Famed American graphic designer Herb Lubalin's work is celebrated in a new book from Unit Editions, available in a limited-edition, numbered deluxe run. The rather daunting task of designing it went to Spin, and particularly its co-founder Tony Brook.
"With a designer of Lubalin's stature, every decision is somewhat heightened, so a lot of time was devoted to poring over fonts and exploring structures," he says. "I would sum up our approach to the book as a hybrid of European and American styles - quite a balancing act. There's the strict grid, the justified type, the centred Serif Gothic (the only Lubalin font we used, but a beauty) and ranged left captions."
Indeed, the project took two full years from initial research at the Lubalin Study Centre to finished product - not least because the studio knew that it couldn’t cut any corners. "The level of effort and detailing that went into every single aspect of this book was ridiculous," says Brook. "Adrian [Shaughnessy, the author] went to New York and interviewed almost everyone that Herb had ever met.
"At one point everyone in the studio was working on Lubalin. Adrian followed his 34,000 word essay with another 10,000 words of captions."
But it doesn't stop there. With the 3000 first editions of the book almost selling out before it was officially launched, "we are actively considering a Lubalin book app," Brook adds. "But that's still in early stages of costing and evaluating."
This showcase was originally published in Computer Arts issue 205.