Josh MacPhee’s Book Zoo

If you know Josh MacPhee’s name, it’s mostly likely due to his justseeds affiliation (a loose affiliation of politically active artists that he founded) and his various political print endeavors but it turns out there’s more to him than politics. He sent me a copy of his latest publication, Book Zoo: 156 Publisher’s Marks, and I thought I’d share a few pictures. With only a brief introductory essay, this book is a collection and catalog of the many varieties of fauna used in the publishing world. In a field with a long history and tradition, it’s interesting to see the evolution of mark design as similar animals are utilized at different points in time reflecting the style of the day.

Why animal motifs are so commonly associated with publisher’s marks is a question that remains unanswered. Perhaps in the way a sports team needs a mascot, even a publisher needs some sort of graphically rendered spirit animal to bring it’s vision to life. Like MacPhee, I’ll leave what it means to represent your books with a penguin rather than a lion for others to parse out. Whatever the reason, this is one for you, bibliophiles!











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Categories: Book Review

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