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The Art of Looking Sideways (2001)

di Alan Fletcher

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
8391019,196 (4.3)31
" The Art of Looking Sideways is a primer in visual intelligence, an exploration of the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain and the imagination. It is an inexhaustible mine of anecdotes, quotations, images, curious facts and useless information, oddities, serious science, jokes and memories, all concerned with the interplay between the verbal and the visual, and the limitless resources of the human mind. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters, all this material is presented in a wonderfully inventive series of pages that are themselves masterly demonstrations of the expressive use of type, space, color and imagery. This book does not set out to teach lessons, but it is full of wisdom and insight collected from all over the world. Describing himself as a visual jackdaw, master designer Alan Fletcher has distilled a lifetime of experience and reflection into a brilliantly witty and inimitable exploration of such subjects as perception, color, pattern, proportion, paradox, illusion, language, alphabets, words, letters, ideas, creativity, culture, style, aesthetics and value. The Art of Looking Sideways is the ultimate guide to visual awareness, a magical compilation that will entertain and inspire all those who enjoy the interplay between word and image, and who relish the odd and the unexpected. "… (altro)
Aggiunto di recente dajonahjahns, spenczar, pmichaud, AneSmith, philayres, Teaselbrush, isopod, minnesotaj, ProfWhite, biblioteca privata
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High-brow magic eye for "creative types." Chapters like imagination, ideas, inspiration. Some interesting things in here, like learning that anteaters don't dream, and other, pretty pedestrian stuff formatted to look like it's anything worthwhile. Paul McCartney wrote "Yellow Submarine" right before he went to bed, really, who would have guessed. I don't know. I feel like shit like this just flatters the idea that every one of us is a genius when really what it's doing is over-explaining the whole creative process and cramming a lot of out of context things into one feel good instant gratification coffee table book. It's like tumblr for grown-ups. It's a TED talk in print. I'm not trying to be overly cynical here; I think everyone has something of interest to do, make, or say. But that's only liberated through commitment and hard work and practice, not through catchphrases. Give me a 19th century tome on what-the-fuck ever over this garbage any day. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
"Words and pictures on how to make twinkles in the eye and colours agree in the dark. Thoughts on mindscaping, moonlighting and daydreams. Have you seen a purple cow? When less can be more than enough. The art of looking sideways. To gaze is to think. Are you left-eyed? Living out loud. Buy junk, sell antiques. The Golden Mean. Standing ideas on their heads. To look is to listen. Insight on the mind's eye. Every status has its symbol. 'Do androids dream of electric sheep?' Why feel blue? Triumphs of imagination such as the person you love is 72.8% water. Do not adjust your mind, there's a fault in reality. Teach yourself ignorance. The belly-button problem. Visual charades. What has an ox to do with the letter A? The art of looking sideways. How to turn knots into bows. When does 1 and 1 add up to 3? Why sit with your back to the view? Notes on the Blue Tit Syndrome, letterplay and visual puns. Patterns of chaos. Kissin' cousins to camp. Half a word is enough for a quick ear. Some people think computers can't. Civilization is chaos taking a rest. Too far east is west. Writing is the geometry of the soul. Why look at things upside down? Squaring the circle. 'If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.' The sympathy of things. How to think by jumping. Never wait for yourself. A word in your eye. The art of looking sideways. Beauty is a flavour of quark. Cerebral acrobatics. By the way, what's it like living with a paper bag over your head? Not referring to you of course - the uncommon exception to universal bondage."

Enough said. ( )
  Sylak | Jan 5, 2019 |
Interiors Library - shelved at: B17
  HB-Library-159 | Oct 19, 2016 |
This is a source book of so many ideas and graphic notes. It is not really true that I read it (it's got hundreds and hundreds of pages) but it is not really designed to be read from cover to cover. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
This is a disjointed somewhat mess of a book that made me think and wonder and gave me occasional headaches while it played with my perception.

Alan Fletcher was a designer, this is like his scrapbook of ideas and thoughts and cool findings, everything from an Indian tailors ruler to the musing (p411)
"Inventing a new alphabet doesn't carry the same inhibitions as adapting an old one. In the 1820s Cherokee Chief Sequoyah, impressed by white man's writing, designed an alphabet. Taking the letters he cannibalized them to make new ones adding curlicues and flourishes, and allocating them phonetic sounds. The Cherokee [who called white man's books 'talking leaves'] called Sequoyah's typographic font 'talking stones'
A thought: Here is an illiterate Native American in the early nineteenth century, appropriating Roman letters, which had been adopted from the ancient Greeks, who had in turn copied them from a rudimentary Phoenician script developed from pictograms used in ancient Sumer, which had originated in an even more ancient Egypt - long, long before the dynasties of Pharaohs."

It's full of this sort of thing, musings and facts and playing with typography and text direction and now I need a light book to heal my brain and allow some of the thinking to process fully. ( )
1 vota wyvernfriend | Jul 22, 2015 |
[B]anality can neither be masked behind a thousand snippets of borrowed wisdom, nor redeemed by as many pages of smart-aleck typography.
aggiunto da Katya0133 | modificaThe Times Higher Education Supplement, Roy Harris (Aug 9, 2002)
 
[Fletcher] created a design reference book that's fun to read and a good place to get inspiration.
aggiunto da Katya0133 | modificaCommunication Arts, Ruth Hagopian (Mar 1, 2002)
 
[T]his book will delight anyone who enjoys unexpected visual and verbal play, cultural and historical observations and insights, and staggering amounts of trivia and anecdotes.
aggiunto da Katya0133 | modificaLibrary Journal, Phil Hamlett (Jan 1, 2002)
 
Critiquing The Art of Looking Sideways is like trying to wrestle an elephant into an envelope. It is a bold, magnificent, elusive, almost inscrutable giant of a book.
aggiunto da Katya0133 | modificaPrint, Tim Rich (Sep 1, 2001)
 
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" The Art of Looking Sideways is a primer in visual intelligence, an exploration of the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain and the imagination. It is an inexhaustible mine of anecdotes, quotations, images, curious facts and useless information, oddities, serious science, jokes and memories, all concerned with the interplay between the verbal and the visual, and the limitless resources of the human mind. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters, all this material is presented in a wonderfully inventive series of pages that are themselves masterly demonstrations of the expressive use of type, space, color and imagery. This book does not set out to teach lessons, but it is full of wisdom and insight collected from all over the world. Describing himself as a visual jackdaw, master designer Alan Fletcher has distilled a lifetime of experience and reflection into a brilliantly witty and inimitable exploration of such subjects as perception, color, pattern, proportion, paradox, illusion, language, alphabets, words, letters, ideas, creativity, culture, style, aesthetics and value. The Art of Looking Sideways is the ultimate guide to visual awareness, a magical compilation that will entertain and inspire all those who enjoy the interplay between word and image, and who relish the odd and the unexpected. "

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