The 2017 Newmanology Holiday Book Gift Guide
Welcome to the Fourth Annual Newmanology Holiday Book Gift Guide. Here’s our collection of 10 favorite books released this past year. They are all strong visual and creative collections, featuring design, imagery, and writing that highlights artwork, magazine design, illustration, typography, and more. This collection is highly subjective; on a recent trip with my daughter to Oblong Books in Millerton, NY I easily found another dozen books that could be on this list! Be sure to check out previous Newmanology gift guides from 2013, 2014 and 2015 for even more cool (and timeless) books. [Note: For information and purchasing, we’ve tried to link as closely to the source as possible. All these books are available via Amazon.com.]
Star Wars Super Graphic
By Tim Leong >> The second volume of incredibly obsessive and brilliantly-conceived infographics by the design director of Entertainment Weekly. With a fan’s passion and a smart designer’s storytelling skills, Leong has packed this book with graphic representations (i.e., charts and graphics) of Star Wars info. From the Jedi High Council Seating Chart to the definitive ranking of lightsabers to the ultimate Yoda Venn diagram, there is enough in this book to keep fans of all ages enthralled. More info: Chronicle Books.
Psychedelia: 101 Iconic Underground Rock Albums 1966-1970
By Richard Morton Jack >> Beautiful reproductions of 101 classic psychedelic album covers, accompanied by background information on each band and LP. The album cover design is lush and ornate, with lots of trippy illustration, old school photo manipulation, and naive, hand-drawn typography. I wouldn’t call albums by the Rolling Stones or the Doors “underground,” but there are plenty of lesser-known groups such as the Chocolate Watch Band and the Mandrake Memorial. This is a great tribute to a brief but influential school of design, with imagery so powerful that you can taste the acid. More info: Palazzo Books.
Marked, Unmarked, Remembered: A Geography of American Memory
By Andrew Lichtenstein and Alex Lichtenstein >> Andrew Lichtenstein’s powerful, evocative, and elegant photographs of important sites in African American, labor, Native American history, are framed with potent captions by historian Alex Lichtenstein. The Mississippi field where Emmett Till was murdered, a former plantation where Harriet Tubman led a raid of black Union soldiers during the Civil War, a street memorial to Michael Brown, the young man slain in Ferguson, Missouri; these locations and many more are memorialized in this thoughtful, inspiring book. Accompanying essays on selected photos by a group of historians and scholars put the places (and the photographs) in context. More info: Marked Unmarked Remembered.
Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity
Written by Sarah Suzuki, illustrated by Ellen Weinstein >> Gorgeous illustrated children’s book about Yayoi Kusama, the influential Japanese artist and style icon. Written by Sarah Suzuki, a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and beautifully illustrated by Ellen Weinstein, this is a fun, engaging book for all ages; each page is truly a work of art. More info: MoMA Design Store.
The Story of The Face: The Magazine That Changed Culture
By Paul Gorman >> The Face was the style and culture bible of the UK (and the rest of the world) in the 1980s and 90s. Launched in 1980, it featured brilliant, groundbreaking design by Neville Brody, and iconic photography and fashion. This book is packed with covers, feature spreads, fashion pages and photographs, and lots of style. Essential for anyone interested in fashion and style and magazine making. More info: Paul Gorman.
World War 3 Illustrated Presents Fight Fascism!
Edited by the World War 3 Collective >> If you want to make a political statement for the holidays, there’s no better way than buying a copy (and extras!) of this collection of anti-fascist comics and illustrations. World War 3 has switched from its regular comic book format to annual book collections, and this may be the best one yet. It features memorable work by Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman, Sue Coe, Kevin Pyle, Isabella Bannerman, and many more, with front cover art by Eric Drooker and back cover by Steve Brodner. More info: AK Press.
Drew Friedman’s Chosen People
By Drew Friedman >> Over 120 portraits of what this master of illustration describes as “the famous, near-famous, not-so-famous, the celebrated and the reviled.” From Muddy Waters (on the cover) to comic artist Chris Ware to Shemp Howard, this is a state-of-the-art collection that will make you smile from beginning to end. More info: Drew Friedman.
Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue
By Aubrey Powell >> Hipgnosis was a UK design group that was founded in 1967 and went on to create legendary LP cover designs for Pink Floyd, XTC, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Scorpions, Peter Gabriel, Yes, and many more. This book collects reproductions of every Hipgnosis-designed album cover (over 300), with credits for all and background information about their creation. More info: Thames & Hudson.
Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers
By Stephen Shames and Bobby Seale >> We’re cheating a bit with this one, since it was published at the end of 2016, but the book, with photographs by Shames and commentary by Seale, is a remarkable and inspiring historical document. At 20 years old, Shames became the unofficial in-house photographer for the Panthers, getting unprecedented access during the years 1967-73. Seale, of course, was the co-founder and chairman of the Panthers, and his accompanying text adds depth and understanding to Shames’s powerful imagery. More info: Stephen Shames.
Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: 50 Years of New York
By the Editors of New York Magazine >> 400+ pages, oversized, filled with 50 years of New York magazine photos, art, covers, and stories. Designed by New York design director Thomas Alberty and crew, this book is a rich, lush exercise in how to make a great magazine (and keep it great over time). And of course, it’s also a brilliant illustrated history of New York City. More info: New York magazine.
BONUS: Our favorite music-themed books from the past year are Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music, by Ann Powers, and Hendrix: The Illustrated Story, by Gillian G. Gaar. Both are great gift choices for the music fan(s) on your list!