Alan Fletcher's The Art of Looking Sideways is an absolutely extraordinary and inexhaustible "guide to visual awareness", a virtually indescribable concoction of anecdotes, quotes, images and bizarre facts that offers a wonderfully twisted vision of the chaos of modern life. Fletcher is a renowned designer and art director and the joy of The Art of Looking Sideways lies in its beautiful design. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters with titles like "Colour", "Noise", "Chance", "Camouflage" and "Handedness", Fletcher's book, which he describes as "a journey without a destination", is "a collection of shards" that captures the sensory overload of a world that simply contains too much information. In one typical section, entitled "Civilization", the reader encounters six Polish flags designed to represent the world, a photograph of an anthropomorphic hand bag, Buzz Aldrin's bootprint on the moon, drawings of Stone Age pebbles, a painting of "Ireland--as seen from Wales" and a dizzying array of quotations and snippets of information, including the wise words of Marcus Aurelius, Stephen Jay and Gandhi's comment, "Western civilization? I think it would be a good idea". Fletcher's mastery of design mixes type, space, fonts, alphabets, colour and layout combined with a "jackdaw" eye for the strange and profound to produce a stunning book that cannot be read, but only experienced. --Jerry Brotton
This vast collection of assorted visual and verbal content is loosely strung together by the common thread of whatever captures the attention of celebrated designer Fletcher best known for his founding roles in the English design firm Fletcher Forbes Gill and the internationally recognized design group Pentagram. A table of contents (with headings such as "Learning," "Noise," and "Imagination") provides a loose structure for what is an otherwise unfettered stream-of-consciousness outpouring. In the author's own words, the book is "a journey without a destination." The book is tailor-made for those with short attention spans, since any given thought or narrative rarely runs for more than a spread. A worthy companion to other large, contemporary, designer-orchestrated explorations of visual culture, such as Bruce Mau's Life Style (Phaidon, 2000) or John Maeda's Maeda @ Media (Rizzoli, 2000), this book will delight anyone who enjoys unexpected visual and verbal play, cultural and historical observations and insights, and staggering amounts of trivia and anecdotes. Best suited for larger public libraries or libraries with extensive liberal arts, fine arts, or art history sections. Phil Hamlett, Turner & Associates, San Francisco
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The Art of Looking Sideways is a gem. Rather it is a bible of gems, notes, quotes and keen perceptions on a wide spectrum of topics relating most frequently to design and... Read morePublished on Oct. 20 2003 by justin
This book found me one day and now has me totally in it's pages.
Every little thing that was ever said and every problem ever created has some form of simplistic answer within... Read more
Stop what you're doing. Buy The Art of Looking Sideways right now. Read it, view it, participate in it. It will change the way you see the world.Published on Jan. 20 2003 by "bibiliophilia"
This book is a celebration of ideas and thought, and illustrates the power of the human mind to synthesize concepts into reality. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2003
Look, I'll make this short, if you have anything to do with visual creativity get this book!
In 532 pages Alan Fletcher presents a cornucopia of visual and semantic ideas,... Read more
It is probably easier to write nebulously about this volume than in very direct and objectively descriptive terms. Read morePublished on May 9 2002 by Iconophoric
Difficult to tell you what this book actually says, except that it's author is a genius. Or at least he quotes lots of other people who are. Read morePublished on May 3 2002 by The Honourable Husband