Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Judge These Books By Their Covers.

I've spent the whole semester teaching Design Studio I with a theme of book publishing at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, so this post is quite fitting. It's also fitting because I have a guilty pleasure movie that actually spotlights a cover featured here. Here goes…

(click image to enlarge [slightly])

ROCKWELL KENT: I wonder how many books have inspired as many great art works over the years as Herman Melville's Moby Dick. None better than the 1930, three-part, limited-edition works by artist Rockwell Kent. Once an obscure title released in 1851, the book received a major boom in the early 1920's when critics and authors alike heightened the book's importance as an American literature classic. The Kent-illustrated editions sold-out immediately and helped in launching the legend once again.

(click image to enlarge [slightly])

Fritz's wood-cut cover for Jane Eyre rose to my attention via the smartly-written, not-quite-arthouse 2008 film, Definitely, Maybe. A character was given this edition of the book by her father and I instantly loved the cover. After doing a little research, I found that the art was created by Mr. Eichenberg, a German-American illustrator who fled Hitler's Germany in 1933. He also illustrated Wuthering Heights and a phenomenal collector set can be viewed, or purchased here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


How do we know what we're creating in advertising today will stand the test of time? Most of the time, I really do care. I promise, I do. The rest of the time, however? I laugh at silly commercials, many featuring my favorite "that's the guy from my favorite commercials" guy. You know who I'm talking about, the one and only Jerry Lambert.

He did this one for Cheese Nips!

Or these he did for Holiday Inn… #1.

… and #2.

… and #3.

or this from PS3 (the censored version).

Sorry, but not everything in advertising has to be high art. If it's not going to be, it can at least make me laugh like a fool while lying on the couch. ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Holiday Gift Of 2009

(click image to enlarge)

If anyone thinks I'm kidding when I say that Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2009) is the Fuck You Heroes for Lodi, NJ – they're sadly mistaken. There's never been, and never will be again, a book quite like this one. Eerie was the only one to document Lodi's finest from the inside. As the unofficial photographer of The Misfits and founding member of both Samhain and Danzig, Eerie's book of photos, memorabilia and stories captures the essence of punk and hard rock like nobody else can.

I was privileged to coordinate and design the 160-page, full-color project for Eerie and Dark Horse Books. The official release date is the week of Christmas but the book should be shipping in early December. To pre-order from for only $19.77, go here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When Bad Design Meets Cuteness!

(click image to smile and/or gag… er, enlarge)

Let it be known: I'm a sucker for animals and kitschy design. With that said, despite the horrendous design and that god-awful yellow border – the animals and kitsch still win out! I'm typically left staring and smiling at this cover every single time I see it. Cuteness always prevails, apparently.

The album, named by Rainn Wilson of "Dwight/The Office" fame, features a photo taken by amateur photographer, Jason Neely. Jason's photo won National Geographic Magazine's reader-submitted photo contest, which apparently Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo reads.

I haven't liked much of anything from Weezer past the Green Album (Pinkerton remains my favorite, of course) but I did get to go on the road for a few dates back in '96 when Placebo opened for the band in the U.S. Good times, especially the conversation Rivers and I had over the catering table in Chicago about the Japanese girl who inspired "Across the Sea."