Wandering around the reference section on the fourth floor of the SFPL in search of some books I was eager to get my hands on—frustration came over me. I had found only a few of the less exciting books I was looking for, and was about ready to give up, when a little librarian told me the missing books might be at the page desk.
This at first didn’t sound very interesting, or promising, but as another librarian searched some secret room behind the desk I began to feel a tinge of luck coming over me. Alas, she returned with a stack of all the out-of-print books I was missing, in mint condition no less—not your typical falling apart and written all over library books. I was now ready to settle in for examination.
After fingering through all of them, I of course chose the one I thought most intriguing and rare to look at first. A book called Micrographia by Robert Hooke, published in 1665. The book details observations Hook made with a magnifying glass, and was truly amazing, including the typography. Although my camera under the library light doesn’t do it justice, it is too good not to give a taste.
Next book and almost as exciting, the Life and Work of Willam Burton. William Burton was a designer I had never known, but of my favorite sort—an Ulm School type from Germany, he moved to America in his early career and worked coincidentally designing architecture collateral (I did that too), instruction manuals, was art director for Fortune Magazine, and had his own branding agency.
What he is most known for though was his theories on the integration of design in science. This set him off on a lifelong path exploring visual aspects of science for the communication of knowledge.
Lastly, I’ll just mention the discovery of Paul Klee’s Notebook Vol. II, the Nature of Nature. This was fascinating to me because of his ability to make such abstract work out of science—a process I hope to explore further in my own work.