I’m very excited to kick-off our new Goodness blog with this little project. I asked a group of outstanding graphic designers to…
Please recommend a book that you have found particularly inspiring or meaningful to your development as a creative person.
One restriction: Please no books on graphic design.
I had a feeling that these artists would lead me to some new favorites. I enjoy following up on cross-referenced suggestions that lurk about in a lot of pop-culture. Watch almost any Scorsese film, and you’ll catch little snippets of his favorite movies. I found out about The Jazz Singer by watching Goodfellas. This sort of thing happens all the time once you keep your eye out for it. When you really connect with a source, you often appreciate what they like as well.
The responses I received from these artists formed an unexpected and intriguing reading list. One that should keep me busy for the next year or so. Also fascinating are the personal statements reflecting why their books are so meaningful to them.
Play It As It Lays, by Joan Didion
This is a sparse and beautifully crafted novel set in the emptiness of Los Angeles, and following themes of despair and detachment. It is the writing style that made a huge impact on me when I first read the book as a young designer. It made clear the power of nothingness, or minimal language. There are no unnecessary words, plot devices, or characters. It is stripped down to its bare core.
The discoveries we make are not our own. The seeds of every art are implanted within us, and God our instructor, from hidden sources, develops our ability to create.
—The 1851 London Great Exhibition Catalog