Tag Archive for Chronicle Books

The Art of Paper Cutting

…and this sort of paper cutting has absolutely nothing to do with accidentally slicing into your finger with the sharp edge of that envelope flap!

If you want to see some of the stunning creations pictured inside the book check out the Chronicle Books Blog entry. Scroll all the way down, because the pictures just get better and better!

Books I Want – American Trademarks: a Compendium

American TrademarksI don’t know why, but I just love stuff like this. I’d really like to get American Trademarks: a Compendium, published by Chronicle Books. When you read the blurb at that site, you see that Eric Baker (who currently blogs at DesignObserver.com)  and Tyler Blik originally edited a three-volume set called Trademarks, but those have now been combined into one expanded volume with this book.

I gather that Baker and Blik traced the development of trademarks through several decades, starting with the 1920s. Perhaps the extra essays in the book deal with the most recent trademarks? That’s just a guess on my part.

The book has more than 1000 of what are called “iconic trademarks.” Though interestingly, at the Chronicle Books Blog, I don’t actually recognize very many of the examples posted. But I’m really interested in the history and design of these symbols. I don’t know what the legalities are, but I’ve long been tempted to create a Flickr set just of logos I’ve taken pictures of around Toronto.

Anyway, I’d love to have this book on my shelves. Alongside things like books about fonts and the history of the English language. Geeks R Us, eh? 🙂

Ramayana: Divine Loophole

This is a book I really want to get. Chronicle Books has produced what looks like a wonderful illustrated version of a great Hindu epic, Ramayana: Divine Loophole, this one created and illustrated by Pixar animator and storyboard artist Sanjay Patel.

You know the two major Greek mythological epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey? They could take lessons in greatness and epic sweep from The Ramayana and the other, even more massive Hindu epic, The Mahabharata.

The Ramayana tells the tale of the Indian prince, Rama, who is exiled to the forest for 14 years with his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakshmana. Rama is one of the ten incarnations of the god Vishnu. Each time this god incarnates, he comes to earth for the purpose of saving it from some huge threat. In this case, it’s the threat of a ten-headed demon-being named Ravana, who endangers the earth through his flouting of dharma (i.e. the divinely ordained right way of doing things).

As the three exiles wander the forest, they encounter divine sages, many demon creatures, an army of monkeys, and Hanuman, the monkey god who serves Rama and can carry a mountain on his back. Eventually Ravana kidnaps Sita, forcing Rama to bring the monkey army to do final battle. After he gains the victory, and Sita proves her fidelity to Rama, the exiles return home and Rama at last gains his throne.

If you enjoyed the look and feel of the Samurai Jack animation, or the wonderful Sita Sings the Blues video by Nina Paley (which tells the Ramayana story in animated form), you may be as excited about Patel’s book as I am. I love the very stylized look of these illustrations, and of course I love the story itself.

I’ve lost count of how many different versions of the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, that I have. As a graduate student, I not only TA’d an undergrad class studying this epic, but I was simultaneously taking my own grad-level class studying the same thing. I spent my whole final semester at university completely immersed in this story, and have kind of collected versions of it ever since. But I am just keening to get Patel’s book and give it pride of place.

1000 Fonts: I want this book!

This is just too lovely, and shows what a bookish geek I am.

1000 Fonts, published by Chronicle Books, Edited by Bob Gordon with text by Graham Davis, Robin Dodd, and Keith Martin, is just what it sounds like: a book that shows the complete alphabet and numerals in 1000 different fonts. It’s supposed to be able to help you select just the right font for whatever project you may be doing.

I think I’d just be going through it, dreamily looking at them all, probably itching to dig out one of my old calligraphy pens to see if I could do them myself. I’d undoubtedly get as distracted as I do when I go looking up a word in the dictionary. Whether I’d ever actually get to the point of choosing a font might be a matter of doubt, however.

How I love that there are books like this in the world.

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