New Work: Designers & Books
A visit to any designer’s studio will show you that designers have a special relationship with books: reading them, collecting them, writing them, designing them. Designers & Books is a new website devoted to publishing lists of books that esteemed designers—architects, graphic designers, fashion designers, interior designers and product designers—find personally important or formative to their ideas about design. Founded by Steve Kroeter, the site is guided by the principle that, similar to the way good design can make your life better, good books can also make your life better. Pentagram’s Lisa Strausfeld and Takaaki Okada have designed the site to be an accessible, growing resource.
The site launches with book lists from 50 designers, including our own Michael Bierut and Paula Scher, and over 650 titles. In addition, the site also includes book lists submitted by members of the extended design community academics, critics, curators, editors, lecturers and writers—who the site calls “commentators.” The site will continue to expand: new book lists from designers and commentators will be added weekly.
The Designers & Books homepage highlights a single designer and book—a quote from a designer about one of his or her selections—and keeps a running tabulation of the number of designers who have participated and books currently listed on the site. Each designer has his or her own page with a statement about what books have personally meant to them and a list of their chosen titles with commentary. Books can be filtered by genre, and selecting a book will display a list of other designers who have also selected that title for their lists. Users can create their own individual reading lists based on the designer selections and print or e-mail these. The site also contains a directory of bookstores that specialize in design or have well-edited design departments.
Project Team: Lisa Strausfeld, partner-in-charge and designer; Takaaki Okada, designer. Project manager/producer: Brian Wu, Inside Out Design.