As we announced back in February, on the anniversary of the order allowing for the arrest and imprisonment of Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Doug Clouse was busy producing a book about Ray Komai, an influential designer who was briefly incarcerated at a camp in California. Well, his work is now finished and available on Amazon in both a full-color, paperback edition, and an ebook with panel views.
The ebook is now free through Sunday at midnight (EST). Get yourself the ebook, write a review, and consider the gorgeous paperback edition as the perfect gift (or a treat for yourself!).
Doug is an accomplished graphic designer, and thus not only is this book carefully researched, with lots of information, photos, and documents never before seen by the public, but this trove is also beautifully organized. Color reproductions of Komai’s best work are here, including all of his covers for the magazine Architectural Forum, plus behind-the-scenes stories and delightful tidbits about Komai’s creative process.
If you’ve ever wondered where that “Mad Men,” 1960s look came from, or even what it is that makes it so recognizable, Doug’s book provides a real window into the design world that created it. This vision of life without bounds—not even gravity, as we ventured into orbit and eventually the moon—arose out of a horrible war that had demonstrated just how dull and small some minds could be. As Doug documents, Komai went to work as soon as he was released, and he quickly made a name for himself through a series of innovative and attractive designs that captured (perhaps even helped create) the mood of the era.
We have produced the ebook like a graphic novel to preserve the pleasing design of each page, and we have done it with panel views so that one can easily read all the text and see details of the illustrations. Even if your device does not support panel views, one can still manually enlarge each page.
Doug Clouse’s previous titles include his award-winning book with Angela Voulangas about Victorian letterpress printing, The Handy Book of Artistic Printing from Princeton Architectural Press. It is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or a bookstore near you. He and Angela run their own graphic design business, The Graphic Office, in New York City. He is President of The Type Directors Club and has also authored a history of the 19th century type foundry, Mackellar, Smiths & Jordan.