Off The Shelf

Los Angeles has been HOT lately – the perfect weather for staying inside with some sweet A/C, and catching up on a little summer reading. We asked our very own creative director, Kenny Gravillis, to share a few books from our own shelves here at the studio. Take it away, Kenny!


We are fortunate enough to have a pretty extensive library here at Gravillis Inc. Here are three books that are library “must-haves” for a design studio of any size.

First up, SAUL BASS – A Life in Film & Design

Photo Aug 28, 4 17 49 PM Photo Aug 28, 4 19 07 PM

Let’s just face it, any working graphic designer, especially in the film industry, is influenced by Saul Bass in some way, shape, or form. We all want to influence the industry the way he did. This book has great insight to his process and extensive reference to his work. It has a lot of pieces in there I hadn’t seen before. A little trivia – before we moved into our current studio we had a chance to rent and move into Saul Bass’s old studio on Sunset. While it didn’t fit our space needs there was certainly a lot of dreaming going on about how it would have felt to have walked the same halls he did, or look outside the same windows – maybe somehow the creativity would rub off. Not too many designers make you feel like that. He’s maybe the only one. All that is to say, if you don’t have it in your library, it almost feels like you’re not really a designer at all – the power of Bass!


Next up,  CHIP KIDD – Book One 

Photo Aug 28, 4 16 24 PM Photo Aug 28, 4 17 11 PM

Well, apart from having one of the coolest names on the planet, his book is another must have in your design library. The wealth of range Mr. Kidd shows in his book cover designs is completely inspiring for any designer, and you should leave excited about design after having gone through it all. He created the Jurassic Park logo…what the hell else is there to say?


And finally,  BLUE NOTE  – The Album Covers

Photo Aug 28, 4 15 28 PM Photo Aug 28, 4 14 08 PM

Now this book has special meaning to me, as I got my start designing album covers. The amazing feat of Reid Miles, the designer of so many of these amazing albums, was that he literally created a design approach identity for a brand like Blue Note, where you could say “that’s a Blue Note cover”, and 20 years later, a movie executive will be quick to say, ” I need it to feel more Blue Note.” I mean how amazing is that?! One of my greatest compliments ever was in 1999; I designed a series of covers for the album Things Fall Apart by The Roots, and a journalist for Billboard Magazine mentioned “how the covers faithfully channeled the spirit of a Reid Miles’s Blue Note cover.” Of course, it was completely inspired by Mr. Miles’s work. Hopefully, we can do work that inspires other designers. That’s gotta be the dream, already wonderfully accomplished by Mr. Miles.

There you have it! Thanks, Kenny. Hope you enjoyed this peek at the pages of the Gravillis Inc. library. What kind of books do you guys have on your shelves? Hit us up on social media @gravillisinc.

Design Your Resumé