Featured Publisher:
Laurence King Publishing

The visual arts are the domain of this British publisher, whose half dozen “100 Ideas” books are chock full of game-changing innovations that shifted paradigms in photography, fashion, graphic design, architecture, art, etc.  Surprising, the little things we take for granted!  (paperback, $29.95 ea.)

A terrific book on graphic designer Saul Bass (remember that credit sequence from Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”?) has been on our shelves for several months (hardcover $75), and a bunch of solid new titles on typography, architecture and more are here now.

Of particular appeal is Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators and Creatives, revealing the inner workings and private inspiration of “creatives” in advertising, design, graphic design, fashion design, art, street art and illustration, with pages from their notebooks as well as profiles and interviews.  Stunning & fascinating page after page.  (paperback, $19.95)

We also dig Jun Kaneko: The Magic Flute which takes you deep inside the creative process that led to the 2009 San Francisco Opera production designed by Kaneko, an esteemed Japanese artist and ceramicist.  The artist’s working sketches are a revelation, and the documentation of the sets and costumes includes stunning photographs and insightful, brief essays by Kaneko and others involved.  (hardcover, $50).