By House Industries, Ken Barber, Andy Cruz, Rich Roat and J.J. Abrams
400 pages, hardbound, $31.45
Published by Watson-Guptill
When House Industries’ cofounder Andy Cruz had the chance to drive one of his heroes, artist and hot-rodder Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, back to his hotel from a party, Roth left him with a bit of wisdom: “You don’t own anything until you give it away.” This seed germinated into the Delaware-based type foundry’s current ethos, a seemingly “never say no” attitude, which has been aided by the many creative hobbies that Cruz and cofounder Rich Roat have brought into their work to produce an extensive output ranging from brands to fonts to toys to clothes to traditional Japanese ceramics to the logo for Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Behind every one of those projects is another inspiring story. As one example, there’s the time Cruz stopped by the Sausalito, California, plant of Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic’s Heath Ceramics. Cruz posts a picture of his visit on House Industries’ blog. Bailey sees it and calls him up, and the next thing they know, they’re picking out fonts for a ceramic clock. Learning how to create anything in a new medium, whether a clock or a TV title, presents all kinds of challenges, but the studies behind many of House Industries’ projects stress the importance of collaboration and trial and error—really proving to readers that the process is the inspiration. This book is a necessary read for fans of House Industries’ distinctively retro style and for any creatives with boundless imagination. —Michael Coyne