Spin/Unit Editions’ Herb Lubalin: American Graphic Designer—co-edited by Adrian Shaughnessy, Tony Brook and Alexander Tochilovsky—is an ambitious and beautifully executed graphic design monograph, and has quickly become one of the most cherished objects in my household.
Brook and Shaughnessy’s collaboration as Unit Editions has provided an answer to the “death of print” conversation. Print is not dead, as long as it is executed with superb craftsmanship on deserving subjects. I’ve been snapping up Unit Editions books at as fast a clip as my paycheck will allow, and I can attest that American Graphic Designer represents a peak in their work together.
The book serves as a framework to tell the story of Mr. Lubalin’s highly appreciated and oft-replicated work, which certainly doesn’t need any introduction from me. The beauty of this piece, however, comes in the visual tone of Spin’s aesthetic—intelligent and minimal, a counterpoint to the designer’s expressiveness rather an attempt to imitate it. It’s thoughtful, informative and appreciative—everything the posthumous monograph of a visual icon should be.
Based on the social media and design circle buzz (and the number of people dropping by my desk to look at it), I’m hoping that it has proven enough of a success for Unit to create similar monographs for other seminal figures within our industry. And, as designers, we should all aspire to have produced a body of work so important and influential as to deserve such a beautiful piece to remember it by.