Recently, I’ve been contacted by a number of design publishers to review their books. This has really exposed my naive take on design books. Two weeks ago, if you asked me to name a design publisher I would have said something like Phaidon, Rizzoli, or even Chronicle Books. But today, I’m excited to add to the list three publishers of note: Birkhauser, Lars Muller, and Mark Batty Publishers.
Let’s Start with the smallest of these publishers first, Mark Batty. Mark Batty Publisher (MBP) is the sort of publishing house that scares me because it promotes everything I strive to be and am not. First, MBP is obsessed about type. In a world where digital technology has made us forget about the craft of type, Mark Batty continues to care in such a way as to give graphic designers real hope for the future of typography. Unfortunately, I have never been a craftsman of type, but I hope to be after discovering the world that Mark Batty has opened for me. Second, Mark Batty covers the world of subversive art including graffiti and sticker art. Again, I’ve aspired leave my mark with subversive stickers, but have only understood the true essence of the medium through the Mark Batty books.
Below, I’ve included one of the more mainstream titles published by MBP, but of course, the publisher’s author leaves a fresh and extremely adept graphic sensibility on the topic of green design. Definitely have a look.
Lars Muller is another publisher that has caught my attention with books that are vital to my architectural practice but lay unseen while browsing the Barnes and Noble. The architectural Collection of Lars Muller include fantastic monographs by contemporary greats, Zaha Hadid and Steven Holl (pictured below), but also include obscure architectural works from the likes of
Morger, Degelo, Kerez Architects.
Birkhauser is yet another masterful design publisher who is shrouded in a much larger entity of engineering and textbook publishing. One of their recently published books that I’m working through currently is Designing Design by Kenya Hara, world famous creative director of the retailer MUJI. Hara’s work is sort of exemplary of a majority of the books published by Birkhauser in that the titles exude a clear simplicity about them that gives them a referential approachability combined with a museum like reverence for the material quality of a book. This book is, as well, a Lars Muller book in conjunction with Birkhauser.