Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960, published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name, focuses on Roy before he was Lichtenstein. The path to becoming a Pop Art titan began with Lichtenstein’s cycling through a provocative range of visual culture, from fairy tales to folk art to mythic forms of Americana.
The design matrix of this book seeks to create a modern companion to Lichtenstein’s earlier, lesser known, body of work. Without overshadowing the focus on this earlier work, the design acknowledges that, as readers, we cannot unsee what we already know about Lichtenstein: primary colors, Ben Day dots, and that ubiquitous yellow hair. In its materiality, the design forshadows what is to come and creates a frame through which to look back, using yellow painted edges, red head and tail bands, blue section headers, and oversized duotone treatments of ephemeral portraits of Lichtenstein.
Additionally, in the essay sections, the grid of text and images forms a ticker tape of object lessons, pairing newer work with older work or work by other artists, all alongside an array of ephemera from both Lichtenstein’s personal life and his cultural influences. The typographic cover showcases Centra No. 2 from Sharp Type—nodding to a modernist geometric grotesque with clearly a contemporary typographic expression of today. Together, these design vernaculars unify an anachronistic take on history and the archive.
Trim Size: 8.25” x 11.5”
Number of Pages: 224
Binding Method: Case-bound Hardcover
Typefaces: Centro No. 2 by Sharp Type, Graphik by Commercial Type, and Cardinal Classic by Production Type
Creative Director: Kimberly Varella
Art Director: Kimberly Varella
Book Designer: Kimberly Varella
Jacket/Cover Designer: Kimberly Varella
Photographer: Interior: Various; Book documentation: Ian Byers-Gamber
Production Director: Kaija Markoe
Production Coordinator: Megan Carey
Production Artist: Sam Wagner
Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960
Book and Cover
Book Title: Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960
Design Firm/Agency: Content Object Design Studio
Publisher: Rizzoli Electa with Colby College Museum of Art and Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Author/Editor: Elizabeth Finch, Marshall N. Price
“This is a phenomenal book that expertly celebrates the work of Roy Lichtenstein. The full color blue section breaks and the yellow page edges match the level of impact and punch of Lichtenstein’s work. Superb!” —Kelly Walters
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