Mélanie Johnsson


Stories from behind the scenes...

Resources: 3 art books to inspire you


Graphic: Carnets de Croquis

by Steven Heller & Lita Talarico

This book is filled with photographs of sketchbooks belonging to amazing designers, artists, typographers...It is the most inspiring book I've ever owned (and as you can tell by the french edition, I've been carrying it with me for a long time).

I've always loved sketchbooks and seeing the work in progress, the behind the scenes. My mum used to have a lot of them and I remember looking at them thinking to myself: "One day, I too will draw and fill notebooks with doodles and it WILL look amazing!". I soon learnt that the way it looked didn't matter and that the beauty of sketchbooks resided within the mess and the ideas behind the doodles.


Art Nouveau Revival

by the Orsay Museum

Back in 2009, I visited the Art Nouveau Revival exhibition at the Orsay Museum in Paris and fell in love with everything I discovered. Obviously, I had to buy the lovely coffee table book created for the occasion! I've kept it for all these years, and it still inspires me pretty much every time I open it and look through its pages...

This book will tell you everything about the Art Nouveau Revival that happened in the 60's/70's, and how the movement took to all mediums: furniture design, fashion design, advertising, cinema...It shows us how it was reinterpreted in these years with a new psychedelic touch. I especially love all the vinyls covers with their crazy, multicoloured, hallucinogenic illustrations! 


Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design

by Jennifer Bass & Pat Kirkham 

You're probably already familiar with the wonderful and very unique work of Saul Bass.  Even if you don't know his name, I am pretty sure you've seen his amazing work. Now, try to remember the iconic black silhouettes and paper cuttings on the movie posters of the 1950's and 1960's or the great titles for some of the most famous of Hitchcock's films: Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho...

This book is amazing because it shows the behind the scenes, the behind the thinking of the design genius that was Saul Bass. I love everything about his work: the very refined simplicity, the boldness, the colour palettes and the use of white space and optical illusions to give depth and meaning to his designs. 


Hope you enjoyed this little selection.

I will be back soon with other things that will (hopefully) inspire you!