Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Shop America: Cut Price Design

Taschen have got a small sale on and while I wouldn't normally mention it, they have one cheap title purely worth checking out. Shop America - Midcentury Storefront Design 1938-1950 is a throwback to a time when pharmacies, tailors and "dairy bars" weren't conceived as mere earth-bound commercial outlets but more a place for some sort of religious epiphany.
     Art deco curves, dramatic perspectives and candybar colours all contribute to the retro-futurist tone but it is the shiny gloss of post-war optimism that really galvanises the whole book. Editor Jim Heimann has done a stunning job writing, researching and collating the book, making it a must for designers or period fanatics.
     You can read an extract of the book here or buy it for just £9.99 (RRP £29.99) from the publisher's own website here. And no, I'm not on commission...


  1. What a beautiful book. What incredible style! Thanks for the tip. - Mykal

  2. SP, am kicking myself for being so slow, and just figured out this morning that you are keeping a second blog here ! Just read through all these paragraphs... and left a couple of comments farther down... Winogrand is a big favorite of mine, and your Wenders piece is fantastic... am discovering new dimensions to you... Funny, I have that Winogrand garage/mountain/tricycle photo as the wallpaper on my PC at work ! Love it. Umm, it just occurred to me, in the list of "Don't Miss These World's" of non-blog links on the right side of my page, there are a couple you may enjoy if you haven't scoped them already... first, Camilo Jose Vergara has been doing a huge quantity of urban photos in American cities, and his site is an incredible, searchable database, go into the city maps and start clicking the little colored marks to see the photos... Camden, New Jersey, New York, etc, there is some great stuff there that reminds me of some of your work, I suspect you and he would get on famously. At the bottom of the list there are three links,"Opacity", "Urban Atrophy Photos", and "Urban Exploration Photos" which imho are also fairly amazing. I started with the Opacity site, and found links in there to many other urban photo sites... a GOLDMINE ! So, great stuff, you can be sure I will be keeping an eye out for new posts here...

  3. PS somewhere deep in my past posts I did a piece on Camilo Jose Vergara, "borrowing" one of his photos, a pink boat up on blocks in Camden NJ. I had written to him to ask permission to use it, but he didn't answer my email...