Harry Pearce

Graphic Designer / United Kingdom / Pentagram

Harry Pearce’s Book List

I'll never forget overhearing a graphic designer expounding on the number of business management books by his bedside. At first I panicked, thinking about my own reading preferences. I went home and looked through all my many, many shelves of books and realized there were none whatsoever on “business management.” In fact, very few were even about design; most were—and still—are concerned with the nature of the human mind.

I’m as passionate a reader as I am a traveler. I think the two are synonymous. Strange, as reading is thought of as a sedentary activity, but the more I move, the more I read.

10 books
Lao Tzu

Ancient Chinese writing, part poetry and part philosophy—a constant source of inspiration.

Calvin Tomkins

From all my years of devouring books on Duchamp, I think this read was the moment I felt someone had captured the spirit of the man himself, beyond the work we all know.

James E. B. Breslin

At almost 600 pages, this is a long and deep journey into Rothko’s life. Somewhere among all those pages I remember Rothko being quoted as saying his work was “silent music”—words that have remained with me forever. The book is full of wonderful observations like that.

John Neihardt

Recommended to me by Roy Harper (it’s a part influence on his song “I Hate the White Man”), it is the true account of a Sioux Indian, both spiritual and historical. It’s a moment inside the heart of a man watching the destruction of his culture in early 1890s America. It ranks alongside Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

C. G. Jung

I first read this book at the age of 17. I didn’t really understand it, but I felt it, and was profoundly moved. I’ve since read it three or four times, and it has undoubtedly become one of the most important books in my life. It’s a journey into the human mind like no other, and so much of what I discovered within its pages have proved a beautiful truth. I hope that one day a full and uncensored version, as Jung intended, makes its way finally to us all.

R. D. Laing

A very short but complex book that delves into the nature of human relationships. Try and get an early edition; the typography inside is far superior to later versions, and for this book it really matters.

Anthony Lunt

Anyone interested in dreams and dreaming, as I am, will find this an astonishing read. Anthony Lunt was an advanced student of R.D.Laing until Laing’s death in 1989. This is both a personal and historical journey. Meticulously researched and profoundly moving, a true account of the way of the dream.

Soetsu (Muneyoshi) Yanagi

This is a view into the mind of one of Japan’s great thinkers. A huge influence on Bernard Leach and the wonderful Shoji Hamada. A Japanese insight into the nature of beauty, full of wonderful observations on culture, design, and—ultimately—humanity.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

One of the most sincere and inspiring books you’ll ever read. It’s as much about all the mistakes and the lessons learned along the way as it is about anything one would normally view as success. A humbling read.

Francis M. Naumann Editor
Hector Obalk Editor

Ben Kelly gave me this book. It’s a collection of selected correspondence of Marcel himself—much from all the years he was apparently lost to the world. Wonderful eloquent writing direct from a fascinating mind.

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