Archives for posts with tag: literature

Pop art is alive and well. Having materialized in the 1950s as an alternative to the traditions of fine art, the movement draws from popular culture and often relies on irony. As we’ve noted before, our highly connected, celebrity-obsessed culture is a breeding ground for such art, so it’s no surprise that it seems to be a particularly thriving art scene these days. And many artist have emerged as household names through the years, such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. Though not quite that prominent (yet), Brazilian artist and designer known as Butcher Billy has a tremendous body of work that pushes pop art forward, while also paying tribute to the past. Butcher Billy is “known for his illustrations based on the contemporary pop art movement. His work has a strong vintage comic book and street art influence while also making use of pop cultural references in music, cinema, art, literature, games, history and politics.” This is just a small sample of his extensive, diverse portfolio. If you didn’t know Butcher Billy’s work, now you do. Killin’ it, indeed.

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Book cover design is no easy task. Much like logo design, book cover design is a tall order that strives to visually represent often complex concepts and themes. Belgian designer/illustrator Levente Szabó (whose stellar work we have featured before) has this on lock-down, as exhibited by his fantastic ongoing series of book cover designs of his favorite novels. His expressive and bold illustration style, along with a keen sense of color and type make for some really great pieces.

Via Behance

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New York-based designer Evan Robertson may be something of a bookworm, but just about anyone can appreciate his literature-inspired series of prints, The Illustrated Quotation Project. Robertson takes lines from some of his favorite authors and turns them into these superb, clever posters (for sale here). We like the variety of Robertson’s high-contrast style, but also the uniformity of the series. Well done, looking forward to seeing more.


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Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Ed Ruscha (pronounced roo-SHAY) has a thing for books. And we’re not referring to literature itself, but actual physical books (he claims not to even be a great reader). Ruscha is not taken with the digital reading revolution as of late. He doesn’t read on an iPad or Kindle; he doesn’t even use a computer. From early in his career, Ruscha has always sort of seen printed matter as sculptural objects, as works of art in and of themselves. His early appreciation for commercial design and typography set the stage for his fascination of books and how to make them. Since then, Ruscha has produced and painted countless books, many of which are currently on display at New York’s Gagosian Gallery show Books & Co. (read more here), along with work by more than 100 contemporary artists inspired by him.

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We’ve always loved a good matchbook design. It’s sort of a lost art, really. When recent grad and Philadelphia-based designer Woody Harrington was asked to design a publishing piece for a series of flash fiction stories (basically a style of fiction literature of extreme brevity), he decided to turn them into vintage matchbooks. Harrington selected nine stories from Lou Beach’s “420 Characters” series, and turned each into a matchbook, deriving all design details from their respective story. The vintage feel seems authentic, and the way he transformed such a brief bit of writing into a tangible object is what design is all about. Big fans of this!


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Canadian artist Guy Laramee’s work carving books (yes, books!) into landscapes is absolutely remarkable. He transforms books of all sizes into stunning topographical scenes with amazing care and attention to detail. In his own words, “I carve landscapes out of books and I paint romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS.”


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Okay, so this isn’t exactly graphic design or art, but certainly piqued our interest. In a sea of ebooks and devices dedicated to delivering digital books to hungry consumers, one publisher, Eterna Cadencia, has another innovation in mind. They recently released El Libro que No Puede Esperar – ‘The Book that Cannot Wait’, an anthology of new Latin American authors –  printed in ink that disappears after two months of opening the book. This all seems rather impractical (you’re left with a leather-bound blank book), but makes for a great marketing tactic. It creates a sense of urgency for consumers to actually read the book immediately, engaging readers in a new way. And the proof is in the pudding… the publisher sold out their first print run in a day.


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