Graphic Inspiration

I find it helpful to look at inspiration books that range farther afield than quilting. My latest non quilting book read is Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter, published by Phaidon. It’s a small but thick book divided into the images themselves and a timeline of all the images with more information about each.

The earliest image is from 1377, though most designs are drawn from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The most recent image is dated 2011-12. You’ll want to fasten your seat belt for this ride. The book sets a land speed record for ground covered. Just plunge in as there’s no readily apparent organization scheme, other than the editors’ perception of similarities between facing images.

About a quarter of the designs do nothing for me; about half intrigue me; and the rest give me ideas for quilt designs. I want to feature a few that I can see using in a quilt.

The curved diagonal lines and arrows combined with transparent overlays give movement and depth, and would make a great modern quilt.

I love the paper doll quality of the men’s suits – just cut out an appropriately scaled fabric. Detail is used sparingly in the men’s faces and hands. Definitely a design for raw edge applique.

This magazine cover could work well for narrow strip piecing (no curves) in subtly different shades. I like the NYC contained within the staggered BIG.

While a bit hard on the eyes, this logo for the Olympics in Mexico is a great quilting design inspiration. The break the X and I provide is a welcome relief.

I think the different ways these letters are drawn would work up well in bias tape of varying widths. You’d have to make up the rest of the alphabet, but that could be fun.

While not so immediately applicable to quilting, this design appeals to me for its Escher-like changeover from male to female legs.

I couldn’t resist this ad that features RCA spelled out in Morse code. Shades of my “Connect the Dots” quilt, below.

I’m sure everyone who looks at this book will choose different favorites, but that’s part of its appeal, along with the reasonable price of $25.

8 Comments

Filed under Books, Commentary

8 responses to “Graphic Inspiration

  1. Thanks! Always looking for inspirational books!

  2. We had a good Graphic Design department at my college and I loved going to the year-end shows of student work. Often there would be a display of work done by many students to address one assignment and it was always fascinating to see how they each came up with different ideas. This book looks great–I love the Escher-style legs, too.

  3. Neat to learn about this book and I agree, visuals from other areas can spark new ideas. Good connection with the Morse Code pieces and your connect the dots quilt, which is one of my favorites.

  4. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites. I love the legs! And it’s easy for me to imagine you incorporating some of the curved arrows with transparency.

    Yes, good to look at designs/art from a lot of different venues. I need to look at some new things. I think I’ll start with mountains, maybe some lichen… 🙂

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