Category Archives: Art & Design

What’s up, Chuck?

Growing up with Saturday morning cartoons, there came a point, past when I started to see the differences between Warner Bros. cartoons and products from Hanna Barbara (ex. The Flintstones) or MGM (ex. Tom and Jerry), when even within the vast universe of WB animation, certain titles stood out for their excellence – of story, of art, of animated movement. And consistently I found those extraordinary cartoons – Rabbit of Seville, What’s Opera, Doc?, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, Don’t Give Up the Sheep – were directed by Chuck Jones. Now the Museum of the Moving Image has a show up through January, 2015, highlighting the career of this singular animator, What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones. (review / slideshow)

To explore his work:

Chuck amuck : the life and times of an animated cartoonist / by Chuck Jones – NC1766.U52 J66 1989

Chuck reducks : drawings from the fun side of life / Chuck Jones ; with a foreword by Robin Williams. – NC1766.U52 J66 1996

Looney tunes premiere collection /director, Charles M. Jones – V-AN J664 LooP DVD

Looney tunes golden collection. Vol. 2 – includes “What’s opera, Doc?” (1957)

Gay Purr-ee / Warner Bros ; A UPA production ; written by Dorothy & Chuck Jones – V-AN L458 Gay DVD

How the Grinch stole Christmas / Producers, Chuck Jones and Theodore Geisel ; director, Chuck Jones – V-AN S487 How DVD

Chuck Jones extremes & inbetweens, a life in animation / produced and directed by Margaret Selby – V-AN J664 Ext DVD

Reconstructing Modernist Press Oop Good Cherish – new books!

Modernist cuisine at home / Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet – TX651 .M93 2012

Do not ask what good we do : inside the U.S. House of Representatives / Robert Draper – JK1319 .D73 2012

Italian Futurism 1909-1944 : reconstructing the universe / edited by Vivien Greene.- N6494.F8 I83 2014

Alley Oop. Volume 1, 1934-1936 : the complete Sundays / V.T. Hamlin.- PN6728.A45 H36 2014 OVERSIZE

Press here / Hervé Tullet – PZ7.T82314 Pr 2011

Love, dishonor, marry, die, cherish, perish : a novel / David Rakoff- PS3618.A436 L68 2013

Robin Williams RIP

Where do you start with Robin Williams? – 70+ credits on IMDB, so many classics and a few clunkers. Starting with Mork from Ork, Williams has been a fixture of the cultural landscape ever since, starring in goofy comedies and serious dramas. His frenetic style of improvisation was the stuff of legend. In the many tributes we can get some sense of the pain shared by so many fans right now. He was easily one of the most beloved performers of our time.
To see:

Good Will Hunting / written by Ben Affleck & Matt Damon ; directed by Gus Van Sant. – V-F V367 Goo DVD

Dead Poets Society / a Peter Weir film – V-F W447 Dea DVD

What dreams may come / a film by Vincent Ward – V-F W364 What DVD

One hour photo / written and directed by Mark Romanek – V-F R651 One DVD

The Fisher King / directed by Terry Gilliam – V-F G544 Fis DVD

Aladdin /produced and directed by John Musker, Ron Clements – V-AN D476 Ala DVD

Paula Scher Makes a New Window

Paula Scher on designing the Windows 8 logo:

Meeting with Microsoft early in the development process, Scher asked: “Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?”

The answer is the brand started as a window, but over the years, as computing systems grew more powerful and graphics more complex, evolved into a flag. Scher made the assumption that the waving flag was probably a result of typical industry comments that a plain window looked too static, and that straight lines were too severe.

“I think the waving flag was meant to be a flag in perspective,” says Scher. “All of the clichés of technology design are based on the idea that icons should look dimensional like product design that tech designers call ‘chrome’––look at the iPhone interface where everything has gradation and drop shadows.”

The new identity returns the logo to its roots. The name Windows was originally introduced as a metaphor for seeing into screens and systems and a new view on technology. The new identity reintroduces this idea with the actual visual principles of perspective. It also reflects the Metro design language developed by Microsoft for its products, graphics and user interfaces.

Check Scher out:

Make it bigger / Paula Scher – NC998.5.A1 S34 2002

Graphic design portfolio : how to make a good one / Paula Scher. – NC1001.S34 1992

Left, right, up, down : new directions in signage and wayfinding / ed. by TwoPoints.Net ; interview with Paula Scher by Martin Lorenz – NC1002.S54 L44 2010

Paula Scher : maps : paintings, installations, drawings and prints / Paula Scher – ND237.S4216 A4 2011

Studio Visits

This post of photos of illlustrators in their studios starts off with illustration super-star and SVA alum/faculty Yuko Shimizu. There are several books in the library that peek into the studios of artists, giving the rest of us a peek into their respective spaces and creative processes. Below are some links and titles to explore, in case you share this voyeuristic urge to learn from and explore the worlds of fellow makers. Studios: British artists, Famous artists, Pinterest, Drawing tables, Comic artists

In that stacks:

Artists at work : inside the studios of today’s most celebrated artists / David Seidner – N6536 .S45 1999

Artists’ studios / M.J. Long. – NA997.L66 A4 2009

Studio reader : on the space of artists / edited by Mary Jane Jacob and Michelle Grabner. – N8520 .S78 2010

Inside the painter’s studio / Joe Fig. – ND212.7 .F54 2009

Living and sustaining a creative life : essays by 40 working artists / edited by Sharon Louden – N40 .L58 2013

“The victory of the weightlessness of dreams over the heaviness of reality.”

Master film maker and hardcore human being, Werner Herzog interviewed:

I’m trying to find these rare moments where you feel completely illuminated. Facts never illuminate you. The phone directory of Manhattan doesn’t illuminate you, although it has factually correct entries, millions of them. But these rare moments of illumination that you find when you read a great poem, you instantly know. You instantly feel this spark of illumination. You are almost stepping outside of yourself and you see something sublime. And it can be something very average, some small thing that everybody overlooks. For example, in Grizzly Man, Timothy Treadwell filmed himself. He’s in the Starsky and Hutch mode and reenacts them and does something and he jumps and runs away and the camera is rolling. Twenty seconds later he returns as Starsky and Hutch and switches the camera off. And in these 20 seconds there is only reed grass wafting in the wind. And all of a sudden I notice something very big out there. An image that wanted its own existence. That’s so powerful and so strange and so illuminating that I had to show it in the film. And everybody overlooked it and I have to point it out. It’s something very, very strange and it can be the most insignificant, which all of a sudden acquires something deep and almost illuminating of your existence. You’re deep inside into the nature of things, into the abysses of the human soul.

Herzog made a film, Fitzcarraldo, about a man man who has a steamship hauled over a mountain in the Andes. And to dramatize this crazy story, he filmed a steamship over 30 tons being hauled over a mountain. People died.


Herzog on Herzog / edited by Paul Cronin – PN1998.3.H477 A3 2002

Cobra Verde / written and directed by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 cob DVD

Aguirre, the Wrath of God / a film by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Agu DVD

Fitzcarraldo / directed by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Fit DVD

My best fiend / directed and narrated by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 My DVD

Even dwarfs started small / written and directed by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Nos DVD

Nosferatu the Vampyre & Phantom der Nacht / written, produced and directed by Werner Herzog

Encounters at the end of the world / directed, written and narrated by Werner Herzog

Stroszek / ein Film von Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Str DVD

Grizzly Man / directed and narrated by Werner Herzog – V-D H476 Gri DVD

Illustrating the World by Computer

Most of the students at SVA were born after 1987, meaning they never lived in a world without the vector graphics made possible by Adobe Illustrator. For designers who trained in the pre-digital world of graphic design, the difference is vast. This short film, The Adobe Illustrator Story, talks to some of the creators, testers, and early proponents of Adobe’s groundbreaking program. It’s hard to imagine so much of the style of design of the past three decades without the relative ease and speed of creation afforded by programs like Illustrator.

More on the vector graphics and the history of graphic design:

Vectorism : vector graphics today / edited and produced by Viction:workshop. – NC997 .V437 2011

Vector basic training : a systematic creative process for building precision vector artwork / developed & written by Von Glitschka. – T385 .G5856 2011

Graphic design history : a critical guide / Johanna Drucker, Emily McVarish. – NC998 .D78 2013

Meggs’ history of graphic design / Philip B. Meggs, Alston W. Purvis – Z246 .M43 2012