Untranslatable Tuesdays – Media

media

To mark the publication of Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, we are delighted to share a series of playful graphics by our design team which illustrate some of the most interesting terms from the Dictionary. For week six in the “Untranslatable Tuesdays” series we present Media/Medium (of communication):

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of a family resemblance between the various “implements of intercommunication” meant that they could be compared and contrasted in profitable new ways. . . . The term “mass media” found its niche in scholarly articles by such influential American midcentury thinkers as Hadley Cantril, Harold Lasswell, and Paul Lazarsfeld. But European philosophers resisted this tendency. . . . For Sartre, Adorno, and their contemporaries, “mass media” was less an untranslatable than an untouchable sullied by intellectual and institutional associations with American cultural imperialism. . . . This resistance was soon exhausted. . . . Cognates like “multimedia,” “remediation,” and “mediality” proliferate globally. This reflects less the dominance of English than the collective urgency of an intellectual project. (Ben Kafka)

 

Untranslatable Tuesdays – Work

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To mark the publication of Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, we are delighted to share a series of playful graphics by our design team which illustrate some of the most interesting terms from the Dictionary. For  the fourth in the “Untranslatable Tuesdays” series we present Work, with an abridged entry by Pascal David:

FRENCH       travail, oeuvre

GERMAN     Arbeit, Werk

GREEK       ponos, ergon

LATIN         labor, opus

The human activity that falls under the category of “work,” at least in some of its uses, is linked to pain (the French word travail derives from the Latin word for an instrument of torture), to labor (Lat. labor [the load], Eng. “labor”), and to accomplishment, to the notion of putting to work (Gr. ergasomai [ἐϱγάζομαι], Lat. opus, Fr. mise en oeuvre, Eng. “work,” Ger. Werk), which is not necessarily the oppo­site of leisure but can be its partner. With Hegel, work (Ger. Arbeit) becomes a philosophical concept, but it designates self-realization (whether the course of history or the life of God) rather than a reality that is exclusively or even primarily anthropological.

What does work mean to you?

Untranslatable Tuesdays – Kitsch

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To mark the publication of Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, we are delighted to share a series of playful graphics by our design team which illustrate some of the most interesting terms from the Dictionary. This second week in the “Untranslatable Tuesdays” series we present Kitsch (German):

ENGLISH      junk art, garish art, kitsch

The word Kitsch is German in origin and had previously been translated into French as art de pacotille (junk art) or art tape-á-l’oeil (garish art), but the original term has now become firmly established in all European languages. Used as an adjective, kitsch or kitschy qualifies cultural products intended for the masses and appreciated by them….As a kind of debased popularization, it offers a decadent model that is all the more alluring for being so easily accessible. This is, at least, what its detractors say.

Series Design Series, part 1 – The Jung Paperbacks

In part 1 of the new Series Design Series of blog posts, we speak with Maria Lindenfeldar, Art Director for Princeton University Press, about the series design for The Jung Paperbacks. With this series, PUP has undertaken to repackage our extensive backlist of Jung books and present them as what they are — a significant and cohesive portion of our publishing program. Unlike a “new” series, these books all existed with in different forms for years before they were re-purposed in this series — a distinction that differentiates this design initiative from other series. Scroll down below the image for Maria’s thoughts on the design process and the unique challenges posed by this series.


 

Image Map

View this image as a larger PDF: The Jung Paperbacks (pdf)
 


The Design Overview: This was a repackaging project. As the organizing motif, we used mandalas created by one of Jung’s patients, a repeating circle theme and almost identical typography.  For “Introduction to Jungian Psychology,” we kept most elements consistent, replacing the mandala with an engaging portrait of Jung and reducing the palette to black and gold.


Q: When you approach a project like this, does the original book cover from the earlier edition sway the design at all?

Maria: In this case, the original covers influenced us very little. The books had come from various spin-off series we had done, and only a few of them looked similar to one another. From the outset, we knew that we wanted the new editions to look more like a set. Because we came up with the mandala idea fairly early in the process, we did not investigate using any of the art on the previous covers.

This is not always the case with redesigns. In some instances, the original design provides a direct inspiration for the new project. I’m working on some series designs right now, and my first instinct is to dig into our own past for a touchstone.

Q: The mandalas are beautiful and colorful, but also provocative with snakes slithering around and through the patterns. How did you come on the idea to include mandalas and how many mandalas did you have to choose from? Did you give some thought to matching mandala to subject?

Maria: The first time that we spoke about the project, I suggested the mandalas to Kathleen Lynch (the fantastic designer we used for this series). I had seen several of them reproduced in a color insert of one of our previously published volumes. We were able to get further examples from the Jung foundation. Kathleen narrowed the choices and paired the images with the titles. She and I didn’t discuss matching mandalas to particular books, but Kathleen is very much a “thinking designer,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were deliberate choices made.

Q: Each cover features three circles, intersecting – one the mandala, one the title of the book, and one the cover. The impression I get is that title, author, and mandala must be looked at for their individual parts, but also as a single, combined graphic. Was this a deliberate choice or just a happy accident?

Maria: A deliberate choice. It’s part of the gestalt that we developed for the series design, and it’s why the design works so well. All of the elements click into place.

Q: Why did you decide to modify the design for Introduction to Jungian Psychology?

Maria: We always thought of “The Introduction” as the mother ship with the other books as its satellites. We wanted there to be a very strong family resemblance, but we didn’t want the hierarchy to be flat. By altering the color scheme and replacing the mandala with the portrait, we hoped to say, “This is related but not identical.” Also, by using black and gold, we hoped to suggest that it was more elemental or foundational than the others.

 

Explore the mandalas used on these covers by clicking on any of the thumbnails below or above.