Typographic Tuesday : Mary Oliver #2

mary oliver and chappie

It’s Typographic Tuesday, and today’s post is from Mary Oliver’s popular new book Dog Songs. This would be another fantastic gift for someone, it’s here on Amazon. My copy just arrived, so here’s the sweet cover:

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver


Erica Preo is CEO & Creative Director of Pantofola, pure luxury Italian goods for dogs.

Animal Blueprint Company

Animal Blueprint Company Mutt

In keeping with my last architecture-themed post I wanted to share this. A few years back I saw a mention for these great dog blueprints from the Animal Blueprint Company in a home decor magazine (Elle Decor? The now defunct Met Home? Who knows!). As they are described on their website: “a distressed finish gives this animal art print the feel of working blueprints used by architects, engineers and construction supervisors of the mid 20th century.” Cool.

I think they’re really great, and of course what caught my eye was that they featured one from the Mutt Series of 20 (hooray for mutts!). Each print includes a drawing of a dog with some call-outs highlighted, then a breakdown of history and attributes under “Construction Notes”, such as:
Breed: American Mutt
Origin: Local Shelter, Friend or Neighbor
History: Rescued by those who care! While a mutt does not come with a breeder’s certificate, they are known to demonstrate all the best traits of their various breeds, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
The great American family dog. Mother may have been a bit of a lady, father a bit of a tramp. Perhaps part Shepherd, Collie, Retriever, Spaniel, Husky or none of these, no one knows for sure. The love of a rescued dog is without boundaries and touches all those in its reach, often transforming the rescuee into the rescuer…

The text goes on to describe attributes such as coat, color, height and weight…of course without really being able to provide any definitive information at all! And isn’t that also a reason why mutts are so awesome? I’m guessing these Animal Blueprint Company folks have a sense of humor, stamping each print with “Canine Architect: I.M. Paws” (I.M. Pei, haha). Okay.

They also have tons of purebred dog blueprints with factual information, here are a few of them. Oh, and there are cat breeds and a few horses available, too.

Animal Blueprint Company Alaskan Malamute

Yorkshire Terrier by Animal Blueprint Company

You can order their prints framed or just matted, and I just saw that if you order by TODAY (December 17) you can still give one for Christmas this year. Maybe this idea will be perfect for that tricky someone on your list, or even yourself.

Click here for the Animal Blueprint Company website.

PS: I should probably add here that products and books that I feature on my blog are just things that I like, not revenue-generators. And when it’s a designer (like me) being an entrepreneur (like me) AND I like what they’re creating, it’s definitely the trifecta!

The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs

The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs

A few months ago I did a post about covers from The New Yorker magazine that feature dogs, spawned by a 1966 cover I bought to frame. Well, I’m psychic—or maybe psychotic—because a few weeks ago I stumbled upon this new release, The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs. The book features articles from past issues, cartoons, and also lots of covers interspersed here and there. Malcolm Gladwell even wrote the foreword, which is equally weird since I loosely tied him into my post as well (yes, I know he writes for the magazine, but I wouldn’t expect him to be the go-to author to write a foreword for a book about dogs). Eerie.

So of course I bought the book, and I’m really glad I did. It’s one of those books that you can pick up, read something short or long, have a laugh, or just flip through. It’s also one of those books that makes a really great gift, especially for the holidays since it’s already red (so just add ribbon, because even when you wrap a book everyone knows what it is). Some of the contributors include Roald Dahl, Maira Kalman, Arthur Miller, John Updike, and E.B. White.

Here is a detail from a 1938 cover, and below a more recent cover by artist Mark Ulriksen.

1938 cover & Ulriksen cover

In addition to essays, there are other interesting spreads mixing things up like this one with a poem titled The Unruly Thoughts of the Dog Trainer’s Lover by Elizabeth Macklin. Opposite the finished poem are the author’s notes and scribbles.

Spread from the book featuring a poem by Elizabeth Macklin

There are also fun little details here and there, like these section openers:

Bad Dogs and Good Dogs section openers

And of course, cartoons are everywhere. Here are a few laughs to wrap things up:

New Yorker Cartoon

New Yorker Cartoon

New Yorker Cartoon

All content from the book The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs, copyright 2012 Random House, Inc.