Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Whatever It Takes

by Paul Tough

Photograph by Jeff Riedel for The New York Times
Art Director: Michaela Sullivan // Houghton Mifflin Company

The Art Director Michaela Sullivan gave me a selection of photographs to work with. Mostly images of young students in their classrooms engaged and learning. But this pied piper shot of Geoffrey Canada amongst the multitude of children filling up a Harlem street said it all. Showing us all what is at stake.

What would it take?

That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children — not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Children's Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in the lives — their schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents.

Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but also of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Breakfast with Buddha

by Roland Merullo

Art Director: Anne Winslow // Algonquin Books

Photograph by Jon Shireman

A spiritual road-trip novel.
The idea was to show Buddha or spiritual in some way on the cover. I thought of sunny side up eggs, or an enlightening stream of morning sunlight through a window. But thought a subtler way was Buddha shaped salt & pepper shakers in a breakfast setting with a plates of sunny side up eggs. I thought that was too much information so I changed it to a road side diner setting to suggest eating on the road.
I did a web search and was surprised that there actually were salt & pepper shakers in the shape of Buddhas from Neiman Marcus. But unfortunately they were not available. So the photographer Jon Shireman went down to the Pearl River Mart in Chinatown and found some wooden miniature Buddhas. We faked it by painting them glossy black and white to suggest ying and yang and drilling holes into it's head.

Salt & Pepper Shakers from Neiman Marcus / Not at a store near you.

The Paris Review Interviews: vol. 3

Introduction by Margaret Atwood // Edited by Philip Gourevitch
The Paris Review / Picador

• A PRINT's Regional Design Annual Selection

So I held out as long as I could from using red. I wanted to change it up and tried different background color versions. One using a purple so deep that it almost looks like black and one with a bright magenta. But good old fire engine red was what they wanted. I did try jazzing it up a little by using metallic silver and a greenish yellow and spot gloss on the large quotation marks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


by John Lydon // Picador

by Jamie Reid. God Save the Queen (Single cover),1977. Newsprint, photocopy and paper.

I didn't realize that the band logo used on "Never Mind the Bollocks" was a photostat copy of the cut and paste type used on God Save the Queen. I still don't know what fonts were used in the original.

While doing research, I found this great article uncovering the background story behind the rock band logos.
The Top 10 Rock Band Logos by Koldo Barroso