day 290 – four favourite design books

I love books, so I wanted to make books one of my fours, and I decided to share some of my design books. It’s hard to pick favourites, so the ones I’ve chosen are the most well-thumbed, the most familiar. I know each page, and I’ve pored over the pictures many, many times. Consequently, these are some of my older books.

The one I’ve had the longest is The Penguin Book of Comics (bottom left). I have loved comics since I was a child, and I got this as a teenager. It was a great introduction to the history of comic strips, and introduced me to some classics.

Living with Folk Art (top right) is one of my most treasured books, and has been an endless inspiration to me. During the 1990s, it made me want to live in an adobe house in New Mexico, surrounded by kachina dolls, Day of the Dead figures, and religious icons. Or maybe in a classic townhouse full of African art and artefacts. Or a country cottage full of Indian textiles.  I’m still dreaming…

The V&A book of Fifties Furnishing Fabric (top left) just makes me drool over the spare but beautiful designs of Lucienne Day et al. It’s been reissued more recently, with a different cover, but the cover of this copy is printed on matt paper, and is lovely to hold.

Matchbook Art (bottom right) was an unexpected treasure. I picked it up by chance in a cut-price bookshop in Monmouth, and then spent ages looking at the mini-masterpieces of commercial art.

These four books represent some of my most important visual passions – textiles and surface design, folk and ethnic art, and vintage graphic design and illustration, and all make me very happy.

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