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Bookshelf Picks: Lindy Staadecker on 'design bibles', sketchbooks and brand identity

An array of magazines and books featured in Lindy's Bookshelf Picks.
An array of magazines and books featured in Lindy's Bookshelf Picks.
Image credit: Lindy Staadecker.
Written by
Chloe Murphy
Published date
15 June 2020

At London College of Communication (LCC), we support our students to become the future of the creative industries. We're proud to give them the tools they need to develop key critical and technical skills, to build their confidence, and to grow their professional networks.

Our Industry Mentoring Scheme matches postgraduate students with experienced mentors who can offer helpful tips, information and advice on ways to kick-start their career. As the world navigates new ways of working, thinking and doing, we asked some of our mentors to suggest the books and resources that help them to stay inspired and stay creative throughout these challenging times.

Lindy Staadecker

After a two-year spell spent studying for a BA in Business Management and Economics, Lindy moved from Cape Town to London, where she began working in hospitality and events management. She then returned to the creative arts to study an FdA in Graphic and Spatial Design, as well as a BA in Interior Design at LCC.

With first-hand experience of just how creative designers are long before they join industry, Lindy was inspired to start her own business, Space to Show, which offers a curated marketplace for independent designers and aims to amplify their passion, innovation and excitement.

In our latest Bookshelf Picks, Lindy chooses a range of books and magazines that she finds inspiring, many of which she discovered during her creative studies.

A book opens to a blue and white page exploring the design history of violins.
Image credit: Alan Fletcher for Phaidon Press

1. The Art of Looking Sideways – Alan Fletcher (2001)

“If I need inspiration for layout, text, document design or anything that involves the written word and imagery, I pull out this book out. Each page is presented differently: everything from the page layout to the font is unique. The Art of Looking Sideways is filled to the brim with humour, anecdotes and information that any creative would appreciate. On one of the pages, it asks what the difference is between an interior decorator and interior designer - whenever I see that page, I giggle because it took me an entire year at uni to work that out myself.”

A book opens to a page detailing the interior of a home.
Image credit: Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, UMBC.

2. Paul Rand: Modernist Design – Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo (2003)

“Paul Rand is famous for creating logos that almost all of us recognise, including UPS and IBM, and this book is very much a visual exploration of his work. It’s probably the reason I can identify what a visual identity is – he has inspired me to work towards creating one for my own business, and I often refer back to his body of work to remind me of what ‘on-brand’ looks like.

In my mind, Rand’s artistry is his consistent style and his ability to get almost any message across in very clear and concise way. The book ends with a tour of the home Paul lived in with his wife, Anne, and you can clearly see his signature style stamped on the architecture and interior design.”

A magazine cover featuring a woman in a black and white-check clothes.
Image credit: House of Solo.

3. House of Solo (2016-present)

“Recently, I’ve been poring over magazines to come up with social media content ideas for my website launch. It’s very difficult to marry a group of independent designers and present their work collaboratively. House of Solo is a glossy magazine that features beautifully shot fashion editorials, and also tackles subjects like blurring gender lines and gender representation across fashion and films in a very honest and artful way.

I first came across the magazine when they pulled cloths from an independent designer I was working with – it’s very unusual for a glossy to support and represent emerging brands. I hung onto these copies (pictured) from 2017 because I knew I would refer back to them for inspiration. and that’s exactly what I’m doing now.”

An open book detailing pages which explore the history of the IBM logo.
Image credit: Carlton Books.

4. Design Museum Book of 20th Century Design – Catherine McDermott (1998)

“The Design Museum Book of 20th Century Design is my design bible – it’s old and weathered and I used it before I had Google at my fingertips. When I first became interested in design, I used it to look up who designed everything, from landmark buildings to product packaging, and its entry about IBM’s logo was probably the first time I came across Paul Rand.

I think this may have been the first reference book I bought for pleasure. I had it long before I made the decision to study design, so perhaps it was a catalyst!”

Sketches of a man in a flatcap.
Image credit: James Jean for AdHouse Books.

5. PR3: The Hallowed Seam – James Jean (2009

PR3 is my favourite book, and it's a printed version of a sketchbook from comic book illustrator, James Jean. It doesn’t feature any text, aside from a few handwritten and largely eligible notes. He sketched people he crossed paths with in variety of situations, including old men and nude women. It’s been out of print for some time now.

I admire his raw and natural talent, and the way his work makes me feel voyeuristic and uncomfortable. I don’t look at it often but when I do, I am inspired to draw and use my own sketchbook.”

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