Tag Archives: Books

Brio Talks: Beautiful Pages + Giveaway (Updated)

 

 

Beautiful Pages is the newly launched venture of Tiana Vasiljev who, as someone working in the creative industries, always had a self-confessed “out-of-control obsession with books.” When I saw the site I instantly set about making a “wishlist” of books and wanted to know more about how the online store came to be. Tiana was only too happy to answer my questions!
BrioDaily (BD)What was the idea behind Beautiful Pages?

Tiana Vasiljev (TV): Like many creatives, I have always had an out of control obsession with books. A substantial amount of my annual salary over the years was dedicated to purchasing new books and magazines. Beautiful Pages was initially a selection of 75 design books that had inspired me as a graphic designer over the years. They all had a positive and inspiring impact on my work, attitudes and design knowledge. They were books I felt every designer could benefit from having in their design library.

Through Beautiful Pages we wanted to create an online graphic design store where Australian designers (and designers all over the world) could go to be inspired. A creative online space that both students and professionals could visit any time of the day and easily purchase products that would fuel their imagination. We hope Beautiful Pages serves as a reminder to designers about the beauty of real ink on paper, the importance of the printed page and the pleasures and benefits of owning these beautiful books, magazines and printed pieces.

BD: What have been the biggest challenges launching the site?

TV: The biggest challenges with the site were setting up accounts with all our distributors and managing the finances and cash flow. My education is in graphic design so it was a little hard in the beginning juggling other aspects of the business. But I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful help along the way and all the orders and emails that keep coming through from designers all over Australia have been amazing and very motivating.

BD: Where do you gather your inspiration? (books, websites, shops, people)?

TV: Just visiting my own design library! Most of the books that are now sold on the website I first became familiar with over my first few years of being a graphic designer – and I have managed to build up quite the collection. There are many publications that I used to read years ago while studying at Enmore TAFE, books and magazines that my previous colleagues introduced me to and publications I have seen and purchased along the way.

I have travelled a great deal over the last few years and also lived in London for a year. I was always visiting galleries, museums, exhibitions and bookstores. I compiled a wish-list (I have over 50 pages now) of all the products I came across during my travels that I found to be either beautiful, beneficial or both. Beautiful Pages is a small (but growing) collection of the products that have turned out to be both.

BD: How do you select what goes onto Beautiful Pages?

TV: Beautiful Pages offers a very carefully curated collection of design books and products, selected by graphic designers – for graphic designers. The store carries a collection of both classic and new publications. Every product on the site needs to be beautiful – but most importantly – must be well written, inspirational and carry an important message.

Typography is a crucial topic in most of the featured publications and we do tend to place special emphasis on (but not limited to) modernist graphic design. Swiss graphic design and typography plays an important part in the collection, as does the work of many influential graphic designers including Alan Fletcher, Otl Aicher, Wim Crouwel, Armin Hofmann, Jan Tschichold, Herbert Spencer, Wolfgang Weingart, Emil Ruder, Josef Muller-Brockmann and Milton Glaser to name just a few.

BD: How important is it to you to promote Australian design and how can we foster a greater design industry?

TV: Our most important long-term goal is to help promote and support Australian design. We have started investing funds into purchasing a range of books and magazines created by Australian designers. These currently include the work of Thursday Design, Michael Hall, The Initiative, David Pidgeon and Half Court Press. We look forward to seeing this collection grow over the coming months and encourage designers to submit their recommendations or published work.

We can all help foster a greater design industry by building ties with like-minded creatives, collaborating on projects and promoting each other. We need to start advertising and exporting Australian work to overseas markets and with the boom in online sales there’s no better time to be doing it than now.

Beautiful Pages is 100% Australian owned and operated. When designers purchase products from our website they are also helping to support the Australian economy.

BD: Lastly, future plans for Beautiful Pages?

TV: We have lots of plans for the future. Our wish list is very long, our product range is expanding every week and we’re aiming to have the full collection up by mid 2012. We are also looking at the possibility of opening a small shop space in late 2012, but this is still at very early stages.

If designers have any requests, suggestions or would like Beautiful Pages to stock their merchandise, please email us: info@beautifulpages.com.au

We look forward to getting to know you over the coming months and hope that through the site we can spark a bit of inspiration and creativity in all of you.

Beautiful Pages: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Giveaway

As a special treat for Brio Daily readers Beautiful Pages are giving away two books by Paul Arden, ‘It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be’ and ‘Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite’

Winners will be chosen at random. To enter, email your name and postal address to lani@briogroup.com.au 

Entries close COB on Tuesday Oct 18, 2011 and open to Australian residents only.

UPDATED

Thank you to everyone who entered our very first competition. I’m delighted to say that two winners have been drawn, at random. We used random.org to randomly generate the winners. Congratulations to Mathew H and Deanna H. We’ll be in touch very shortly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours in design inspiration,

Justine.

Driven to distraction

Distraction – Damon Young

6:40am. The alarm goes off. The alarm on my iPhone. I’ve not had an ‘old-school’ alarm clock since my early teens. I reach to turn off the alarm and still half asleep open email, scan and delete in a frighteningly drone-like manner. Check Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr for overnight updates. Get out of bed. Continue to get ready for work checking my iPhone for the time. Check public transport app for next bus.

Arrive at the bus stop and observe my fellow commuters entranced by their [insert device of choice here].The majority of us fashioning various styles of earphones in our ears. Our own personal soundtracks keeping us company as we travel to our destination.

iPhone, Android, iPad or E-reader we’ve stopped looking up, talking to the person beside us and being ‘ok’ with our own company, idleness or silence. With a constant demand on our attention we are seeing the emergence of anxieties as a result of data surplus and information overload.

A new generation, one that grew up with a data surplus, is coming along. To this cohort, it’s no big deal to miss a tweet or ten, to delete a blog from your reader or to not return a text or even a voice mail. The new standard for a vacation email is, ‘When I get back, I’m going to delete all the email in my box, so if it’s important, please re-send it next week.’ This is what always happens when something goes from scarce to surplus. First we bathe in it, then we waste it. – Seth Godin, The Shower of Data

When did we cease to disconnect in favour for a distracted and digital existence?

After seeing Damon Young talk at ‘What makes creative minds tick’, one in the Surrealism series of GoMA Talks, I was intrigued to read his book Distraction. Damon’s book is one that you consume in a single sitting. As the image below shows: I was earmarking like a crazy lady.

 

I spoke with Damon and asked him a few questions about distraction.

Brio (B): What are the biggest distractions in the workplace and what do businesses need to do to overcome them? Can they be overcome?

Damon Young (DY): Email is often a focus-killer.  Studies suggest that we reply quickly, sometimes within six seconds.  Then it takes a minute or so to recover our train of thought.  Then another email arrives.  You get the idea. Used clumsily, Twitter, Facebook, internet browsing can also be distractions.

There’s nothing wrong with email, or other online technologies.  They’re just tools.  The trick is to make sure we’re not enslaved by our own habituation, laziness or hunger for novelty.  Set realistic limits.  Check email or Facebook at regular intervals, rather than just responding to beeps.  Speaking of which, turn off notifications, like bouncing icons and dings.   This helps to reinforce the rhythms of work, rather than disrupting them.

Other diversions include gossip and status anxiety – getting sucked into petty office or industry politics.  This is perhaps a harder habit to kick, but talking to folks outside our own profession helps.  It offers a little perspective – the forest instead of the professional trees.

B: Does it have to be as plain as ‘one or the other’? There’s a trend for people to take ‘digital sabbaticals’ to remedy digital overload or go cold turkey. Do we need to go to such extremes in order to balance these devices and technologies in our lives?

DY: Extremes can seem easier than moderation.  This is partly because we rightly don’t trust ourselves – we know if we have a taste of Facebook, we may want more and more, until we’re nervously fingering our smartphone over dinner.  So we hurl ourselves into cold turkey.  This works for some.  But for many, we feel either horrid or suddenly sublime, and then throw ourselves back into e-junky benders because of desperation or over-confidence.

A better way is managed moderation.  Realistic limits to technology use, for example – checking emails at certain hours, for so many minutes, and no more.  This not only diminishes use, it cultivates authority: I’m in charge here, not the inbox.

We can also play our talents off against our weaknesses.  For example, if we’re reliable with money, we promise to save a certain amount, each time we successfully keep to our limits.  Saving, which we’re good at, then becomes a reward for undistracted work, which we’re not so good at.  At the end, we can give ourselves a gift.  Other examples might be exercise, dinners out, treats for a spouse.  We leverage virtues against vices.

B: Why are we so easily distracted and why are we so quick to forgo long-term satisfaction for the quick hit of social media?

DY: We’re distracted because: we get easily addicted, we’re curious animals, and life is frightening.

Addiction doesn’t always involve drugs.  It can be stimulation or certain rhythms – the ‘hit’ of a new email, for example.  Like Pavlov’s dogs, we’re habituated to the stimulus.

Curiosity is a good thing.  Researcher Jaan Panksepp talks about ‘seeking’ behaviour: sniffing, foraging, digging, and stalking.  It’s a primal state, which is more about anticipation instead of reward.  We get off on ‘looking-for’.  Google, Facebook, internet browsing turn on this state, and keep it on.  The result is we just keep seeking and seeking, without ever finding.  Nothing wrong with the state – the point into guide it into more rewarding pursuits.

Grown-up life is scary.  Work, friendships, and intimacy – they can all be intimidating, embarrassing or just painful.  It’s easier to flee into distraction than to confront life’s ambiguity, ambivalence or fragility.  “Haste is universal,” wrote the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche over a century ago, “because everyone is in flight from himself.”  But as Nietzsche himself counselled, life is more rewarding when it’s lived fully, rather than in flight – whether this ‘flight’ is online browsing or too many beers.

What do you think? Have we forgotten to disconnect? Are we driven to distraction? What are your remedies for staying focused?

Distraction by Damon Young is available to purchase from Melbourne University Press | Readings | Book Depository | Fishpond

Yours distractedly,

Justine.

Brisbane Writers Festival 2010

Next week  (1 – 5 September) more than 250 writers and participants will gather in Brisbane as they take part in more than 150 sessions, (including 24 workshops), as part of this year’s Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF).

BWF 2010 is so much more than the name suggests… It’s an opportunity for people who love reading to come together; to listen to their favourite authors speak; receive feedback on their own work; to make new discoveries as well as share their own thoughts and connections to the stories.

We’ve selected a few program highlights:

Matt Condon, a firm Brisbane favourite, will share his thoughts on Brisbane, and home more broadly, with other Brisbane devotees, Robert Forster and William McInnes.

Jessica Watson will be back on dry land sharing her story of how she sailed into history while Jessica Rudd (Kevin Rudd’s daughter) will take us behind the scenes of her debut novel Campaign Ruby – an interesting chat given the current state of politics.

Benjamin Law invites you to meet The Law Family – eccentric, endearing and hard to resist!

And finally, talking about the world of new media, Brisbane bloggers Fiona Crawford and John Birmingham will be joined by China’s wild-child of literature Mian Mian, (who sued Google for breaching copyright and won!).

For all budding writers or published authors in Brisbane, next week is all about you!

For more information click here.

Yours in literature,

Julia

Penguin Classics

Penguin Classic1

I have long been a fan of the Penguin Classics range. The beautiful orange and black that look so neat and professional on your bookcase. Not to mention that they are must reads from all periods in time. Well, recently while browsing in a bookstore I saw that the Penguin Classic collection has been given an authentic facelift. These books transport you back to the time when the titles were written, when books were treasured. The colours are gorgeous and romantic and the screenprinting on the fabric is something that is just not seen today in book cover design. Does this mean I now need to update my book collection? Seems you can judge a book by its cover… classic.

If you’re interested in book cover design check out the book cover archive. This site showcases classic, everyday and obscure titles and best of all pushes the bounds of everyday book cover design.

Enjoy!

Yours in Design,
Ren-odocus

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