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Outside the Box: A new packaging book by Gail Anderson!

It is always a wonderful day when your friend’s do awesome things. Makes you feel proud and lucky to be able to stand next to such talented people. In this case, it is my mentor and friend Gail Anderson, a NYC-based designer, writer, educator, and co-owner of Anderson Newton Design. If you don’t know about her career and work, it is definitely inspiring and worth taking a closer look. She has worked at places like Rolling Stone and SpotCo, all the while teaching at SVA. Add to that, cranking out books on modernist type and found type (just since I’ve known her) and you have a person that knows how to work hard and produce some absolutely wonderful work.

Her most recent book is called Outside the Box and features packaging utilizing hand-lettering from designers and illustrators around the world. I was lucky enough to receive a lovely copy of the book and I can’t put it down. Projects range from those you might have seen and wondered who did them (Chipotle) to projects/designers/illustrators you’ve never even seen, but definitely should start following on Instagram! What’s even better is that there are process photos included of how these concepts came to be. It’s not always about the final artifact, but the journey of how you arrived there. Enough of my chit-chat. It’s time to see the book!

Outside The Box

Outside the Box Chapters

Outside the Box: Chipotle

Outside the Box: Chipotle Close Up

Outside the Box: Process

Outside the Box: Foodie Garden

Did I get your attention? Good! This is an amazing book and would be a great addition to any bookshelf (designer or not). Be sure to check out Amazon or your local book store to pick up a copy!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

The title of this post could mean a multitude of things, such as: Friday is here! Autumn (my favorite time of year) is here! My birthday is here! (Yes, today is my actual birthday! Hello 27!) In short, the title means all of these things because they are all true. But what’s really here is even bigger!

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane for a moment. Two and a half years ago I met a lovely woman named Gail Anderson at the HOW Conference in Denver, Colorado. Name ring any bells? It should! She has a career that others only dream about, she has authored/co-authored many books, teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and travels the world speaking on numerous topics. The words “design royalty” come to my mind…

At this particular conference she was presenting on graphic designers and the things we collect. While her collections ranged from bottle caps and salt/pepper shakers, I was running through my own head of the collections I have. We’re creative people, we can’t help ourselves! It’s during her talk that I realized that she was THE Gail Anderson who had co-written New Vintage Type and New Ornamental Type with Steven Heller. Whoa! I had been in love with the covers and content of those books for ages. I had to meet her without a moment to loose!

I waited until the swarm of people had abated and then I approached her. I think I had stopped breathing at that point. I asked her politely if she would mind signing the book (Incidentally I had a well-worn copy of New Vintage Type at home, but I went and bought another copy so that she could sign it! Total nerd moment!) She graciously accepted. As she was signing (I’m still not breathing), I told her that I wanted to design books and then wanted to see them in bookstores. That’s all I wanted to do. She paused and asked me what I did currently. I replied that I worked for a medical device company. Her reaction was one that I had clearly had many times…haha We quickly moved on…

So I asked her if she would be willing to take a look at my website that I had just put up and give me some feedback. She graciously said yes and we exchanged business cards. After that, everything changed. A couple months later Gail approached me about this book she and Steven Heller were working on about modern type. If I decided to work on it, it would be like an internship: little pay and long hours. I believe my response was was polite and concise. However, in the privacy of my own home, I believe I jumped up, yelled out a “yippee” and did a happy dance!

That was several years ago now, but the product of that chance meeting and me mustering up some courage, has finally seen the light of day. Through countless hours, ridiculous amounts of emails, and the hard work of Steve, Gail, Christine (head researcher and all around fantastic person!) and myself, the editors and staff at Thames & Hudson, world-class type designer Bonnie Clas, plus all the work contributed by awesome and amazing designers and studios around the world, we have a completely beautiful book.

I am proud to announce the publication of New Modernist Type by Gail Anderson and Steven Heller.

It’s a heady experience to type that and know that I was part of it. The experiences I had because of this book, the things I learned, the conversations I had, the people I met…Well I will never forget it. I will forever combine my birthday celebrations with the week that “the book” (as my friends and family so fondly called it) was published and was introduced to the world. Thank you to everyone who supported me and kept excited about the prospect of this book. Really, thank you.

This book is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and basically any good bookstore that knows what they’re doing!

I don’t have my official copy yet, but the good photos are coming soon! Plus be sure to check out the acknowledgement’s page…you might just see a name you recognize!

The Typographic Universe: Steven Heller & Gail Anderson

Leaving on a jet plane…

Okay, not really. But I am taking a little holiday this weekend! My parents and I are heading out on a road trip, which in distance might not be trekking across America, but in terms of fun it’s going to be of epic proportions!

Many of you probably know this, but I like to take photos. Often on my trips I take copious amounts of photographs of nature (flowers, leaves, trees, even blades of grass), but I also like to take pictures of interesting fonts. There are so many signs out there that have the most interesting and intriguing fonts: Some manufactured/applied vinyl letters, but many are hand drawn/painted onto whatever surface they can find. Diners usually have some of the best fonts/signs that often take on a sculpture affect (see image below). It’s fantastic!

Gail Anderson, a friend, colleague, and all around design guru has no problem capturing awesome and interesting fonts. On her Tumblr site, she not only captures fonts from around her where she lives in New York City, but also when she travels abroad to fantastic locations such as her most recent trip to Italy. Any one person’s knowledge of fonts is challenged when viewing her fantastic pictures of fonts because it shows that there are people all over the world, who are not involved directly with graphic design, who are creating these beautiful and sometimes breathe-taking fonts (total design nerd moment…haha).

So take a look at her site here, get inspired, grab your camera and hit the road looking for the best fonts you can find. If you find any particular delicious ones, please feel free to contact me and I’ll post it on the blog with your credits!