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Moments That Made The Movies

Client: Thames & Hudson

In his first illustrated book, iconic film critic David Thomson focuses on key scenes in selected films. To make the project go without a hitch,* we helped suggest and select images, collaborated on pull quotes, and devised a fair number of the essay subtitles. We also designed the jacket and book interior.

From this rich collection, our "Designer's Choices" are: 1. Thomson's essay on "The Letter," especially his meticulous description of the film titles and 2. The images from Jean Renoir's "The River," with frames showing how Renoir had his father's eye for color and composition.

"A coffee table book with a brain," according to reviewer Dennis Drabelle published in The Washington Post (and The Manchester Guardian), Moments That Made The Movies is perfect reading at Oscar or any time.





*There is a hitch in the book; Thomson discusses a number of films by Hitchcock, that Master of Suspense.









   
Edgar Allan Poe:
Terror of the Soul

Client: Isaac Gewirtz, PhD, Curator of the Berg Collection of the The New York Public Library

BTD produced (contracted editors and printer) and designed Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul, a 224-page paperback of illustrated essays by Paul Auster, Isaac Gewirtz, and Susan Jaffe Tane. Although not a catalogue for the exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum from October 4, 2013 to January 26, 2014, the Poe tome is in the library shops in time for fans flocking to the show.

On a related note (but unrelated to BTD), the late Lou Reed, whose album "The Raven" is based on Poe's work and who referred to Poe as his "spiritual forefather," was hauntingly eloquent about Edgar Allan Poe's influence.

Top: Book's cover with Poe's signature as backdrop; Middle: Opening spread and handwritten notes for Paul Auster's essay followed by text spread showing illustration by Edmund Dulac; Bottom: checklist spread with art by Aubrey Beardsley.










   
GRAND CENTRAL:
How a Train Station Transformed America

We were honored to work with Grand Central Publishing on the interior of Sam Roberts 's easily-portable tribute to Grand Central Terminal's centennial.

(Wordsmiths: see page 9 of Sam's fact-filled text to learn why Grand Central is more like a "terminal" than a "station".)

Conceived by engineer William J. Wilgus, Grand Central was designed by a politically-driven mash-up of architecture firms Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore. Wilgus also proposed the elevated roadway encircling the terminal and connecting Park Avenue North and South.

• • •

In addition to the design, BTDnyc contributed photo editing support. As a nod to Pentagram's anniversary logo, we art directed a shot of the iconic clock at 7:13. Among other suggestions, we proposed finding an overhead photo showing the centrality of Manhattan's great edifice.

Many of the photos in the book are as well-known as the building itself, but few are as delightful as the image of gents fixing the iconic ball clock.

Jacket design by Anne Twomey.








   


JOSEPH CORNELL'S MANUAL OF MARVELS

Around the 1930s, Joseph Cornell changed a 1911 French Agricultural Manual from almanac to art by drawing in, cutting out, collaging on, as well as inserting tracing paper and origami into many of its pages.

Cornell's surrealist intervention, now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is too fragile for public viewing. Happily, Thames & Hudson has just published an abridged facsimile, along with a book of essays and a CD showing each page Cornell brought into another dimension. All elements are housed in a box we designed to evoke a carton of produce.

Devising fresh packaging and the facsimile was tricky, not to mention humbling (in comparison, the book of essays was a piece of cake). But all of the efforts to recreate Cornell's playful work were well worth it. Julie Bloom seems to agree; in her December 2, 2012 article in The New York Times Book Review she declares the results marvelous.

Small image: box exterior; Top large image: the inside of the box, with CD, Facsimile, and Book of Essays; Middle and bottom images: two of the many spreads Cornell manipulated.








   
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE HALL OF FAME 50TH ANNIVERSARY BOOK

Working with Grand Central Publishing and the NFL on the "a mosaic of a book" that is The National Football League Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Book was a challenge and a dream. The challenge was to present multiple items: quotes, artifacts, essays, statistics and more. We made certain that all of the bits dovetailed and suggested large action photos to add drama and coherence. The dream? The team.

In addition to working with such a great group, we learned a lot about football. Did you know that 1920s legend Red Grange's given name was "Harold"? Or that 1930s star Byron "Whizzer" White was not only a pro football player but also a Rhodes Scholar and eventually a Supreme Court justice? Or that Tom Dempsey was born without toes on his right (kicking) foot but still made a 63-yard field goal to give his New Orleans Saints a last-second victory over the Detroit Lions?

We got a kick out of seeing the evolution of the game's printed matter. Typefaces Cooper Black and Cheltenham Bold looked like the typographical quarterbacks for early posters and programs. We also chose some of the book's action photos not only because they're great shots but because the subjects did as well in the ballroom as on the gridiron (translation: Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice distinguished themselves on the TV reality show "Dancing with the Stars").

We have one last did-you-know trivia question: what do the NFL and Lady Gaga have in common? Fetishistic headgear and shoes? Sustained tumbles while in the thick of it? Yes to both of the above. AND, here's an arcane piece of insider info: both NFL's and Gaga's books are printed on the same paper stock, making them shine on the page as well as on the field. They will, they will rock you.

Jacket design by Brad Foltz.













   
SWEET DESIGNS Amy Atlas's book full of Sweet Designs contains info a-go-go. Our clear (but festive) typographic hierarchy and section icons clarify Amy's detailed advice—from basic approaches through fourteen specific theme parties. Sweet!









   
THE BRODY PROJECT Working with producer Jocelyn Hassenfeld, we helped devise a logo for a Florida-based nonprofit specializing in animal-assisted therapy. The org's uniform polo shirt is a strong branding tool.

The Brody Project
   
SANDRA LEE COOKBOOKS A large part of the challenge—and delight—of working on cookbooks comes from making sure that instructions are easy-to-read as well as elegant. Space, type, size, and timing all matter.

Recently, we had the opportunity to work with Hyperion Books on Sandra Lee Money Saving Meals and Sandra Lee Easy Entertaining at Home. The two books contain "Quick-Scratch" recipes. The term, new to us, basically means a combo of pre-made and fresh ingredients. Both titles are available as paperbacks and e-books.
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OCTOBER Spread

   

The recipe for Potato Bites is too small to read on this screen, but it's worth making (buy the paperback or e-book)! It's easy and perfect for our current world of food bites and sound bites.

Holiday Helper Spread
Pulled Pork Spread
   
25 years in bizz
BTDnyc
     BTD/Beth Tondreau Design, Inc.
611 Broadway. Room 424. New York, NY 10012.  212.420.1412.  fax: 212.475.1436. btd@btdnyc.com     Search