Guest Lecture / Spin (Unit Editions)

March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Spin  /  Unit Editions


This guest lecture, led by Tony Brook and Klaudia Clat of London based Spin design studio (also Unit Editions publishing), was a lovely insight into the working the design agency, looking upon their work of the creation of various books, with specific focus on Herb Lubalin, and their design ethos.

The lecture was introduced with previous work done by Spin, looking upon their journey, and how they’ve evolved from very little to where they’re at currently. From previously having books and work printed, they were losing out on a fair margin of money, from this they decided to birth Unit Editions, their very own self-publishing company.

Unit Editions book design is led by Spin, with Adrian Shaughnessy writing. The resulting collection of this is thus far pretty strong, comprising of such works including Type Only, which also has it’s own tumblr page; Herb Lubalin, which I’ll talk of; the Spin series editions, of which contain reading lists of designers (many unknown), as well as insight into famous designers work, and general design based stuff, all very handy. Their books are made for graphic designers, by graphic designers.

Tony mentioned the book How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy, which is a must read.

Type_Only_Cover_1_full product_optimised2

Spin’s Inspirations
/ Herb Lubalin
/ Karel Martens
/ Neue Grafik – Josef Müller Brockman

When creating their Unit Edition books, they only choose subjects they love, things they want to share that will inform and inspire. Their books have a contemporary edge.

The contents of their Herb Lubalin book was sourced predominantly from the Cooper archive in New York. Much 0f the book’s colour comprises of orange, the source and context of this is from the archived work folders Lubalin would keep his work. When designing books they try to give things as much context as possible, looking at the origin of design (such as in this case), they may look at design colour schemes from designers works, or maybe the context is more subliminal at times, but there is usually some context or idea running behind something. They like to have this idea/connection in their work, for exactly that, the connection between the artist and the book, or the subject; it’s a very important aspect to use.


Your obsessions, passions and interests are what make you a good (or not a good) designer, with no room for apathy in graphic design. Listen to the voices in your head.

They also have a digital publishing of a Wim Crouwel issue of one of their Spin editions.

In their book Studio Culture, which looks upon designers working practice and their motivations.


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