On My Bookshelf: Contanti Auguri

This book was a speedy little charrette for Bruno Munari, only taking 7 days to design and make ready. It's a very light, compact book. How to use it? As the title suggests, "this little book is excellent to give your best wishes to relatives, friends, neighbours or anybody you wish. Since it is written in (almost) every language of the world, you will also have (almost) no possibility to make mistakes or blunders in giving it as a present to your most distant friends." 

On My Bookshelf: Flight of Fancy

Diecut into the cover of Flight of Fancy are twenty-one randomly scattered dots. Imaginging these series of dots to be locations— cities, Bruno Munari finds various ways to connect them. It's a pocket-sized book that takes a design exercise and turns into into book form, with Munari providing explanations to his thought processes along the way. Quoting the interior explanation of the exercise: "Let's look at [the dots] as reference points around which and with which we will establish clusters— connections— formal relationships— using straight lines, curved lines, or lines of dots or whatever. The game consists in inventing lots of different ways of connecting, linking, grouping together these dots." 

It's a very simple book. But I love it for its brevity and singularity. 

On My Bookshelf: Supplementary Italian Dictionary

I have a collection (or hoard) of artbooks that I've been wanting to share more broadly, so here's the first installation of "On My Bookshelf". The artbooks that I purchased while studying abroad in Italy are some of my most prized possessions. If my house was on fire, I would most certainly grab these on my way out the door! And if there is one artist and designer that dominates the field of artbooks, at least in my opinion, it is Bruno Munari (1907-1998). I was able to purchase several of his books abroad and I wish I could go back for more! 

In this book, Munari has made a catalogue of all the famous Italian gestures and spelled out what they all mean for us foreigners. Some are more familiar than others. I love the photography in these, he makes a point to show the gestures with men, women and children. It's also interesting to me to think about these gestures in a historical lens, e.g. the Romans.