by Art Chantry:
note to designers: if you ever run across a copy of this paperback book in your goodwill or book exchange center (stuffed in next to romance novels, i’m sure), SNAG IT! it’s a really cool little book.
to begin with, it’s about r. buckminster (“bucky”) fuller – the coolest designer of the 20th century (no contest). it’s sort of an autobiography, so what’s not to like about the guy who gave us (among so many other amazing things) the ‘bucky ball”?
but, the trick here for all you designers is that it’s graphics and layout are fully executed by THE quentin fiore – one of those astounding graphic designers who lurked around the edges of pop culture in the 1960′s. his most famous work is (of course) marshall mcluhan’s “the medium is the message”. all you academically trained graphic designers are familiar with that. but, in addition, he also did many other wonderful things, like the 3rd issue of ASPEN (“the magazine that came in a box”). he also designed jerry rubin’s erstwhile classic “DO IT!”. not to mention this special volume.
when you open it up, the entire inside is printed in two colors – black and green – split horizontally down the center, like layers on a cake. the black collage/montage/typography/wacky layout section is all black. the bottom collage/montage/typography/wacky layout is all green – AND UP-SIDE-DOWN!
this is basically two books espousing two books – all done in intense hand-collage work – each presented as two individual books. you read the second book by simply turning the thing up side down and reading it that way. it’s pretty crazy.
but, of course, that doesn’t come close to describing this thing. if you haven’t seen it, go look for it. make sure it’s the ‘quentin fiore’ design. the cover is cool in a classic 1960′s “high design” sort of way. but, the INSIDE? nothing prepares you for it. a classic.