In this book review edition, we are going to be taking a look at a special book called Time Flies When You’re Having Fun by John Spencer it was sent to me by Author and founder / creative director of Offthetopofmyhead John Spencer.
John is lined up to take part in our designer interview and we have been collaborating over the months on the interview to get it just right.
I was thrilled when John emailed me to tell me about the book and offered to send me a signed copy before release and it’s a book I will cherish. So thanks John much appreciated and well done with the book!
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun is an A to Z of idiosyncratic letters,
John Spencer’s fascination for both the appearance and meaning of words was sparked off by a book he discovered when he was a graphics student called Watching Words Move by designers Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar. Their aim was to “…explore the evocative potential of words and vividly express their meaning”. He love’s Watching Words Move because it’s what graphic design’s all about: crystal-clear and expressive communication.
John Spencer says, “I’ve always been intrigued by the relationship between language and design. Master designers like Alan Fletcher, Bob Gill, Milton Glaser and George Lois all put language at the heart of their work. Fletcher’s book The Art of Looking Sideways is about verbal and visual interplay. George Lois, in his book Lois Logos, said, “As a graphic thinker, I claim my love of language as a birthright”. And he went on to describe himself as “the most word-driven art director of our media age”.
John Spencer has designed logos for countless well-known organizations such as Campaign to Protect Rural England, MS Society, Ramblers, Royal College of Nursing, Royal Exchange Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, The National Archives and the University of Cambridge. His book brings together 52 characters from some of the timeless logos he’s created. It’s taken John Spencer more than thirty years to design his typeface. Time flew while he was having fun.
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun is published in hardback by Impress, a small, award-winning publishing house with a reputation for beautifully designed books produced to an exceptionally high standard.
John Spencer waves the flag for instinct, imagination and the sheer joy of doing things which haven’t been done before. As a graphic designer who loves language, he knows that language and design are as indivisible as words and music in a song.
John is intrigued by both the appearance and meaning of words, which is why he puts them at the heart of his award-winning work. He has a visceral understanding of how words and design can merge to tell unforgettable stories.
Personally, I think this book is fantastic and a great tribute and appreciation of John’s work over his 30-year career and such a creative way to display his logo typefaces in alphabetical order. I especially like the books clean and minimalistic layout displaying the logos in black and white as anyone that knows me knows that I love clean minimalistic black and white logotype’s.
Time flew while John was having fun!.
Also published on Medium.