Monthly Archives: August 2011

Happy Orientation – Tours! Raffles! Books! Movies! and more

To help new students get familiar with the Visual Arts Library (sva.edu/library) we are holding an open house tomorrow, Wed. Aug 31st. Come by at 11am and 2pm for tours of all our nooks (comics!) and crannies (film scripts!) as well as light refreshments.

We are also holding a raffle for four fine new books. To enter, just stop by the Circulation Desk and fill out an entry form. Good luck!


1st Prize: Loiuse Bourgeois: The Fabric Works – German Celant


2nd Prize: The map as art : contemporary artists explore cartography / Katharine Harmon


3rd Prize: Tim Burton / MoMA


4th Prize: The Epiplectic Bicycle – Edward Gorey

The Influentials – SVA grads trace their sources

Now up at the Visual Arts Gallery: The Influentials “an exhibition featuring distinguished female alumni of the College and the diverse group of artists who have influenced their practice.” – Running August 26 – September 21, 2011.

Some of the SVA alumna/artists featured:
Inka Essenhigh (MFA 1994 Fine Arts), Francesco Clemente
Yuko Shimizu (MFA 2003 Illustration as Visual Essay), Thomas Woodruff
Kate Gilmore (MFA 2002 Fine Arts), Marilyn Minter
Suzanne McClelland (MFA 1989 Fine Arts), Judy Pfaff

Related books/videos in the Visual Arts Library:

Inka Essenhigh : recent paintings / by Bonnie Clearwater – ND237.E74 A4 2003

Clemente / organized by Lisa Dennison – N6923.C54 A4 1999


Look, it’s Thomas Woodruff’s freak parade/ Thomas Woodruff – ND237.W798 A4 2006 OVERSIZE

Judy Pfaff / by Irving Sandler – N6537.P43 A4 2003


Rock and shift / Suzanne McClelland – N6537.M318 A4 2008

Marilyn Minter: Green Pink Caviar – V-A M567 Gre DVD

Kate Gillmore:

Cartooning for the New Yorker


MFA Illustration as Visual Essay grad, Center for Cartoon Studies founder and prolific graphic novelist(see below) James Sturm has an article on Slate detailing his experiences creating gag cartoons and trying to get one in the New Yorker.

I started doodling randomly on scrap sheets of papers, trying to draw something surprising or something that made me laugh. The best of these doodles— Frankenstein’s monster staring at his big hands, a rabbi taking bong hits in a dorm room—I would then redraw slightly tighter in the gag sketchbook and have faith a caption would come later. If after a week I couldn’t come up with anything, I’d e-mail the drawing to my dad, who, by virtue of entering The New Yorker caption contest on a regular basis (and once being one of the three finalists), seemed the right man for the job.

To see Sturm’s work and explore the world of New Yorker cartoons in the Visual Arts Library:


Market Day / James Sturm – PN6727.S78 M37 2010

Adventures in Cartooning / James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, Alexis Frederick-Frost – NC1764 .S88 2009

Satchel Paige : striking out Jim Crow / by James Sturm & Rich Tommaso – PN6727 .S88 2007


The complete cartoons of the New Yorker / edited by Robert Mankoff – NC1428.N47 C66 2004

The rejection collection : cartoons you never saw, and never will see, in the New Yorker / edited by Matthew Diffee – NC1428 .N47 2006a

The art of the New Yorker, 1925-1995 / Lee Lorenz – NC1428.N47 1995

A Mixed Creature Congress Drawn by a Priestess in Blue – new books


Congress of the animals / Jim Woodring. – PN6727.W625 C664 2011


Mixed use, Manhattan : photography and related practices, 1970s to the present – NX511.N4 M59 2010


Portrait of a priestess : women and ritual in ancient Greece / Joan Breton Connelly. – BL795.W65 C66 2010


Vishnu : Hinduism’s blue-skinned savior / edited by Joan Cummins – N8195.3.V3 V57 2011


Leonid Tishkov : creatures – N6999.T57 D8 1993


Drawn In: A Peek Into the Inspiring sketchbooks of 44 fine artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and cartoonists / Julia Rothman. -NC53 .R68 2011

Anatomy of a Reader’s Bookmark

Every year the Visual Arts Library commissions designs for bookmarks and buttons from our student workers. This year we went a bit outside the fold for a specialist (all of our current student workers are photography students this summer – go figure) and asked MFA Design student Joanna Kuczek to create something new to spread the word about the library to the SVA community and beyond. Kuczek’s work references Saul Bass’ iconic designs for two Otto Preminger films from the 50s, ‘The Man With the Golden Arm’ and ‘Anatomy of a Murder’ (both available in the Visual Arts Library). Here’s hoping the aura of graphic mystery of this work will draw in the masses. Drop by and pick up a button and a bookmark – you can’t beat free!


The Man With the Golden Arm – V-F P737 Man DVD
Anatomy of a Murder – V-F P737 Ana DVD

For more on Bass:
Bass on Titles V-F B377 Bas VHS
Saul Bass – N620.S36 B37 1996
6 Chapters in Design: Saul Bass, Ivan Chermayeff, Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Ikko Tanaka, Henryk Tomaszewski – NC998.4 .A125 1997

Watch Saul Bass’ title sequence for The Man With the Golden Arm:

Swoosh, There It Is


The iconic Nike Swoosh recently turned 40 years old. For details on the process of its creation, take a look at this profile (and video interview circa 1983) of the designer who came up with it, Carolyn Davidson:

[Ms. Davidson said] it was a challenge to come up with a logo that conveyed motion, that looked good on a shoe, and that Mr Knight and the rest of the team would like.
In particular, she said Mr Knight was very impressed with the stripes of rival company Adidas, so it was hard to come up with something original.
She worked by sketching potential logos out by hand on tissue paper, and laying them over a drawing of a shoe.
When she first showed her final designs to Mr Knight and two other Nike executives in 1971, they weren’t immediately blown away by the swoosh. ‘What else you got?’ they asked.
Over the next few minutes, they decided that was the best one, and they decided to move ahead with it immediately, without even giving Ms Davidson time to ‘clean up the design’.

Steven Heller has some images of the design process on his blog.

SVA now offers a Masters program in Branding

Some books to explore in the Visual Arts Library:


Logo design workbook : a hands-on guide to creating logos / Sean Adams & Noreen Morioka – NC1002.L63 A3 2006


Logo design love : a guide to creating iconic brand identities / from David Airey – NC1002.L63 A37 2010


Logo design / ed., Julius Wiedemann – NC1002.L63 L62 2006


Emotional branding : the new paradigm for connecting brands to people / by Marc Gobé. – HD69.B7 G62 2001


Decoding design : understanding and using symbols in visual communication : discover the hidden meanings inside common corporate logos and designs / Maggie Macnab. – NC1002.L63 M33 2008

Where a Map can take you


For the visually oriented one small perk of train/subway travel is the maps used to communicate routes. This post about the lack of an Amtrak map at Penn Station struck us as telling, given the general lack of thought put into the visual experience of that place and bad signage.

The MTA recently came out with a new version of their iconic map of the NYC subway system (of which they expect to print 6 million copies a year!). This interactive site lets you compare the current map to four recent versions, going back to 1969 and including Massimo Vignelli‘s version from 1972. To go back even further, take a look at this collection of historical NYC subway maps dating back to the 1880s – before Brooklyn was even part of New York City. For a discussion of the issues involved in creating such a map, take a look at this post from O’Reilly.


Transit maps of the world / Mark Ovenden – G1046.P33 O9 2007

Travel by train : the American railroad poster, 1870-1950 / Michael E. Zega – NC1849.R34 Z44 2002

Railway posters, 1923-1947 : from the collection of the National Railway Museum, York, England – NC1849.R34 C65 1992

Art and the subway : New York underground / Tracy Fitzpatrick. – N8251.S565 F58 2009

Helvetica and the New York City subway system : the true (maybe) story / Paul Shaw – Z250.5.S24 S53 2009

And for a different angle on maps and aesthetics:

The map as art : contemporary artists explore cartography / Katharine Harmon – N8222.M375 H37 2009

The world according to the newest and most exact observations : mapping art + science / Susan Bender and Ian Berry – N8222.M375 B46 2001