by syaffolee

Notes on Design and Memes

Hm, yes. I should catch up on reviewing some of the more interesting books I’ve come across. If I’m lucky, I’ll post one or two tomorrow. (Yes, tomorrow’s Saturday and no one’s going to read them because everyone will be out shopping, but eh, who cares?)

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Recently, I’ve been looking through some coffee table-type books which on the surface, look like picture books of somebody’s collection. But on a second look, they’re really more like compendiums for successful graphic design.

Front Cover: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design by Alan Powers – Traces the impact of modernism on book cover design in the twentieth century. All of the covers, to me, look like they would work just as well as poster advertisements. Now, if only e-book covers were just as appealing…

Manga Design by Masano Amano – With over 100 influential manga artists profiled, it’s encyclopedic. For anyone who still thinks that manga is the Japanese version of the Sunday comics this will blow your preconceptions wide open. Whimsical to serious, beautiful to grotesque–it’s really as varied as any other art form.

Matchbox Labels by Jane Smith – Phillumeny, or collecting matchbox labels and associated match packaging, reminds me more of stamp collecting than anything else. These labels are from all over the world and have subjects that range from birds to toothpaste. And, of course, some of these labels are even ads for cigarettes. (Related link: Collecting matchbox labels: an online label collection.)

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The Steampunk Librarian. Oh, now who can turn down a weblog that has everything steampunk? Not only does it discuss the old goodies like Jules Verne and Victorian gadgets but it also explores how the antique influences more modern sensibilities.

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Book-Length Fiction? This post from the 2Blowhards is from about a month ago, but everyone knows I can’t pass up anything that has to do with books. My first impression was, Whoa, what are you dissing books for?, because I find it hard to believe that a book really requires that much attention. But then again, I read fast. I don’t take 15 hours to finish a book–if I did, my bookrolling page would have 10 entries instead of 100. And, of course, I initially read the post when I was in the middle of writing a novel–so who can blame me for feeling a bit pissed at people thinking that my hobby is a cumbersome bore and suggesting that writers should “create fiction that doesn’t weigh itself down”? I think fly fishing is a cumbersome bore but I don’t tell people to give it up and do paragliding instead.

Everyone has different tastes in art and I don’t think that one form of art is more or less valid than another. It’s true that I sometimes grumble about the doorstop books being published today but this doesn’t mean that I have to read or write those kinds of books. Now, whether or not a particular book is good reading or not regardless of the length is an entirely different matter.

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The Thursday Threesome: Candy canes and Peppermint sticks

Onesome: Candy canes– Treat of the Christmas season or something you just never got into? (Oh, and “traditional” or with green stripes for the aficionados out there?)

I like all candy canes. Except for the bubble gum ones.

Twosome: and Peppermint– or cinnamon scented candles and such? Which do you prefer when you walk into a home or business this time of year? …or maybe even fresh evergreen from a real tree?

I don’t have a preference as long as it’s not too strong.

Threesome: sticks– ..or schtick? ..or even maybe kitsch? Yeah, what is your most un-favorite piece of Christmastime memorabilia? That display at the hardware store? The “Simpsons Nativity”? That ornament you made in third grade that still ends up on the tree each year? Inquiring minds and all that…

You have no idea how much Christmas commercials irk me.