Way back in 1999 I was reading Design Writing Research – Abbott Miller and Ellen Lupton's collection of essays on graphic design (and also the name of their design practise at the time). This was the first time I'm read anything from either author – to a large extent, it was the first time I'd enjoyed writing of this kind. It was Lupton's name that had drawn me in – I wasn't so familier with Miller – and semi-youthful enthusiasm for the subject (I wasn't that young) drove me on to consume both author's nuanced thoughts and ideas. It was full of insightful articles that helped me view the discipline of design in a more informed way.
That same year Abbott Miller joined Pentagram and slipped off my radar. Well, that's what I thought. His new book, Abbott Miller: Design and Content reveals a slightly different perspective. It turns out, I've been well aware of Miller's work throughout the last fifteen years, I'd just been missing the credit.
Written and designed by Miller, Design and Content shows diverse and intelligent design; mature work that demonstrates both masterful visual creativity and skilful wordsmithery – an essential and balanced approach that can be sadly under appreciated by those with a bias towards one or the other.
Miller and his team have worked across many specialisms which Design and Content bears witness to. Projects include branding, print, editorial and exhibition design and features collaborations with artists like Yoko Ono, Philip Glass and Nan June Paiik. Miller's work is introduced by Rick Poyner and includes essays by Miller and Lupton – and converstations with fellow Pentagramers Michael Bierut, Eddie Opera and Paula Scher.
It's a handsome volume too.