I can think of few books that are a better buy than House Industries’ The Process of Inspiration. If you’re a lover of type, the book is a celebration of House Industries’ 24 years of “hot-rodding the alphabet.” If you’re a print or interactive designer, it provides an in-depth look at what makes the magic of House design. Even if you’re not particularly enamored with fonts, and the word “designer” isn’t on your business card, The Process of Inspiration is a delightful collection of eye candy that is also chock-full of great stories and optimistic insight into how to bring joy, creativity and fulfillment into your career and life. (Something we seem to be in pretty short supply of today.)
The book is a visual and written journey though House’s two-plus-decades of projects, dreams, heroes and relentless archeological design digs. From their first encounter with the iconic hot-rodder Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, who taught them that you don’t own anything until you give it away, to the architectural designs of Richard Neutra that inspired a new suite of typefaces – and pushed House further into the three-dimensional world, to the fanciful work of Alexander Girard, who’s work broadened House’s design palette and taught them to pay closer attention to things that are on the periphery of their interests, The Process of Inspiration tells the House story in lively images and engaging copy.
The Process of Inspiration also chronicles Rich Roat’s and Andy Cruz’s love affair with bicycles and the Velo typeface design that came out of that passion – in addition to House’s fleet bespoke fleet of bicycles. The story of Andy’s encounter with Jimmy Kimmel, and the design gig that grew out of it, is yet another charming insight into House’s serendipitous excursions into new design.
“Even if you’re not particularly enamored with fonts, and the word “designer” isn’t on your business card, The Process of Inspiration is a delightful collection of eye candy that is also chock-full of great stories and optimistic insight into how to bring joy, creativity and fulfillment into your career and life.”
The lessons that Andy, Rich, Ken Barber, and the rest of the House design team, learned from their hobbies, interests and boundless curiosity has proved to be a bottomless pit of inspiration. The House motto, “Learn from what you like and apply it to what you do,” says it all. There are many more stories and inspirational insights in The Process of Inspiration – but you’ll have to buy the book to discover them. Guaranteed it will be worth the investment.
By House Industries, Ken Barber, Andy Cruz, Rich Roat and J.J. Abrams
400 pages, hardbound, $31.45
Published by Watson-Guptill
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