Essential reading for designer

The New Typography and Pioneers of Modern Typography

Via Wikipedia: "Peter Saville designed many record sleeves for Factory Records artists, most notably for Joy Division and New Order.

Influenced by fellow student Malcolm Garrett, who had begun designing for the Manchester punk group, Buzzcocks and by Herbert Spencer's Pioneers of Modern Typography, Saville was inspired by Jan Tschichold, chief propagandist for the New Typography. According to Saville: 'Malcolm had a copy of Herbert Spencer's Pioneers of Modern Typography. The one chapter that he hadn't reinterpreted in his own work was the cool, disciplined New Typography of Tschichold and its subtlety appealed to me. I found a parallel in it for the New Wave that was evolving out of Punk.' "

Via University of California Press: "Since its initial publication in Berlin in 1928, Jan Tschichold's The New Typography has been recognized as the definitive treatise on book and graphic design in the machine age. [...]
'Probably the most important work on typography and graphic design in the twentieth century.'—Carl Zahn, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston"

Via Lund Humphries: "Modern typography does not have its origins in the conventional printing industry. Its roots are entwined with those of twentieth-century painting, poetry and architecture, and it flowered quite suddenly and dramatically in the twenty years following the publication of Marinetti's Futurist manifesto in 1909.
Since its first publication in 1969, and subsequent reissue in a completely revised edition, Pioneers of Modern Typography has remained the standard guide to the impact of twentieth-century avant-garde movements on graphic design and typography. [...]
Herbert Spencer's text examines what led up to the new concepts in graphic design and carefully disentangles the respective influences of Futurism, Dadaism, de Stijl, Suprematism, Constructivism and the Bauhaus. His text is profusely illustrated with examples of crucial contributions to the new typography - from Apollinaire to Zwart - and the book's documentation includes biographical notes on the key figures."

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Vampyroteuthis infernalis

by Louis Bec (*1936) and Vilém Flusser (1920-1991)

Via Amazon: "'Science is interesting precisely because it relates to me. It is a human function just as much as breathing is: it is an existential interest. And an entirely objective science would be uninteresting, inhuman. The search for scientific objectivity is revealing itself in its continual advancement not as a search for purity, but as pernicious madness. The present essay demands that we give up the ideal of objectivity in favour of other intersubjective scientific methods.'

'De te fabula narratur'. Thus starts this paranaturalist treatise by Vilém Flusser. (...) Flusser introduces us here to an infernal creature from the oceanic abysses, our long lost relative, who slowly emerges, not from the oceans, but from our own depths to gaze spitefully into our eyes and reflect back at us our own existence.

Originally published only in German in 1987, this version has been edited and translated by Rodrigo Maltez Novaes, Ph.D. candidate at the European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski, from the original, unpublished and extended Brazilian-Portuguese version of the manuscript recently found at the Vilém Flusser Archive at the Universität der Kunst, Berlin."

Via MediaArtNet: "For several decades, Bec’s artistic work has revolved around the interlocking of art and science. He became known through his efforts related to extending biological evolution and simulating new life forms, emphasizing in particular how these could bring forth evolution. His search for new zoomorphic types and forms of communication between artificial and natural species led to his founding a fictitious institute named Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste, with Louis Bec as its presiding director. Bec was first introduced to artistic research on artificial life through his collaborating with the philosopher Vilém Flusser, who wrote about Bec’s Vampyroteuthis infernalis in his book of the same name."

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Colorscape – An Around-The-World Guide to Color

by Naomi Kuno

Via HarperCollins Publishers: "Colours convey a wide spectrum of emotions and a variety of messages. The multitude of colour names alone - just look at any retail catalogue - are testimony to our sensibilities and imagination. A treasure trove of evocative colours and colour combinations, Colourscape is a handy reference for those looking for ideas. The unique chapter headings are: Colours of the Countries of the World; Colours of History, Ideology, Religion, and Mythology; Colours of Literature, Art, Music, and Handicraft; Colours of Celestial Bodies, Nature, and Meteorology; Colours of Flora and Fauna; and, Colours of Daily Life. Each chapter has a section within that contain a sample photographic image and a selection of colours relating thematically. For example, the colours in the France section include Paris Pink, French Mauve, and Versailles (all actual colour names!). Each colour is accompanied by a brief description with a visual cue (Bleu France, for example, is the exact shade of blue used in the French flag) as well as a list of evocative words associated with that hue (Light Paris Green: Refreshing, Invigorating, Healthy).

This innovative approach enables the reader to understand colours on a verbal as well as visual level. The meanings, images, and stories behind a myriad of colours is sure to provide endless creative inspiration. Colorscape includes information on colour formulas for the internet as well as print (RBG/CMYK). A colour index is provided at the end of the book, in which the 658 colours are collected in 11 genealogical colour groups (Pink Group, Red Group), as well as a keyword index, making it possible to search for specific colours in a variety of ways."

Thanks to Manu Burghart!

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Pattern Recognition

by William Gibson (*1948)

Via Wikipedia: "Set in August and September 2002, the story follows Cayce Pollard, a 32-year-old marketing consultant who has a psychological sensitivity to corporate symbols. The action takes place in London, Tokyo, and Moscow as Cayce judges the effectiveness of a proposed corporate symbol and is hired to seek the creators of film clips anonymously posted to the internet.
The novel's central theme involves the examination of the human desire to detect patterns or meaning and the risks of finding patterns in meaningless data. Other themes include methods of interpretation of history, cultural familiarity with brand names, and tensions between art and commercialization. The September 11, 2001 attacks are used as a motif representing the transition to the new century. Critics identify influences in Pattern Recognition from Thomas Pynchon's post-structuralist detective story The Crying of Lot 49."

Via Wikipedia: "Pattern recognition algorithms generally aim to provide a reasonable answer for all possible inputs and to do fuzzy matching of inputs. This is opposed to pattern matching algorithms, which look for exact matches in the input with pre-existing patterns. A common example of a pattern-matching algorithm is regular expression matching, which looks for patterns of a given sort in textual data and is included in the search capabilities of many text editors and word processors. In contrast to pattern recognition, pattern matching is generally not considered a type of machine learning, although pattern-matching algorithms (especially with fairly general, carefully tailored patterns) can sometimes succeed in providing similar-quality output to the sort provided by pattern-recognition algorithms.
Pattern recognition is studied in many fields, including psychology, psychiatry, ethology, cognitive science and computer science."

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Ego Tunnel – The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

by Thomas Metzinger

Via Basic Books: "We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain—an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is 'a virtual self in a virtual reality.' But if the self is not real, why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind."

Via Wikipedia: "Thomas Metzinger (born 12 March 1958) is a German philosopher and professor of theoretical philosophy at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. [...]

In English he has published two edited works, Conscious Experience (1995), and Neural correlates of consciousness: empirical and conceptual issues (2000). The latter book arose out of the second ASSC meeting, for which he acted as local organizer. In 2015, together with Jennifer M. Windt, he published the Open MIND-collection, containing more than 100 original, peer-reviewed open access-papers from philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and neuroscience. A follow-up project (2017) was Philosophy and Predictive Processing-collection.

In 2003 Metzinger published the monograph Being No One. In this book he argues that no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. He argues that the phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a "transparent self-model." In 2009 Metzinger published a follow-up book to Being No One for a general audience: The Ego Tunnel (Basic Books, New York, ISBN 0-465-04567-7)."

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My Voice Will Go with You – The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson

Sidney Rosen (Editor, Commentaries by)

Via W. W. Norton & Company: "Milton H. Erickson has been called the most influential hypnotherapist of our time. Part of his therapy was his use of teaching tales, which through shock, surprise, or confusion—with genius use of questions, puns, and playful humor—helped people to see their situations in a new way. In this book Sidney Rosen has collected over one hundred of the tales."

Via Wikipedia: "Milton Hyland Erickson (5 December 1901 – 25 March 1980) was an American psychiatrist and psychologist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He was founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychopathological Association. He is noted for his approach to the unconscious mind as creative and solution-generating. He is also noted for influencing brief therapy, strategic family therapy, family systems therapy, solution focused brief therapy, and neuro-linguistic programming."

Via Bookrags: "Sidney Rosen was a colleague of the late Dr. Erickson and has first hand knowledge of many of the techniques and cases used throughout the book. Rosen has little to add to the work, except for some of his own anecdotes or brief comments regarding a particular case or theory. The work is entirely that of Erickson, a man who has been recognized as a pioneer in his field.

The title of the book, My Voice Will Go with You, relates to one technique Erickson used in his practice. While a subject was under hypnosis or in some form of trance, Erickson would speak to the patient in such a way that the patient would choose to reframe past experiences. The technique often involved personal beliefs or traumas that were formed in the past and therefore, affected the patient's present and future. Erickson talked to the patient, attempting to remove negative programming in the patient's mind. It was obvious to Erickson that he could not be with the patient every waking moment and that the patient would have to learn to hear the suggestions for reframing everywhere the patient went. Erickson began to tell patients that the suggestions would follow no matter where the patient went. Erickson's voice would replace the patient's own as well as the voices of family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else the patient came in contact with on a daily basis. Because Erickson was able to convince the patient that My Voice Will Go With You, the patient was able to reframe or reprogram negative experiences into positive ones.

Overall, the book can be seen as a practical guide to relationships and to simple techniques created to change a patient's life. The examples throughout the book are informing while being entertaining and thought provoking. Erickson's style is reminiscent of a story teller's rather than a medical professional. An added bonus is that Erickson interjects personal stories from his life, including experiences with the Erickson children that show the doctor practiced what he preached.

Rosen's contribution to the book also allows the reader to see that Erickson's work may have been controversial at one time, considered to be almost shamanic by certain colleagues but eventually, the proof of its relevance and effectiveness gave the doctor credibility. The work lives on in the practices of many and has gained Erickson a great deal of respect in the professional realm."

Thanks to William Bennett!

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Cassavetes on Cassavetes

by Ray Carney

Via Wikipedia: "Cassavetes is the subject of several books about the actor/filmmakers life. Cassavetes on Cassavetes is a collection of interviews collected or conducted by Boston University film scholar Ray Carney, in which the late filmmaker recalls his experiences, influences and outlook in the film industry. In the Oscar 2005 edition of Vanity Fair magazine, one article features a tribute to Cassavetes by three members of his stock company: Gena Rowlands, and actors Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk."

Via Google Books: "In his own words Cassavetes tells the story of his life as he lived it, day by day, year by year. He begins with his family and childhood and describes his high school, college, and drama school days. He talks about the years he spent pounding the pavement in New York as a young, unemployed actor unable to get a job - or even an agent. Then he takes the reader behind the scenes to sit in on the planning, rehearsing, shooting, and editing of each of his films. He describes the battles to get them made and the even greater struggle to get them into theaters. It is an extraordinary personal saga of dreams, triumphs, and frustrations; of high-stakes financial gambles, crazy artistic risk-taking, and midnight visions of glory. This is Cassavetes at his most candid and outspoken - uncompromising, humane, and passionate about both life and art."

Via Faber and Faber: "John Cassavetes is the godfather of American independent cinema, saluted by virtually every US maverick who's followed in his stead, from Martin Scorsese to Sean Penn. Since his death in 1989, Cassavetes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic hero - a loner who fought against the iniquities of the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning thirty years. Having first established himself as an actor, he bravely struck out on his own as a director in 1959 with Shadows, and proceeded to build up a formidable body of work. His major films include Faces, Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night and Gloria. These unforgettable works are driven and distinguished by Cassavetes's collaboration with actors of the calibre of Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk. Professor Ray Carney, a friend and admirer of Cassavetes, presents a book that offers us Cassavetes in his own words - frank, uncompromising, humane, and passionate about both life and art."

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Women Who Run With the Wolves

by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Via Clarissa Pinkola Estés: "Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species. In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine. Dr. Estés has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul."

Via New York Times: "In the book, Dr. Estes has interpreted old tales in ways that merge Carlos Castaneda with Bruno Bettelheim, from Bluebeard to the Little Match Girl, that reveal an archetypal wild woman whose qualities she says have today been dangerously tamed by a society that preaches the virtue of being nice."

Via Medium: "It’s about a book I wish I’d had in my backpack back then, a book every teenage girl and a grown-up woman should read, a bible of feminine empowerment, and an initiation to a very special club, the Club of Wild Women.
Both scientific and poetic, Women Who Run With the Wolves is not an easy read. It requires your undivided attention and a lot of commitment. But take that journey and I promise, by its end you’ll be rewarded with the greatest gift — your soul.
Here are 13 lessons you can learn from Clarissa Pinkola Estés and her insightful analysis of 20 fairy tales and myths from all over the world."

"If you have never been called a defiant, incorrigible, impossible woman… have faith… there is yet time." –Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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Gestalt Therapy Verbatim

by Fritz Perls

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls, "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim", 1969

Via Wikipedia: "Friedrich (Frederick) Salomon Perls (July 8, 1893 – March 14, 1970), better known as Fritz Perls, was a noted German-born psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Perls coined the term Gestalt therapy to identify the form of psychotherapy that he developed with his wife, Laura Perls, in the 1940s and 1950s. Perls became associated with the Esalen Institute in 1964, and he lived there until 1969. His approach to psychotherapy is related to, but not identical to, Gestalt psychology, and it is different from Gestalt theoretical psychotherapy.

The core of the Gestalt Therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion, and behavior, in the present moment. Relationship is emphasized, along with contact between the self, its environment, and the other."

Thanks to William Bennett!


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Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals

by John Gray

Via Wikipedia: "John Nicholas Gray (born 17 April 1948) is an English political philosopher with interests in analytic philosophy and the history of ideas. He retired in 2008 as School Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science. [...]

Gray sees volition, and hence morality, as an illusion, and portrays humanity as a ravenous species engaged in wiping out other forms of life. Gray writes that 'humans ... cannot destroy the Earth, but they can easily wreck the environment that sustains them.' [...]

In Straw Dogs he argues that the idea that humans are self-determining agents does not pass the acid test of experience. Those Darwinist thinkers who believe humans can take charge of their own destiny to prevent environmental degradation are, in this view, not naturalists, but apostles of humanism.

He identifies the Enlightenment as the point at which the Christian doctrine of salvation was taken over by secular idealism and became a political religion with universal emancipation as its aim. Communism, fascism and 'global democratic capitalism' are characterised by Gray as Enlightenment 'projects' which have led to needless suffering, in Gray's view, as a result of their ideological allegiance to this religion."

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