Print is Dead!

These three words entered the vernacular surrounding discussions on the rise of the Internet at the turn of the century – as it infiltrated popular culture and rapidly crept into our everyday lives both professionally and personally.

The dominance of digital over print has proven accurate to an extent but in the process we have realised that the tangible will never be replaced completely. We explore ten awe-inspiring books and discover why they are page turners.

1 You Are Here – A new approach to Signage and Wayfinding

You had us at ‘you are here’. Everyone needs to know their location, physically yes, and also their place in life. The books title speaks of the maps we view when in need of direction but this volume produced by Viction:ary gives us so much more that the security of knowing our place. It also surveys the work of wayfinding systems that assist us on the journey once we leave the map. Its practicality is matched by the ingenuity of its designs. By Victionary.

2 Knowledge is Beautiful – Visualising the World’s Data

As a follow up to Information is Beautiful, Knowledge is Beautiful takes us further into the field of data collection and transposition into highly engaging graphs, charts and diagrams. This time it focusses on the dissemination of information in an easy to see format, inviting viewers to learn something new that might otherwise be overlooked when in written form. At first glance we see only attractive colours and shapes but its the layers of learning that engage our minds. You can see how this book influenced our own work here Studio Stats. By David McCandless.

3 Symbol – Featuring over 1,300 Symbols

This weighty tome strips bare extraneous distractions such as colour and context and shows us the structure of a logo in stark simplicity. Every designer knows that a companies mark needs to work in black and white before it can be embellished and brought to the client and public in a more palatable format. We are better able to asses its composition and how effective it will be for the brand. The configuration of each symbol throughout is arranged by form, sector, designer and client. It is extremely thorough, with omissions due only to those who were unable to grant permission to publish. By Steven Bateman.

4 Design: Paper – a Seductive Collection of Alluring Paper Designs

Vanity, thy name is designer. Although we see our own work in a public setting – taking printed or digital form – often, nothing validates our natural born creative ability quite like being published alongside graphics industry peers. Our Year of the Tiger event branding for the Taronga Foundation charged with regal gold and black is nestled among nearly 600 inspiring projects. Each with essays penned by the designers on the fundamentals of creation. By Public School.

5 Pastel – New Light Toned Graphics

Contrary to popular belief pastels did not die with the 80s. True, they fell from favour for a time but what trend does not when oversaturation takes hold. It lives on through this wonderful book, wrapped in a somewhat austere cover of raw card, where a single circular die cut reveals a small piece of peach colouring beneath. What we love most about this one – besides the endless summer feeling one gets from these palettes – is the double page spread featuring the QT Port Douglas branding. One of our favourite clients. By Victionary.

6 Gold & Silver – Metallic Graphics

Give your design work a midas touch with this curation of work that focuses on rich golds and lustrous silvers. You can judge this book by its cover, where we are introduced to a solid gold card with debossed typography and edge of the page gilding. The rarity of these metallic finishes in both print and object design continues to excite and inspire from cover to cover. By Victionary.

7 Dynamic Identities – How to Create a Living Brand

It is the mark of a good designer that he or she can create a suite of materials for a singular brand. It is the mark of a great designer when they can turn the brand into one that is characterized by constant change. Which, in our modern era makes sense like never before, where we live with few constants. And to be frank – attention deficit disorders are becoming the rule, not the exception. But lets not look upon dynamic identities as a necessary evil, far from it, this book teaches us the creative scope of a project can be boundless, cater to diverse groups of people and above all be fun. By Irene van Nes.

8 Design – Book of the Year

Creation is suggested on the cover through a clever visual metaphor. Sperm-like thumb drives squirm toward a laptop vying for the conception of the initial idea. Every designer owns this struggle and knows the value of a well executed project from beginning to the end. The people at understand the dedication of talented designers and seek to promote two pieces each day, one in the field of product or packaging design and the other in graphics. That’s where we come in, with our Leap for Survival Event Branding and the Silversea 2015 Voyage Collection project. What began as an online forum has taken physical form to continue the conversation surrounding creativity in an offline setting. By Marc Praquin.

9 Visual Storytelling – Inspiring a New Visual Language

The ideas contained within this hardcover have the power to ignite the imagination. Every page challenges the norm. We see a shirt stitched together from different patterned fabrics that functions as a graph, 3D renders that bring understanding to complex issues, or recipe ingredients flat laid on vivid colour and styled to showcase their texture and colour. All of which makes us realise that there are many solutions to design problems. By Gestalten.

10 The Age of Collage – Contemporary Collage in Modern Art

Last but nowhere near least comes a book that cuts and pastes together an array of modern collage. Design and art need not be mutually exclusive and thankfully the two often intersect in the industry at large and here in our studio. That is why our shelves are filled with a vast selection that covers anything from illustration to web design. Interestingly these contemporary works often merge vintage images, but always in new ways. It can be a refreshing escape, a welcome rest for the eyes on our days filled with standard graphic design. By Gestalten.

Print’s Not Dead!

It’s great to have the Internet as a quick reference tool, especially in our profession where visual stimulation rules. But the value of books cannot be understated when we are in need of a more complete overview of any particular subject.

The beauty of books is immediate. We scour the shelves of our studio and enjoy each of the images ad free. No flickering, epilepsy inducing banners, just crisp white pages and designs to inspire that seemingly go on forever. We’ve learnt that reading offline has proven to be far more engaging.

As our attention spans lengthen, we grasp for something more substantial that doesn’t prescribe to the Internets ‘bits and pieces’ collected from here and there ethos. So, the next time you encounter a person of rare talent, you should ask them what design books they’ve been reading.