95, 99, 100, 106, 124, 133 Glynn, Thomas 147 GODS THEMSELVES, THE 100, 100 Goldberg, Carin 14, 15, 129, 130, 130, 131, 131, 132, 138, 139, 140, 140, 141, 141 Golden, Griffin Books 21 GOODBYE COLUMBUS 63, 63 Goure, Leon 81 Goyen, William 120 Graphis 78 Graves, Michael 129 GREEN AND THE RED, THE 21, 22 Gregory, Danny 168 Greiman, April 116, 117, 117, 119 Gressley, Gene M. 103 Griffin, Adele 163 Grosz, George 90 Grove Press 40, 65, 65, 66, 67, 68, 90, 98, 151, 158 Grove/Atlantic 151, 164 GUERNICA AND OTHER PLAYS 158 Gustavson, Carl G. 80

183

I
I’M OK—YOU’RE OK 106, 106 IBIS TAPESTRY, THE 161 IBM 69, 106 IF NOT, WINTER 143, 144 ILL TEMPERED CLAVICHORD, THE 35, 36 IN THE WINTER OF CITIES 52, 53 INNER TUBE 124, 124

E
EAT ME 158 141

36 ELEMENTARY PARTICLES, THE 151, 153 ELIZABETH 165, 166 Elkin, Stanley 104 Emigre 118, 119 ENCORE 59 English, Bill 58, 59 Erskine, John 41 Estabrooks, G. H. 99 EVER AFTER 144, 144 Everyman’s Library 143, 144 Ewing, William A. 119

Eckersly, Richard Eggers, Dave 164 Eisenstein, Sergei

J Jackson, Shelley 6 Jaivin, Linda 158 James, Henry 50, 50 Jay, Antony 93, 94 Jay, John 58
JILTED 138, 140

Johnson, Denis 125 Johnson, John E., Jr. 112, 113 Joyce, James 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 30, 31
JUST AS I THOUGHT 160

K Kafka, Franz 47 Kairys, Elizabeth 159, 164 Kalman, Tibor 131, 147 Kandinsky, Wassily 21 Kauffer, Edward McKnight
35, 35, 36, 37

M Maas, George 102, 103 Macintosh 117 Mackintosh 95 Macmillan Company 58, 90
11, 12, 24, 34, 167, 170 65 MAN WHO DIED, THE 46, 46 MANAGEMENT AND MACHIAVELLI 93, 94 Manea, Norman 164 Man, His Planet, and Space 82 Mann, Thomas 56, 56 Manseau, Peter 171 Marcellino, Fred 120, 121, 122, 122, 123, 123 Marcuse, Herbert 62 Mars-Jones, Adam 124 Martinetti, Filippo 21 Martone, Michael 122 MASK OF MEDUSA 119, 119 Mason, Jerry 70 MASTER OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, THE 38, 39 Matisse, Henri 63, 69 Matter, Herbert 22, 129 Mau, Bruce 137, 137 Maugham, William Somerset 59 McCoy, Katherine and Michael 118, 119 MADE YOU LOOK

N Naked Lunch
65 NAKED PICTURES OF FAMOUS PEOPLE NANA 112, 113, 123 Nash, Ray 40 155, 155

Magarshack, David

Kaye, Michael Ian 159, 165, 165, 166 Kent, Rockwell 24, 24, 25, 38, 38, 39 Kepes, Gyorgy 22, 23 Kesey, Ken 109, 109 Kettner, Christine 159, 163 Kidd, Chip 146, 146, 147, 147, 148, 148, 149, 157
KILLACHTER MEADOW KILLING THE BUDDHA Klee, Paul 75 Kline, Franz 65 INDEX 68, 69 167, 171

National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy National Traveler Club 32 Neil, A. S. 91

87

Knopf, Alfred A.

26, 28, 31, 55, 55, 56, 56, 57, 60, 63, 100, 103, 105, 110, 122, 124, 125, 142, 143, 144, 144, 145, 146, 146, 147, 147, 148, 150, 151, 153, 154, 155, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160, 161 Kometani, Ori 159, 163 Koppel & Scher 129 Koppel, Terry 129 Koslow, Jules 21 Kuhlman, Roy 7, 65, 65, 66, 67, 67, 68, 69, 70, 78, 85, 105, 106, 151

NEUTRAL CORNER, A 168 NEW DECADE, THE 50, 52 New Directions 40, 45, 46, 46, 47, 48, 49, 49, 50, 51, 52, 65, 67, 85, 98, 137 NEW WORLD, A 150, 151 Ng, Fae Myenne 140 Nicol, Mike 161 NIGHT AT THE MOVIES, A 130, 131 NIGHTWOOD 46, 47 Norris, Frank 65 November, David 100

O
O. HENRY PRIZE STORIES, THE 153 O’Brien, Lucy 163 O’Neil, Hank 109, 111 OF MEN AND MACHINES 94, 95 OLD MODERNS, THE 157 ON CLOWNS 164 ON WRITING 26, 26 154 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST Osnos, Naomi 124, 124 OTHER AMERICA, THE 67, 69 Oxford University Press 29 Oz, Amos 125

L Labuz, Ronald 130, 131 Lady Chatterley’s Lover 65 Lane, Alan 38
LANGUAGE OF VISION, THE 22, 23 LAST AND FIRST MEN 31, 31 LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, THE 151, 153 LAST THING HE WANTED, THE 156 Lathen, Emma 102 Laughlin, James 46, 47, 49, 53, 98, 105 Lavin, Maud 171 Lawrence, D. H. 46, 46, 65 LEAVE CANCELLED 56, 57, 60, 63 Lebowitz, Fran 103 Lee, Marshall 22, 37, 64 Lessing, Doris 100 Levin, Meyer 107, 107 Levine, Isaac Don 32 Levine, Sherrie 131 Lewis, Arthur O., Jr. 94 LIBERTINE READER, THE 137 Licko, Zuzana 118 Liebling, A. J. 168 LIFE OF INSECTS, THE 167 LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD 165, 165 Lionni, Leo 22, 70, 70, 71 Lish, Gordon 128 LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW 70, 71 Little, Brown and Company 23, 121, 165, 165, 166 London, Jack 165 Lorca, Federico García 48, 49

184

Los Angeles Society of Contemporary Designers 79 Louie, Lorraine 128, 129 Louvre 95
126, 127 99, 100, 102, 105, 127 LULLABY 167, 171 Lupton, Ellen 7, 130, 171 Lurie, Alison 121 Lustig, Alvin 21, 31, 44, 45, 45, 46, 46, 47, 48, 49, 49, 50, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 63, 64, 65, 67, 69, 70, 74, 79, 82, 84, 85, 86, 90, 98, 105, 118, 137, 143, 171 Lustig, Elaine 7, 52, 53 Lyotard, Jean-François 160 LOVER, THE

McGraw-Hill 79, 80, 80, 81, 82, 91, 94 MCSWEENEY’S 164 ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY 166 Meggs, Philip 7, 100, 125, 129, 131 Mehta, Sonny 143 MELANCHOLY OF ANATOMY, THE 6, 167 Melville, Herman 25 Memphis Group 117 Menand, Louis 150 Mencken, H. L. 62, 63 Meridian Books 63, 63, 80 Merton, Thomas 52 METROPOLITAN LIFE 102, 103 MICHAEL BAKUNIN 71 Michelangelo 56 Microsoft 8 Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig 75 Miller, Henry 45, 46, 65, 85, 85 Minimalism 82, 147 Miró, Joan 46 MIT Press 119, 163 Mitchell, Joan 65 Mitchell, Susan 146, 160 MOBY DICK 24, 25 Modern Library 15 Moholy-Nagy, László 22, 54, 64 Mondrian, Piet 21, 57 Monsarrat, Nicolas 56 Morris, William 95 Morrow, Bradford 162 Morrow, William and Company 122, 155 MOST OF S. J. PERELMAN, THE 108, 109, 111 Motherwell, Robert 54 MURPHY 68, 69 Museum of Modern Art 36, 37, 50, 52, 70, 169 MUSSOLINI 130, 132 MUTANT MATERIALS IN CONTEMPORARY DESIGN 167, 169

Ondaatje, Michael

16, 109, 109

P
PAIN MANAGEMENT 161

Lubalin, Herb

88 24, 24 Peckolick, Alan 102, 104 Pelevin, Victor 167 Penguin Books 38, 67 Perelman, S. J. 35, 89, 108, 109, 111 PERFECT GALLOWS 126, 127 Perutz, Leo 39 Peterson, William 76 Philbrick, Francis S. 78 PHOENIX 144, 144 PING PONG, A PLAY 68, 69 PIT, THE 65 PLAGUE, THE 92, 93 Pocket Books 38, 40, 41 POKER FOR FUN AND PROFIT 85, 87 POLITICS, REFORM AND EXPANSION 78, 78 Popular Library 41 PORTRAITS AND PRAYERS 33, 33 Poseidon Press 128 Potter, Clarkson N. 120 Pound, Ezra 50, 51 Poynor, Rick 7, 133, 136 PRAGMATISM 150, 151 PREFACE TO HISTORY, A 80, 80 PREJUDICES: A SELECTION 62, 63 Princeton Architectural Press 168 Printing and Graphic Arts 40 PRIVATE LIFE OF HELEN OF TROY, THE 41 PRIZE POEMS, 1913 – 1929 38, 38 Pulp fiction 40, 44, 88 PURPLE-VIOLET-SQUISH 101, 102 PUSH 155, 155 Push Pin Studio 31, 74, 86, 90, 91, 93, 95, 98, 100, 102, 105, 107, 111, 122, 123, 129 Pynchon, Thomas 165 PAUL BUNYAN

Palahniuk, Chuck 171 Paley, Grace 160 Pantheon Books 34, 126 Paperbacks: USA 40 Parkes, Henry Bamford

Q
QUARTERLY, THE 128, 129 QUIET BATTLE, THE 88, 88

S Sagamore Press 69, 69 Sagmeister, Stefan 167, 170 Sahre, Paul 159, 167, 168, 171
SAINT JACK 111, 112

T
TABLES OF THE LAW, THE 56, 56, 58, 60 Tenazas, Lucille 119, 119 Tennekes, Henk 163 Tester, William 148 Theobald, Paul & Company 23 Theroux, Paul 112 Thompson, Bradbury 93 THOUGHTS ON DESIGN 57, 58, 60, 133 THREE PLAYS 31, 31 THREE TRAGEDIES OF LORCA 48, 49 Time Books 70, 92 TIME MACHINE, THE 26, 27 TOWARD A SANE NUCLEAR POLICY 85, 87 TOWER OF BABEL, THE 28, 28 Treib, Marc 118 Troller, Fred 74, 82, 82, 83 Tropic of Cancer 65 TRUTH ABOUT LORIN JONES, THE 121, 122 Tschichold, Jan 22, 54 Tugwell, Rexford 90, 91

R
77 111, 111 Rand, Paul 21, 31, 36, 38, 44, 54, 54, 55, 55, 56, 56, 57, 58, 60, 60, 61, 62, 63, 63, 64, 65, 69, 70, 74, 78, 82, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 98, 105, 106, 111, 112, 118, 133, 137, 143, 165 Random House 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 25, 27, 30, 31, 33, 71, 82, 99, 110, 111, 129, 143 Ratzkin, Lawrence 102, 102, 104 Rauschenberg, Robert 123 Read, Herbert 21, 64 REAL ESTATE 128, 129 RED SMOKE 32, 33 Redel, Victoria 156 Reichl, Ernst 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 24, 30, 31, 33, 33, 55, 69, 69, 86 RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN AMERICA 76, 77 REMOTE 146, 148 Renner, Paul 12, 15, 130 REVOLUTION OF LITTLE GIRLS, THE 155, 157 RAGTIME

Raab, Earl

St. Martin’s Press 163 Salter, George 24, 28, 28, 29, 37, 40, 75, 143 Sapphire (Ramona Lofton) 155 Saroyan, William 30 Sartre, Jean-Paul 63
SCARF, THE 28, 28

Scher, Paula 125, 127, 128, 129, 133, 141, 143 Schocken Books 143 Schoener, Allon 99 Schoonover, Shelley E. 48 Science Study Series 76 Scott, Anita Walker 78, 78 Scribner 141 Scudellari, Robert 125 Sedaris, David 166
SEEING AND THE EYE 82, 83 Selye, Hans 79 SEVEN MEN AND TWO OTHERS SEXUAL SLANG 148, 149 Shahn, Ben 88, 88, 89, 90 Shaw, Bernard 31, 31

92, 93

U
ULYSSES 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 30, 31, 36, 130, 140 UNCOMMON WISDOM 127, 129

132 60 RISE OF THE WEST, THE 78, 78 RISING GORGE, THE 88, 89

Reynolds, Reginald Richie, Ward 45 Richter, Alan 149 Rilke, Rainer Maria Rinehart & Company

104

Shephard, Esther 24 Sherman, Cindy 131 Shields, David 146 Sibley, Mulford Q. 88
SIEGE OF LENINGRAD, THE 80, 81 120 35, 38, 70, 82, 82, 84, 89, 102, 107, 108, 111, 126, 127, 129, 131, 132, 138, 148, 159 SIMPLE SCIENCE OF FLIGHT, THE 163 SINATRA 140, 141 SISTER CARRIE 69, 69 SITTER FOR A SATYR, A 91, 93 Skalski, Krystyna 159, 164 SKIING THE AMERICAS 58 Skouras, Angela 159, 163 SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE 130 SLEEPWALKERS, THE 34, 36 SLOW LEARNER 165 Smith, Denis Mack 132 SOCIAL HISTORY OF ART 60, 61 SONNETS TO ORPHEUS, THE 130, 132, 140 Sorel, Edward 90

University of California Press V Vachss, Andrew 161 VanderLans, Rudy 118
VERIFICATIONIST, THE 151, 152

113

Simenon, Georges Simon and Schuster

Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff 52 Rizzoli 119 Rochester Institute of Technology Rosset, Barney 65, 67, 69, 98, 105 Roth, Philip 63, 63
RUMOR HAS IT 122, 122 RUNAWAY SOUL, THE 122, 123 Ruskin, John 95 Russell, Bertrand 84, 85 Russo, Anthony 122 Ruzicka, Rudolf 144

7, 77

Victore, James 158, 159 Vignelli, Massimo 82, 105, 118, 105 Viking Press 109, 162 Vintage Books 61, 62, 88, 92, 128, 131, 132,
143, 150, 151, 152, 153 VINTAGE AMIS 151 Vonnegut, Kurt 103, 129, 130

185

W Wagner, Charles A. Ware, Chris 148
38

Southern California Institute of Architecture
SOVIET MARXISM SPEARHEAD 47 62, 63

117

31 STARS AT NOON, THE 125, 125 Staten, Vince 159 Steig, Irwin 87 Stein, Gertrude 33, 33 Stevens, Carol 120 Stewart, Jon 155, 155 Still, Clyfford 46 STORK CLUB BAR BOOK, THE 60, 60 STRANGE ISLAND, THE 52, 53 STRESS OF LIFE, THE 79, 80 Stuart, Neil 102, 103 Styron, William 110 Summit Books 113 SUPERIOR MATHEMATICAL PUZZLES 82, 82 Surrealism 28, 64 Sutnar, Ladislav 21, 22, 86, 105 Suzuki, D. T. 61 Svevo, Italo 49 Swados, Harvey 23 Swift, Graham 144 SYLVIA 162

Stapledon, W. Olaf

WATCHING THE BODY BURN 147, 148 Watling & Company 48 WE BOMBED IN NEW HAVEN 109, 110 Weingart, Wolfgang 116, 117 Weller, George 32 Wells, H. G. 27 Wheeler, Monroe 37 WHERE THE JACKALS HOWL 125, 125 WHERE THE ROAD BOTTOMS OUT 155, 156 WHERE WATER COMES TOGETHER WITH OTHER WATER 131 Whitman, Willson 29 Wild, Lorraine 31, 119, 119 Wilkerson, David 101 Williams, Tennessee 52 Wilson, Gabriele 143, 146, 160 WISDOM OF THE HEART, THE 45, 46, 85, 85 Wittenborn and Company 54, 55, 57 WOMEN OF SAND AND MYRRH 142, 144 Wright, Frank Lloyd 45, 46, 95

Y Yale University Z
ZEN AND JAPANESE CULTURE 22, 58, 84 YOKOTA OFFICERS CLUB, THE 160

Zondervan Publishing House Zone Books 137, 137 Zukofsky, Louis 113

60, 61 101

CREDITS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS John Gall, Shelley Jackson, The Melancholy of Anatomy, Anchor Books, 2002. INTRODUCTION - JUDGING THE BOOK Ernst Reichl, James Joyce, Ulysses, Random House, 1934. Designer’s mock-up, Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. E. McKnight Kauffer, James Joyce, Ulysses, Random House, 1949. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Designer Unknown, James Joyce, Ulysses, Modern Library, 1940. Used by permission of Modern Library, a Division of Random House, Inc. Carin Goldberg, James Joyce, Ulysses, Vintage Books, 1986. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
186

Ernst Reichl, William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories, 1934. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Ernst Reichl, James Joyce, Ulysses (title page), Random House, 1934 (later printing). Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Arthur Hawkins, W. Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men, Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1931. Arthur Hawkins, Bernard Shaw, Three Plays, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1934. Arthur Hawkins, Isaac Don Levine, Red Smoke, National Traveler Club, 1932. Arthur Hawkins, George Weller, Bases Overseas, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1944. Copyright renewed 1972 by George Weller. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc. Ernst Reichl, Gertrude Stein, Portraits and Prayers, Random House, 1934. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. E. McKnight Kauffer, Hermann Broch, The Sleepwalkers, Pantheon Books, 1947. Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir. Used by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc. E. McKnight Kauffer, S. J. Perelman, The Ill -Tempered Clavichord, Simon and Schuster, 1952. E. McKnight Kauffer, Sergei Eisenstein, trans. by Jay Leyda, The Film Sense, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1942. Copyright renewed 1969 by Jay Leyda. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc. E. McKnight Kauffer, Monroe Wheeler, ed., Britain at War (front board), Museum of Modern Art, 1941. Rockwell Kent, Charles A. Wagner, ed., Prize Poems, 1913 – 1929, Charles Boni Paper Books, 1930. Rockwell Kent, Leo Perutz, The Master of the Day of Judgment, Charles Boni Paper Books, 1930. Designer uncertain, John Erskine, The Private Life of Helen of Troy, Popular Library, 1948. Milton Herder, Erle Stanley Gardner, Fiery Fingers, Pocket Books, 1956.

Ernst Reichl, James Joyce, Ulysses, Random House, 2002. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. CHAPTER 1 - A UNION OF FUNCTION AND FORM: THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOOK JACKET IN AMERICA Ladislav Sutnar, Jules Koslow, The Green and the Red, Golden Griffin Books, 1950. Gyorgy Kepes, Language of Vision, Paul Theobald and Company, 1959. Gyorgy Kepes, Harvey Swados, False Coin, Little, Brown and Company, 1959. Rockwell Kent, Esther Shephard, Paul Bunyan, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1924. Copyright renewed 1952 by Esther Shephard. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc. Rockwell Kent, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Random House, 1930. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Rockwell Kent, Herman Melville, Moby Dick (interior), Random House, 1930. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. W. A. Dwiggins, Willa Cather, On Writing, Alfred A. Knopf, 1949. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. W. A. Dwiggins, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, Random House, 1931. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. George Salter, Robert Bloch, The Scarf, Dial Press, 1947. George Salter, Elias Canetti, The Tower of Babel, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. George Salter, Willson Whitman, Bread and Circuses, Oxford University Press, 1937.

CHAPTER 2 - AMERICANIZING UTOPIA: PROGRESSIVE DESIGN IN AMERICAN HANDS Alvin Lustig, Henry Miller, The Wisdom of the Heart, New Directions, 1941. Alvin Lustig, D. H. Lawrence, The Man Who Died, New Directions, 1950. Alvin Lustig, Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, New Directions, 1946. Alvin Lustig, Franz Kafka, Amerika, New Directions, 1946. Alvin Lustig, James Laughlin, ed., Spearhead, New Directions, 1947. Alvin Lustig, Federico Garcia Lorca, Three Tragedies of Lorca, New Directions, 1947. Alvin Lustig, Shelley E. Schoonover, American Woods, Watling and Company, 1951. Alvin Lustig, Italo Svevo, The Confessions of Zeno, New Directions, 1947. Alvin Lustig, Henry James, The Aspen Papers and The Europeans, New Directions, 1950. Alvin Lustig, Untitled painting, gauche and ink on board, ca. 1950. Archives and Special Collections, RIT Library, Rochester Institute of Technology. Alvin Lustig, Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading, New Directions, 1951. Alvin Lustig, Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, ed., The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, Museum of Modern Art, 1955. Elaine Lustig, Thomas Merton, The Strange Islands, New Directions, 1957. Elaine Lustig, Tennessee Williams, In The Winter of Cities, New Directions, 1956 Paul Rand, Robert Motherwell, ed., The Dada Painters and Poets, Wittenborn and Schultz, 1951. Paul Rand, Harold Clurman, The Fervent Years, Alfred A. Knopf, 1950. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Thomas Mann, The Tables of the Law, Alfred A. Knopf, 1945. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Nicholas Monsarrat, Leave Cancelled, Alfred A. Knopf, 1945. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Paul Rand, Thoughts on Design, Wittenborn and Company, 1945. Jack Cesareo, John Jay, Skiing the Americas, Macmillan Company, 1947. Bill English, William Somerset Maugham, Encore, Doubleday, 1952. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Lucius Beebe, The Stork Club Bar Book, Rinehart and Company, 1946. Paul Rand, D. T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture, Bollingen Series, 1958. Paul Rand, Arnold Hauser, A Social History of Art #1, Vintage Books, 1957. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Arnold Hauser, A Social History of Art #4, Vintage Books, 1957. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Herbert Marcuse, Soviet Marxism, Vintage Books, 1961. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: A Selection, Vintage Books, 1958. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Jean Paul Sartre, The Condemned of Altona, Alfred A. Knopf, 1961. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Rand, Philip Roth, Goodbye Columbus, Meridian Fiction, 1959. Roy Kuhlman, David Magarshack, Chekhov: A Life, Grove Evergreen, 1955. Roy Kuhlman, Frank Norris, The Pit, Grove Press, 1956. Roy Kuhlman, Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues, The Girl Beneath the Lion, Grove Press, 1958. Roy Kuhlman, Michael Harrington, The Other America, Penguin Books, 1964. Roy Kuhlman, Aidan Higgins, Killachter Meadow, Grove Evergreen, 1960.
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Roy Kuhlman, Arthur Adamov, Ping-Pong, A Play, Grove Press, 1959. Roy Kuhlman, Samuel Beckett, Murphy, Grove Press, 1957. Ernst Reichl, Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie, Sagamore Press, 1957. Leo Lionni, D. W. Brogan, The American Character, Time Books, 1962. Leo Lionni, Jerry Mason, The Family of Man, Simon and Schuster, 1955. Leo Lionni, E. H. Carr, Michael Bakunin, Random House, 1961. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Leo Lionni, Leo Lionni, Little Blue and Little Yellow, Astor, 1959.

CHAPTER 3 - MODERNISM AND BEYOND: HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTING THE FUTURE George Giusti, I. Bernard Cohen, The Birth of a New Physics, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1960. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. George Giusti, William Peterson, American Social Patterns, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. George Giusti, Louis J. Battan, Cloud Physics and Cloud Seeding, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1962. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. George Giusti, Earl Raab, ed., Religious Conflict in America, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1964. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar, Bertrand Russell, Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare, Simon and Schuster, 1959. Chermayeff and Geismar, Henry Miller, The Wisdom of the Heart, New Directions, 1959. Chermayeff and Geismar, Irwin Steig, Poker for Fun and Profit, Cornerstone Library Publications, 1968. Chermayeff and Geismar, Toward a Sane Nuclear Policy, National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, 1960. Ben Shahn, Mulfor Q. Sibley, ed., The Quiet Battle, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1963. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Ben Shahn, Henry Bamford Parkes, The American Experience, Vintage Books, 1959. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Ben Shahn, S. J. Perelman, The Rising Gorge, Simon and Schuster, 1961. Seymour Chwast, Rexford G. Tugwell, FDR: Architect of an Era, Macmillan Company, 1967. The Push Pin Studios:Glaser /Ceci, A. S. Neill, Freedom-Not License, Hart Publishing Company, 1966. Milton Glaser, George Andrzeyevski, A Sitter for a Satyr, E. P. Dutton, 1965. Milton Glaser, Hermann Hesse, Gertrude, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969, Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Seymour Chwast, Albert Camus, The Plague, Time Books, 1962. Milton Glaser, Max Beerbohm, Seven Men and Two Others, Vintage Books, 1959. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Seymour Chwast, Zino Davidoff, The Connoisseur’s Book of the Cigar, McGraw-Hill, 1969. Vincent Ceci, Anthony Jay, Management and Machiavelli, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968. Seymour Chwast, Arthur O. Lewis Jr., Of Men and Machines, E. P. Dutton, 1963. Seymour Chwast, John F. Adams, Backyard Poultry Raising, Doubleday and Company, 1977. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.

George Giusti, Sketch for Religious Conflict in America, c. 1964. Archives and Special Collections, RIT Library, Rochester Institute of Technology. George Giusti, Sketch for Religious Conflict in America, c. 1964. Archives and Special Collections, RIT Library, Rochester Institute of Technology. Anita Walker Scott, Harold U. Faulkner, Politics, Reform and Expansion, Harper and Row, 1963. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Anita Walker Scott, Francis S. Philbrick, The Rise of the West, Harper and Row, 1966. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Rudy de Harak, Hans Selye, The Stress of Life, McGraw–Hill, early 1960s.

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Rudy de Harak, Carl G.Gustavson, A Preface to History, McGraw–Hill, early 1960s. Rudy de Harak, Leon Goure, The Siege of Leningrad, McGraw–Hill, 1964. Fred Troller, Howard P. Dinesman, Superior Mathematical Puzzles, Simon and Schuster, 1968. Fred Troller, G. Hugh Begbie, Seeing and the Eye, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1973. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.

CHAPTER 4 - THE BLAND BREEDING THE BLAND: AMERICAN BOOK COVER DESIGN DISORIENTED Milton Glaser, G. H. Estabrooks, Hypnotism, E. P. Dutton and Company, late1960s. Herb Lubalin, Allon Schoener, ed., Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900–1968, Random House, 1968. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. David November, Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves, Doubleday and Company, 1972. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. John Gerbino, Doris Lessing, Briefing for a Descent into Hell, Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Designer Unknown, David Wilkerson, Purple-Violet-Squish, Zondervan Publishing House, 1969. Lawrence Ratzkin, Emma Lathen, Ashes to Ashes, Simon and Schuster, 1971. Robert Giusti, Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions, Delacorte Press, 1973. Used by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Neil Stuart, Fran Lebowitz, Metropolitan Life, E. P. Dutton, 1978. George Maas, Gene M. Gressley, Bankers and Cattlemen, Alfred A. Knopf, 1966. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Alan Peckolick and Tom Carnase, Reginald Reynolds, Beards, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1976. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc. Lawrence Ratzkin, Stanley Elkin, The Franchiser, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1976. Jacket design © 1976 by Lawrence Ratzkin. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Massimo Vignelli, Robert Michael Pyle, The Audubon Field Guide to North American Butterflies, Alfred A. Knopf, 1981. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a Division of Random House, Inc. Designer Unknown, Thomas A. Harris, I’m OK– You’re OK, Avon, 1973. Paul Bacon, Meyer Levin, Compulsion, Simon and Schuster, 1956. Paul Bacon, Joseph Heller, Catch-22, Simon and Schuster, 1961. Paul Bacon, S. J. Perelman, The Most of S.J. Perelman, Simon and Schuster, 1958. Paul Bacon, Ken Kesey, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Viking Press, 1962 (facsimile). Paul Bacon, Joseph Heller, We Bombed in New Haven, Alfred A. Knopf, 1968. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Bacon, William Styron, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Random House, 1967. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Paul Bacon, E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, Random House, 1975. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. Paul Bacon, Paul Theroux, Saint Jack, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. John E. Johnson, Jr., Louis Zukofski, “A”, University of California Press, 1978. Copyright © 1993. Reprinted with permission of The John Hopkins University Press. George Corsillo, Delacorta, NANA, Summit Books, 1979.

CHAPTER 5 - THE PILLAGED, PARODIED, AND PROFOUND: POSTMODERNISM AND THE BOOK COVER April Greiman, Southern California Institute of Architecture, Building in Los Angeles, Southern California Institute of Architecture, 1997. Lorraine Wild, John Hejduk, Mask of Medusa: Works 1947–1983, Rizzoli, 1985. Lucille Tenazas, William A. Ewing, The Body: Photographs of the Human Form, Chronicle Books, 1994. Bascove, William Goyen, Had I a Hundred Mouths, Clarkson N. Potter, 1985. Copyright © 1985 by Doris Roberts and Charles William Goyen Trust. Used by permission of Clarkso Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. Bascove, Georges Simenon, Big Bob, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1981. English translation by Eileen M. Lowe. Copyright © 1969 by Hamish Hamilton, Ltd. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc. Fred Marcellino, Alison Lurie, The Truth About Lorin Jones, Little, Brown and Company, 1988. Fred Marcellino, Michael Marcone, Alive and Dead in Indiana, Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Fred Marcellino, Charles Dickinson, Rumor Has It, William Morrow and Company, 1991. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Fred Marcellino, Harold Brodkey, The Runaway Soul, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991. Jacket design © 1991 by Fred Marcellino. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Naomi Osnos, Adam Mars-Jones, Fabrications, Alfred A. Knopf, 1981. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Marc Cohen, Hob Broun, Inner Tube, Alfred A. Knopf, 1985. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Robert Scudellari, Denis Johnson, The Stars at Noon, Alfred A. Knopf, 1986. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Paul Gamarello, Amos Oz, Where the Jackals Howl, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1981. Copyright © 1965 by Amos Oz and Massade Ltd., copyright © 1980, 1976 by Amos Oz and Am Oved Publishers Ltd., English translation by Nicholas deLange and Philip Simpson copyright © 1981, 1976, 1973 by Harcourt, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc. Louise Fili, Marguerite Duras, The Lover, Pantheon Books, 1985. Translated by Barbara Bray, copyright © 1975 by Random House, Inc. and William Collins & Co. Ltd. Used by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

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CHAPTER 6 - REDEFINE AND REDESIGN: MAKING POSTMODERNISM WORK Louise Fili, Peter Dickinson, Perfect Gallows, Pantheon Books, 1988. Used by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Louise Fili, Frederick Barthelme, Chroma, Simon and Schuster, 1987. Paula Scher, Fritjof Capra, Uncommon Wisdom, Simon and Schuster, 1988. Paula Scher, Jane De Lynn, Real Estate, Poseidon Press, 1988. Lorraine Louie, Gordon Lish, ed., The Quarterly, 4, Vintage Books, 1987. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bruce Mau, Michel Feher, Ed., The Libertine Reader: Eroticism and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France, Zone Books, 1997. Carin Goldberg, Jill Hoffman, Jilted, Simon and Schuster, 1993. Carin Goldberg, Francis Davis, The History of the Blues, Hyperion Books, 1995. Carin Goldberg, Fae Myenne Ng, Bone, Hyperion Books, 1993. Carin Goldberg, Will Friedwald, Sinatra, Scribner, 1995. Carol Devine Carson, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Anchor Books, 1992. Carol Devine Carson, Dennis Bock, The Ash Garden, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Carol Devine Carson, Josephine Hart, Damage, Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Carol Devine Carson and Gabriele Wilson, Anne Carson, If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, Vintage Books, 2003. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Carol Devine Carson, Graham Swift, Ever After, Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Carol Devine Carson, J. D. Dolan, Phoenix, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Carol Devine Carson and Barbara de Wilde, John Hollander, ed., Garden Poems, Alfred A. Knopf, c. 2000. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Chip Kidd, Marty Asher, The Boomer, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Chip Kidd, David Shields, Remote, Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Chip Kidd, Thomas Glynn, Watching the Body Burn, Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Chip Kidd, William Tester, Darling, Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Chip Kidd, Chip Kidd, The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters, Simon and Schuster, 2001. Chip Kidd, Alan Richter, Sexual Slang, HarperCollins, 1995, Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Carin Goldberg, Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, Dell Publishing, 1989. Used by permission of Dell Publishing, a division of Random House, Inc. Carin Goldberg, Raymond Carver, Where Water Comes Together with Other Water, Vintage Books, 1985. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Carin Goldberg, Robert Coover, A Night at the Movies, Simon and Schuster, 1987. Carin Goldberg, Denis Mack Smith, Mussolini: A Biography, Vintage Books, 1983. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Carin Goldberg, Rainer Maria Rilke, The Sonnets to Orpheus, Simon and Schuster, 1985.

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John Gall, Louis Menand, Pragmatism, Vintage Books, 1997. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. John Gall, Amit Chaudhuri, A New World, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. John Gall, Martin Amis, Vintage Amis, Vintage Books, 2004. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. John Gall, Donald Antrim, The Verificationist, Vintage Books, 2000. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. John Gall, Larry Dark, The O. Henry Prize Stories, Anchor Books, 2002. John Gall, Giles Foden, The Last King of Scotland, Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. John Gall, Michel Houellebecq, The Elementary Particles, Vintage Books, 2001. Used by permission of Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Archie Ferguson, Michael Ondaatje, The Cinnamon Peeler, Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Archie Ferguson, Jon Stewart, Naked Pictures of Famous People, Rob Weisbach Books/William Morrow, 1999. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Archie Ferguson, Sapphire (Ramona Lofton), Push, Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Barbara de Wilde, Joan Didion, The Last Thing He Wanted, Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Barbara de Wilde, Victoria Redel, Where the Road Bottoms Out, Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Barbara de Wilde, Blanche McCrary Boyd, The Revolution of Little Girls, Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Barbara de Wilde and Chip Kidd, Dennis Donoghue, The Old Moderns, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich, Linda Jaivin, Eat Me, Broadway Books, 1997. James Victore, Fernando Arrabal, Guernica and Other Plays, Grove Press, 1995. David High, Vince Staten, Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench?, Simon and Schuster, 1995. Susan Mitchell, Grace Paley, Just as I Thought, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Jacket design © 1998 by Susan Mitchell. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Gabriele Wilson, A. S. Byatt, The Biographer’s Tale, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Gabriele Wilson, Sarah Bird, The Yokota Officers Club, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Evan Gaffney, Andrew Vachss, Pain Management, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Evan Gaffney, Mike Nicol, The Ibis Tapestry, Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Steven Brower, Howard Fast, Sylvia, Carol Publishing Group, 1992. Paul Buckley, Bradford Morrow, Giovanni’s Gift, Viking Press, 1997. Ori Kometani, Henk Tennekes, The Simple Science of Flight, MIT Press, 1998. Angela Skouras, Lucy O’Brien, Annie Lennox: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, St. Martin’s Press, 1993. Christine Kettner, Adele Griffin, Dive, Hyperion Books, 1999. Elizabeth Kairys, Dave Eggers, ed., McSweeney’s 8, McSweeney’s Quarterly, 2002. Krystyna Skalski, Norman Manea, On Clowns: The Dictator and The Artist, Grove/Atlantic, 1992. Michael Ian Kaye, Jen Banbury, Like a Hole in the Head, Little, Brown and Company, 1998. Michael Ian Kaye, Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner, Little, Brown and Company, 1998. Michael Ian Kaye, David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Little, Brown and Company, 2000. Michael Ian Kaye, Sarah H. Bradford, Elizabeth: A Biography of Britain’s Queen, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996. Jacket design © 1996 by Michael Ian Kaye. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Rodrigo Corral, Victor Pelevin, The Life of Insects, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Jacket design © 1990 by Rodrigo Corral. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Rodrigo Corral, A. J. Liebling, A Neutral Corner: Boxing Essays, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997, Jacket design © 1997 by Rodrigo Corral. Reprinted by permission of North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Paul Sahre, Danny Gregory and Paul Sahre, Hello World – A Life in Ham Radio, Princeton Architectural Press, 2003. Eric Baker with Gaetano Pesce and Pesce, Ltd, Paola Antonelli, Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design, Museum of Modern Art, 1995. Stefan Sagmeister, Peter Hall, Made You Look, Booth Clibborn Editions, 2001. Rodrigo Corral, Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby, Anchor Books, 2002. Paul Sahre, Peter Manseau, Killing the Buddha, Free Press, 2003.
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TYPEFACES

Filosofia, designed by Zuzana Licko in 1996, Emigre Fonts. DIN, designed by the typefoundry H. Berthold AG in 1936.

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