04 Feb 2011

new book ordered!

I just pre-ordered myself a signed copy of Function, Restraint and Subversion in Typography by J. Namdev Hardisty here. This is Namdev’s third book in a matter of a couple years. His previous titles include: DIY Album Art: paper bags and offices supplies and New Skateboard Graphics.

I am particularly excited about Namdev’s latest effort, because it strikes me as his most ambitious. Here is an excerpt from the book’s “Disclaimer” transcribed from preview images of the book Namdev has kindly posted to his studio’s Flickr page:

The work in this book will resemble other books you have seen. They will have had titles containing keywords and phrases like the new.... Minimalism, white space, and simplicity. If this book was anything like those, it would unfold in the following fashion: I (or a noteworthy essayist) would claim that the work in a new trend/movement, that it is a reaction to X or a reemergence of Y, and that this book documents the future of graphic design. I would then use a certain thesis—aesthetic, theoretical, or otherwise—to prove my point. I would arrange and group the illustrations by aesthetic criteria that would give the impression of a mass movement creating similar work and exploring the same ideas. When all was done, I may even have convinced you that this is what your work should look like if you wanted to stay at the forefront of the field.

But this book is not that book.

The tone the author establishes here is intriguing—self-aware, anti-establishment and confident. I am looking forward to seeing how this tone affects Namdev’s analysis of each designer’s work.