Fall 2009 Catalog Picks: D.A.P. part 1: the impulse picks

No other publisher that I represent gives me the same roller-coaster-y excited wooziness like D.A.P. Their seasonal catalog brings together the finest arts and cultural publishing from around the world - hundreds of big and small publishers and galleries like the Aperture Foundation, Steidl, Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Boston MFA, the MCA in Chicago.

To spend time with the staff of D.A.P. is to glimpse the dizzying borderlands between the capital-A Art world and the world of publishing - they bridge that gap easily, helping their publishers bring word to the outside world of the latest wonders, the newest downtown galleries, the most innovative exhibits and installations.

At the same time, the sheer wonder of their catalog (over 500 new books this fall!) defines for many of my buyers the heart of their problem of trying to choose the right books for their stores. Many of the choicest books from D.A.P. can top $50 or $75 or $100 each. No matter how beautiful those books are, no matter how well-reviewed the new exhibits and fairs will be, many stores simply cannot afford to stock these books.

Here at my3books, we can momentarily overlook the most important and pricy exhibit catalogs and artist books in the Fall 2009 D.A.P. catalog to look at three charming and affordable books that any store can afford to stock in quantity, and any interested buyer can snap up without hesitation.

Tim Burton
by Tim Burton
edited by Ron Magliozzi and Jenny He
Museum of Modern Art (D.A.P.) | 9780870707605 | $19.95 | Nov 2009

This book is an introduction to the vast breadth of the career of Tim Burton, the visionary artist and director. It's being published this fall to accompany a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This affordable paperback will include works from his earliest years to his latest films, including 2010's Alice in Wonderland.

The show at MoMA, and this book, traces Burton's creative process, from sketches to pencil and painted concept art, puppets and maquettes, storyboards and stills from his movies. It opens November 22, 2009 and will run through April 26, 2010.

***

The New Millennium Paper Airplane Book
by Klara Hobza
Public Art Fund (D.A.P.) | 9780960848850 | $15.95 | Sept 2009

Inspired by a historic paper airplane contest that was originally held in 1967, conceptual and performance artist Klara Hobza organized a modern-day recreation in 2008. Contestants entered the new contest, designing their own paper airplanes, and then traveled to the same location as the original - the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows, originally built for the 1964 Worlds Fair.

After a day-long event, Hobza and her judges declared the winners in many categories. The best airplane designs and the stories from their creators have been gathered into this single volume. The airplanes are removable and foldable.

This is a great gift book for an era in which we are both looking backward to see how previous generations survived challenging times with creativity and innovation and looking forward to what our own generation will discover.

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Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People
by Emily Pilloton
Metropolis Books (D.A.P.) | 9781933045955 | $34.95 | Oct 2009

Emily Pilloton founded Project H Design in 2008, aiming to promote and inspire the kind of world-changing (or at least, world-improving) design that simple, thoughtful, useful products can become. As her manifesto on the Project H web site says, industrial design is "a tool to address social issues, a vehicle for global life improvement..."

Design Revolution, the resultant book from the beginning of Project H's work, brings to our attention some of the best recent industrial design: safer baby bottles, waterless washing machines, rent-a-bike systems, DIY soccer balls and many more.  Pilloton challenges designers to move beyond "going green" and to become change makers instead of mere "stuff creators."

This is the kind of design book that, like another book I featured earlier this summer on my3books, Graphic Design For Nondesigners, transcends the realm of the professionals in the field to appeal to a much broader slice of readers.