Process Music: Songs, Stories, and Studies of Graphic Culture
By Kenneth FitzGerald
In Process Music, Virginia-based designer, educator and author Kenneth FitzGerald provides deep readings of print-media artifacts and activities, often through the lens of music.
Employing a range of narrative voices, the works combine academic rigor with the accessibility of popular forms such as music journalism. FitzGerald’s new book compiles over 40 of his pieces from the last decade—many of which are now inaccessible or behind a paywall—with reprinted works first appearing in outlets such as Emigre, Eye, Print, Idea, Modes of Criticism, Design Observer, Speak Up and Voice: AIGA Journal of Graphic Design.
The book is organized in four sections and a coda: “Blues in CMYK” contains short essays that focus on concepts and topics in graphic design, such as the practice, limits, and potential of design criticism; different aspects of design education; the importance of metaphor and cross-disciplinary inspiration; inclusivity and responsibility in design; the proper context of digital technology; authenticity; the influence of religious faith on design activity, and more.
“Interlude with Designers” presents appreciations of famed and upstart individuals in the discipline, including Barney Bubbles, Paul Rand, William Addison Dwiggins, Jacqueline Casey, Paula Scher, Vaughan Oliver, Martin Venezky, illustrator Mark Andresen, and design activist Andrew Breitenberg.
“Omnigraphy” has expanded reviews and studies on graphic design and music works, performers and practitioners. Figures covered include Josef-Müller Brockmann, Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko/Emigre, Elliott Earls, Stefan Sagmeister, Hipgnosis, Fuel, and the musicians Van Dyke Parks, and British band Cornershop. Artifacts examined include books, interactive projects, typefaces, independent and mass market magazines, posters, and record albums.
“My Back Pages” offers short memoirs and stories that take a personal perspective on creativity, visual culture and communication. Lastly, “(extended play)” offers a short fiction.
Includes a prelude from AIGA Design medalist and Design Matters host Debbie Millman.
Edited and designed by Kenneth FitzGerald
Published by Onamatopee, 2022
Softcover, 336 pages, b&w, 5.12 × 8.23 inches