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  • 09.16.09

Read Between the Frames: 5 Books for Visual Thinkers

Have a spare moment? Here’s a selection of favorite books that explore the idea of crossing transitional space, each with its own take on what lies in-between.

Have a spare moment? Here’s a selection of favorite books that explore the idea of crossing transitional space, each with its own take on what lies in-between…

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Understanding Comics

1. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
An entertaining analysis of how comics work, in comic book form. Scott McCloud dissects just how a comic artist gets the reader to experience time and space in a flat, “still” medium.

comics2

I particularly enjoy his explanations about what happens in between the panels. That’s where he says the unique power of comics lies.

The Dot and the Line

2. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics by Norton Juster
A witty picture book that tells a love story between two characters from different mathematical states. Double entendres abound. Especially like the modernist, mixed-media illustrations. It is also an Academy Award-winning animated short film, animated by Chuck Jones.

flatland

3. Flatland: A Romance of Many Directions by Edwin A. Abbott
Written in 1884, it’s the great uncle of The Dot and the Line, and worth mentioning, as it’s a classic. Set in a two-dimensional land, a Square starts to ponder the possibility of other dimensions after meeting sphere from Spaceland.

in betweenplaces

4. In Between Places, Uta Barth, Photographer
This book is out of print, but you can substitute one of her other monographs. Beautiful photography of moments and spaces that don’t have a traditional foreground subject, but instead create an atmosphere where it seems something is waiting to happen.

uta barth

Familiar places become enigmatic with her use of light and cropping: the corner where the ceiling meets the wall, the out-of-focus view through a window. Poetic images that are strangely cinematic–I’d sure like to have a print for one of my in-between (wall) spaces.

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5. Duck! Rabbit! By Amy Krause Rosenthal
Recently published children’s picture book that takes the well-known optical illusion and turns it into a charming tale about seeing something multiple ways.

duck rabbit

Yes, there can be two points of view that can exist at the same time…a nice lesson to realize early on! Now, who can we read this to…

Late-breaking news: I just checked out the article Negative Space: The Inside-Out Illustrations of Noma Bar (on this very site) this morning. His negative-space illustrations are right up my alley–
I’m looking forward to seeing the book, which looks to be a likely addition to this list!

Read more of Karin Fong’s The In-Between Spaces blog
Browse blogs by our other Expert Designers

Karin Fong is a director and designer
based in New York City. As one of the founding members of Imaginary
Forces, Karin’s work spans the diverse worlds of entertainment,
experience design, and advertising. Among her best-known projects are
title sequences for such films as T
erminator Salvation, The Pink Panther 2, Ray, Definitely Maybe, and Charlotte’s Web.
Her work in designing television titles earned her an Emmy Award for
Masterpiece Theatre’s American Collection and a nomination for the hit
NBC series
Chuck.

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Karin’s interest in pushing the
boundaries of cinematic experiences has resulted in numerous
environmental design projects across the country, including sites as
diverse as Las Vegas, Lincoln Center, and the Los Angeles Opera, while
her expertise in both live action and design ultimately led to
directing television commercials for such clients as Target, Honda,
Sears, and Herman Miller. Recently named as one the Top 100 Most
Creative People in Business by
Fast Company magazine. Karin
has had work in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Artists
Space, and The Wexner Center, as well as in numerous publications on
film and design.

About the author

Karin Fong is a director and designer based in New York City. As one of the founding members of Imaginary Forces, Karin’s work spans the diverse worlds of entertainment, experience design, and advertising.

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