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THE BRIEF: Design catalog covers to represent all the sundry imprints of the spanking new "Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group" collectively, and individually. Avoid bruising egos. Discourage jockeying over colophon positioning. This is the upshot:





The individual pages only have color and font in common...

DOUBLEDAY:



KNOPF:


PANTHEON:



Everyman's Library & Vintage Anchor not shown.

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I've worked on many many records recently- but life is so hectic these days I haven't had a chance to put any of them up. Here's the most recent. It's for the same folks in France who produced the ETHER project. The gray is metallic silver...Click on the image below for a larger look...many more vinyl and cd projects tk...




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JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING
WHAT THIS IMAGE SOUNDS LIKE...

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As it's Fashion Week...Melvin Sokolsky

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Clearly we all agree that the second theme in the first movement of the Emperor Concerto is "junk." Furthermore, it's well known that the first subject of the ninth contrapunctus in The Art of The Fugue is "intrusive." Here: The always fascinating Mr. Gould on artistic neuroses, improvisatory chutzpah, and "programmatic scaffolds." G.G.'s opinions range from the provocative to the downright wacky- but there is something profound here in his comments on the need for justification in artistic expression...
.

The follow-up to Knopf's
Peavear-Volokhonsky WAR AND PEACE:



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plain

Luminous

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PAEANS/PANS, PENNY-EACH

Last post on Updike: I promise.

I know, I KNOW: we're all supposed to
love John Updike. And clearly, the time of Updike-hagiography is upon us. So far be it from me to grouse about someone so beloved- it's just... well, it's just a couple of things...

First off, I'm a tad piqued that in EVERY interview that the man gave before his death he managed to slip in a snipe at the publishing industry- otherwise known as "The Hand That Fed John Updike" (file under Don't Bite The). Dear Sir- if you prick us do we not bleed?

We (speaking as a member of the sinister industry in question) are not a dark cabal-but rather a federation of mostly decent folk trying to pay our rents whilst, if we are lucky and work at a house such as A.A. Knopf, forwarding the cause of literature. There- I've said it.

Oh, Updike's digs are subtle, and perhaps this is what Adam Gopnik refers to in his Talk of the Town piece as Updike's ability to "Bite without tooth-marks." But the bites are there. And, incidentally, is there such thing as a "bite without tooth-marks?" Not in the sense Gopnik means it. Either it bites, or it doesn't. Which brings me to my second point...

We'll call this complaint "Contra Vivid Prose." And I call as my expert witness the late great Gilbert Sorrentino, whose Mulligan Stew was a seriously important book to me way back in the eighties. I was led to Sorrentino's Something Said by a friend who also has clandestine reservations about Updike. In his piece Sorrentino condemns Updike's work as "Buckling under the weight of (a) concatenation of images, often linked together by comparisons that work to conceal the reality they are supposedly revealing."

To quote an oft-cited example from Updike's A Month of Sundays: "Newsletters and quarterlies that pour through the minister's letter slot like urine from a cow's vulva." Ahem. Putting aside the fact that what the hell does this cow have to do with anything, the real feeling of the mail arriving has not been elucidated here- rather, the vividness of the image enhances, and thereby obfuscates. We read this passage and picture the urine and the orifice and cool! We see in our mind's eye something pour out of something. But these are (again, Sorrentino) "Fancy images (that are) not in touch with the world but emblazon it." And here's the thing- once you notice this tendency in Updike, you can't un-notice it. It's everywhere in his writing.

OK, I'm done. Phew- glad that's off the old chest. So now let the hate-mail rain upon me like...urine?

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ON NAMES AND NAMING IV

Obama, it turns out, is the first American president with more vowels in his surname than consonants. This and other tidbits, orthographical, linguistic, and otherwise HERE. Not mentioned in the article, is the ever-important visual stackability issue:

BARACK
OBAMA

(cantilevered, but still
pretty damn good

despite the
syllabic asymmetry)


of course, visually,
it's no


RONALD
REAGAN

whose enduring appeal at last makes some sense to me.

It's all in the stack.

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oh- and best design name suggested for me thus far:

"El Sund"

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Wuxtry, wuxtry...this just in:

from novelist Katharine Weber


1) "When I wrote a profile of Paul Rand in about 1985, I learned that he had changed his name from Paul Rosenbaum and when I asked him why, he said he liked the four letters of Rand, that it was an entirely aesthetic decision and improvement. Also, not so Jewish sounding, I asked? He grinned...."

Holy schmegeggies! I had no idea. His original name, it turns out, was Peretz Rosenbaum.

Also, from the same source...


2) Jack Mech is the blog 'o the week
over at
READERVILLE

What is to be gleaned from these seemingly disparate facts?

That there is promise in this newly minted nom de guerre of mine. In other words: look out world, here comes "Chuck Mendy!"

(No, not really)


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Also, in attendance at the Sahre event
were plentiful pairs o' these
.

(Have we designers become,
sartorially speaking,
the new...gulp...architects?)


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...in continuation of
the previous post...

Proper names are familiar expressions of natural language. Their semantics remains a contested subject in the philosophy of language, with those who believe a descriptive element belongs in their meaning (whether at the level of intension or at the level of character) ranged against supporters of the more austere view whereby a name is one that has no meaning but its bearer or referent.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES FOR ME...

per Chip:

BIFF
MENDY

qua Jon Gray:

PETE
1968

Jeezus I'm old...
and that actually looks
kind of sepulchral...

PETE
066-46-..
.

Identity theft could be an issue....

as per Gabriele Wilson:

P-M
DAWN


which is catchy but eerily familiar..

Keenan style:

MENDELSUND

Though there is already a singly named "Mendelssohn,"
Felix-Bartholdy being so unwieldy...

Megan Wilson and Carol Carson
have suggestions
but they tend towards the
suitably insulting...

I guess Peter Mendelsund
it shall stay.
My grandmother
would be
so proud.


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Last night I went to an

AIGA
TALK

given by the incredible

PAUL
SAHRE

I went down there with my friend

JOHN
GALL

Not in attendance,
though much discussed, was


CHIP
KIDD

Clearly, great book designers have

SHORT
NAMES

WHICH
STACK


Maybe, as of today, I should become

PETE
MEND

It's hopeless.

any advice,

KELLY
BLAIR?

All I know is thank GOD for you

STEFAN
SAGMEISTER

Though, might I be so bold as to suggest

STEF
SAGG

?


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And a kind reader
just wrote to remind me
of the one and only

PAUL
RAND

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AN ALBERS, TO WARM UP YOUR COLD DAY.

I'm working with the man who runs the Albers foundation on a Bauhaus book at the moment. More on this later...

OLDER ENTRIES