Book List of the Week

Five Designers Inspired by Photography and Photography Books

James Biber, Kit Hinrichs, Reed Krakoff, Geoge Tscherny, Véronique Vienne

December 1, 2014

The art, techniques, and theories of photography have influenced the work of architects and designers almost since photography’s invention in the mid-19th century and subsequent reproduction in books and magazines. Here are five designers working today who have been inspired by photography books: graphic designers Kit Hinrichs (Robert Frank, Annie Leibovitz, Man Ray, Irving Penn), George Tscherny (Henri Cartier-Bresson), and Véronique Vienne (Susan Sontag), architect James Biber (Bernd and Hilla Becher), and fashion designer Reed Krakoff (Daido Moriyama, and author of a book of photographs, Women in Art).


Rita Gonzalez and Christine Kim, associate curators of contemporary art at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, featured in Women in Art, photographs by Reed Krakoff, 2013 (Assouline)
George Tscherny's Book List

The intellectual level of art schools in the late 1940s was that of vocational schools. There were no photography departments, nor were there design or art history departments. The orientation was execution over idea or concept. A three-year diploma course prepared students for employment in advertising.

Beyond school, the situation was not much better. There were no galleries devoted to photography and The Museum of Modern Art was a modest outpost in the wilderness.

Reed Krakoff's Book List These are books I find interesting at the moment. They span a cross section of different periods, movements, ideas, and styles, yet still connect to one another.
Kit Hinrichs's Book List

It’s interesting to be asked about what books have influenced my career. Although I am an avid reader (often of airplane trash), most of what has affected my career is the observation of what you see in everyday culture. My book list is a very broad array of books that have inspired, influenced, and informed my career through the editorial eye of the designer, artist, photographer, or writer who wrote, created, assembled, analyzed, and designed the material within the pages of these books.

James Biber's Book List

There are those books that, like record covers of old, one can spend a lot of time poring over. For me, these tend to be visual feasts, though some literary works are equally involving. The self-taught lessons learned in these compulsive bouts are not easily forgotten (and neither are those lyrics and liner notes), and drugs have nothing to do with it.

Véronique Vienne's Book List

I thought that I had an idea that would make me rich. I wanted to develop a smart interactive “wand” that would help me geo-locate my favorite books, many of them tucked in my bookcases in the wrong place or forgotten on a pile somewhere on a table, a ledge, or a chair. This “Book Beeper,” as I called it, would be able to identify a misplaced book with a beep, the same way some devices help you find misplaced phones, remotes, or car keys.

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