Author Archives: svaref

Massimo Vignelli and the MTA

It is hard to imagine anyone who has not come across or even been immersed in the design work of Massimo Vignelli . He was an enormous figure in the history of modernist design and set the example for generations of designers since. For New Yorkers, if you ride the MTA, you see his influence every day in the signage system his international design firm Unimark created, as codified in their NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual, as well as their iconic map from 1972 (since adapted). To explore some of Vignelli’s Canon, click the links and take a look at the titles below.

Vignelli from a to Z/ Massimo Vignelli – NK1535.V53 V53 2007

Design is one / Lella and Massimo Vignelli – NK1535.V53 D47 2004

Design is one: Lella & Massimo Vignelli / a film by Kathy Brew & Roberto Guerra – V-D G843 Des DVD – (At Circulation Desk – in library use only)

Design–Vignelli : essays / by Germano Celant, et al. – NK1535.V53 D4 1990

Unimark International : the design of business and the business of design / Jan Conradi ; foreword by Massimo Vignelli – NC999.4.U55 C66 2010

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

A Phenomenal Woman Passes

Poet Maya Angelou reading ‘Phenomenal Woman’

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
- from ‘Caged Bird’ by Maya Angelou

The NYTimes obituary for Maya Angelou reads like the life stories of 4 or 5 people, crammed into one: poet, author, journalist, playwright, singer, dancer, first black conductor on the San Francisco trolley, and more. And all of that action was translated over a lifetime into poems and memoirs that inspired and left an impression on the culture. To sample her works and collaborations:

The Complete collected poems of Maya Angelou – PS3551.N464 A17 1994

Gather together in my name / Maya Angelou – E185.97.A56 A29

I know why the caged bird sings / Maya Angelou. – PS3551.N464 Z466 2009

Life doesn’t frighten me / by Maya Angelou ; illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat – PS3551.N464 L54 1993 OVERSIZE

Now Sheba sings the song / by Maya Angelou ; with art by Tom Feelings. – PS3551.N464 N67 1994

The Shallows of Doubt vs. the Depth of Permission with Collaborative Maps – new books!

The Shallows : what the Internet is doing to our brains / Nicholas Carr – QP360 .C3667 2011

The Depths : the evolutionary origins of the depression epidemic / Jonathan Rottenberg. – RC537 .R6585 2014

On the Map: a mind expanding exploration of the way of the world looks / Simon Garfield – GA201 .G366 2013

Merchants of Doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming / Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway – Q147 .O74 2010

Biopunk: solving biotech’s biggest problems in kitchens and garages / Marcus Wohlsen – TP248.23 .W65 2011

Without their permission: how the 21st century will be made, not managed / Alexis Ohanian – HF5548.32 .O37 2013

What’s mine is yours : the rise of collaborative consumption / Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. – HC79.C6 B68 2010

Memorial Day Holiday Hours


The SVA Library will close at 1pm on Friday, May 23rd and will be closed Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day. We will reopen to our summer hours on Tuesday the 26th.

Summer Hours:

M-Th: 9am – 7pm
F: 9am – 4pm

Tony Palladino Covers

Last week designer and SVA faculty member Tony Palladino passed away. Our archivist, Beth Kleber, has a nice remembrance of Palladino on the SVA Archives blog, Container List. While you are there, take a look the image collection to which she links. As it happens, the latest version of the SVA Archives’ display case in the front of the library is currently dedicated to Palladino’s work as a designer of book jackets. Like so many designers of note, a search for his name does not turn up a lot in the Vision catalog, but that does not mean he didn’t leave behind a considerable legacy.


Under Eden’s Selective Sequential Neuron of Nearness – new books!

Eden and After / Nan Goldin – TR681.C5 G67 2014

Under Wildwood / Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis – PZ7.M51635 Und 2012

Neurocomic / by Matteo Farinella, Hana Ros – QP376 .F37 2013

Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can’t Learn about Sex from Animals / Marlene Zuk – QL761 .Z85 2002

China is Near / Joyce Kozloff – N6537.K659 A4 2010

The Visual Language of Comics: Introduction to the Structure and Cognition of Sequential Images / Neil Cohn – PN6710.C64 V57 2013

HR Giger’s World

HR Giger, creator of the nightmarish world brought to life in the Alien films, just passed away. Before that Giger had worked on the visual style of Alejandro Jodorowksy’s Dune, a film which was never made (though is the subject of a recent documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune – We’ll add that to the collection when it’s put out on DVD, but in the meantime, take a look at Jodorowsky’s Constellation).

“My planet was ruled by evil,” Giger said of his Dune design, “a place where black magic was practiced, aggressions were let loose, and intemperance and perversion were the order of the day. Just the place for me, in fact.”

Giger’s vision and style, mixing eroticism, horror, and biomechanical beings with a surrealist’s touch had a far reaching impact, from film design to album covers, and beyond.

(image from Www HR Giger com)

More on Giger: Juxtapoz slideshow, Dangerous Minds, boing boing, Rolling Stone album covers

In the stacks:

Www HR Giger com / text, H.R. Giger – ND1460.F35 G55 1997

HR Giger ARh₊ / editing and production, Gaby Falk

H.R. Giger’s Necronomicon 2/ NC988.5 G53 N4

N.Y. City / H. R. Giger – NC988.5.G53N48

Alien – dir. Ridley Scott – V-F S467 AliD DVD

Logo Redux?

Have you ever seen a logo that seemed a little too familiar? The website LogoThief offers cases of design theft, or heavy borrowing, depending on the case. The site provides a place to track and report such cases, and possibly serves as a warning to would-be logo thiefs.
To explore copyright and logos further:

Copyfraud and other abuses of intellectual property law / Jason Mazzone. – KF2994 .M399 2011

Logo lab : featuring 18 case studies that demonstrate identity creation from concept to completion / by Christopher Simmons. – NC1002.L63 S55 2005

Logo life : life histories of 100 famous logos / Ron van der Vlugt. – NC1002.L63 V68 2012

Logo brainstorm book : a comprehensive guide for exploring design directions / Jim Krause. – NC1002.L63 K73 2012

Logo savvy : top brand-design firms share their naming and identity strategies / Perry Chua & Dann Ilicic ; WOW Branding. – NC1002.L63 L657 2007

Logo design workbook : a hands-on guide to creating logos / Sean Adams & Noreen Morioka with Terry Stone ; designed by Sean Adams & Jennifer Hopkins. – NC1002.L63 A3 2006

Masters of design : logos & identity : a collective of the world’s most inspiring logo designers / Sean Adams. – NC1002.L63 A32 2008

Logolounge 6 : 2,000 international identities by leading designers / Catharine Fishel and Bill Gardner. – NC1002.L63 F57 2011

Riot of a Blighted World Portrait Name – new books!

Art cities of the future : 21st Century Avant-Gardes – N6497 .A783 2013

In the good name of the company : artworks and ephemera produced by or in tandem with the Colby Poster Printing Company / organized by Christopher Michlig, Brian Roettinger, Jan Tumlir. – NC1807.U5 I6 2013

Jerusalem : a family portrait / Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi – PN6727.Y34 J47 2013

The Blighted eye : original comic art from the Glenn Bray Collection / PN6726 .B738 2014

A Map of the world : according to illustrators & storytellers / edited by Antonis Antoniou, Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Hendrik Hellige. – N8222.M375 M36 2013

Riot / Isaac Julien with Cynthia Rose [and nine others]. – N6797.J95 A4x 2013

Happy Cinco de May and End of the Semester!

Today is the 152nd Anniversary of Cinco de Mayo, when the Mexican Army defeated invading French forces at the Battle of Puebla. Turns out the whole story is a cautionary story about taking on debt. In related news, today is the last day of the Spring 2014 semester!

Tomorrow the library switches to our May summer hours (until Memorial Day):
Monday – Friday: 9am to 7pm

To tour through Mexican art and graphics in the stacks:

Mexican graphics = Gráfica mexicana / Antoni Cadafalch – NC998.4 .C33 2011

Made in Mexico / Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.- N6555 .I5 2004

Strange new world : art and design from Tijuana = Extraño nuevo mundo : arte y diseño desde Tijuana /editor and curator, Rachel Teagle- N6557.T5 S77 2006

Posada’s popular Mexican prints; 273 cuts / by José Guadalupe Posada – NE546.P6 B47 1972

Sensacional : Mexican street graphics / Juan Carlos Mena and Óscar Reyes – ND2644 .M46 2002

The Day of the Dead : a pictorial archive of Dia de los Muertos / selected and edited by Jean Moss – GT4995.A4 D643 2010