shu and joe

Visionary Cities: The Arcology of Paolo Soleri

Published on April 5, 2009

I came across a copy of Paolo Soleri’s monograph Visionary Citiesat Powell’s and was deeply impressed. The content of the book is fascinating, but it’s the form of it that really struck me. The book was designed in 1971 by Donald Wall and W. Borek and exhibits a range of typographic experiments similar to those popularized two decades later by David Carson. The book also exhibits a kind of collaborative authorship—Wall’s design supplementing and enacting some of Soleri’s ideas—that is often attributed to the kinds of publications produced by Bruce Mau.

The book won’t fit on my scanner, so I can’t provide good images, but I found this flip through (which, unfortunately, fails to show many of the more interesting layouts that use overlapping type and imagery and really stretch the limits of early-70s photo typesetting):

[edit: Just found this article written by Rick Poynor for Eye Magazine regarding Donald Wall's design. At the bottom of the article are some images from the book.]

Filed under: Books, Design
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1 Comment

  1. Gregory Alan Elliott says:

    I just found a copy of this book too. As a second generation graphic designer, I must say that this is a good example of graphic design… however, David Carson’s work has always been graphic art as it seems to be created more for David Carson than the reader/viewer.

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