Meet the Beatles, in Print and Digital

Image of printed Beatles book and eBook

The Beatles set the paradigm for modern rock stardom when Beatlemania spread around the world during the Swinging Sixties. LIFE With the Beatles presents the photographs of Bob Whitaker, the band’s official photographer, who traveled with the group from 1964 to 1966, at the height of their fame. The book collects hundreds of rare photographs by Whitaker, many never before published, and is timed to the 50th anniversary of the releases of the Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do” (1962), and first album, “Please Please Me” (1963). Great fans of the Fab Four, we welcomed the opportunity to work on the project, and have created a design—in both print and e-book formats—that showcases Whitaker’s exuberant, intimate images.

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Bond, James Bond

Spread from James Bond

This month the new James Bond adventure “Skyfall” opens in cinemas around the world. Our latest mission has been the design of a definitive dossier on the superspy, told through images from all the classic films.

Movie audiences were first introduced to “Bond, James Bond” in “Dr. No” (1962), and in the five decades since the spy has appeared in an astonishing 23 films. Published by LIFE Books, 50 Years of James Bond is a look back at all things Bond, timed to the series’ 50th anniversary as well as the release of the latest film, “Skyfall,” which may be the biggest Bond yet. LIFE and its photographers have followed Bond through the years, documenting many of the films and actors on set, from Sean Connery, the series’ most famous Bond, to its current star, Daniel Craig.

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Designing a Better Reading Experience on Screen

Custom web fonts provide a smoother reading experience. Image: Communication Arts.

Scanning lines of type as we read is so natural we rarely think about it. For designers, guiding the reading experience through typography is a precise skill combining the tight control of typesetting with the expressiveness of font selection. As publications move online, this sense of control can be thrown out the window (or browser, as it were), as how something looks often depends on the end user.

Of course, print has had hundred of years to evolve in a way that works best for readers. By comparison, online typography has had to play a hasty game of technological catch-up as publications and readers have quickly moved online, new generations of screens have higher resolutions, and type designers have had to find ways of making new fonts accessible, but not stealable. It’s no wonder the physicality of letterpress has made a comeback.

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Our Summer Reading List

After designing books all year, we look forward to our annual summer vacation, when we actually have the chance to read a few. Avid readers in our youth, we regularly stayed up all night poring over books under the blanket with a flashlight. (This was back in the days before e-readers with backlit screens.) Working life makes these marathons a little more difficult, but we recently resolved to make more time for reading and wondered where to begin. We turned to our community of designers, illustrators, editors and strategists for suggestions of the best books they’ve read. Their responses, shared here, include a mix of fiction and non-fiction, for work and pleasure, alone and with family. What are you reading this summer?

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Growing Up with E-Books

Pie charts showing results of survey


In our last post, we looked at a recent study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center that found that children prefer e-books to print books, and that enhanced e-books may hinder reading comprehension. This got us wondering: How do kids really feel about reading books on tablets and e-readers? Li’l Robin conducted our own informal, highly unscientific survey of students in a mixed class of second and third graders at a public school in New York’s West Village. (Full disclosure: Our own little robin is enrolled in the class.)

Today’s kids are growing up reading in a period of remarkable transition. They have parents who still like to read to them from printed books; at the same time, children are now accustomed to interacting with screens, and reading a book from an electronic device is not a novelty.

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