ESPRIT: The Comprehensive Design Principle


ESPRIT2-cover ESPRIT2-spread

The very rare, first edition of this comprehensive, visually vibrant book on the design of the pioneering Californian fashion company, ESPRIT, published in 1989 in Japan.
In original plastic box.

In 1968, American environmentalist, adventure film-maker, conservationist and founder of The North Face outdoor clothing company, Douglas Tompkins, his wife Susie, and her friend Jane Tise began selling girls’ dresses out of the back of a VW bus; in 1971, they incorporated the booming business under the name “Plain Jane” which later became ESPRIT, one of the hottest and most successful clothing companies of the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.

From the early days running out of the Tompkins’ apartment in San Francisco, Douglas Tompkins titled himself “image director”, overseeing all aspects of the company’s image, from store design to catalog layout, while Susie served as design director. All facets of design were of primary importance to ESPRIT and the vision of the Tompkins’. In 1984 the role of art director was taken up by Japanese designer Tamotsu Yagi, who created the iconic “ESPRIT’S GRAPHIC WORK 1984-1986″ book in 1987. In 1989, the Japanese art publisher Robundo published “Esprit, the Comprehensive Design Principle,” which documented the all-encompassing design principles that Tompkins had created for the brand. From the iconic logo design by John Casado (who aslo designed the first Apple Macintosh Computer logo and album covers for the Doobie Brothers) to the ESPRIT store and office interiors by Ettore Sottsass (of Memphis Design Group and Sottsass Associates) to the fashion campaign photography of Oliviero Toscani (also well-known for his controversial campaigns for Benetton, work for Fiorucci and as co-founder of Colors magazine) this wonderfully designed (by Tamotsu Yagi, ESPRIT’s art director of the era), over-sized book contains hundreds of photographs and graphics documenting the ESPRIT identity and character. A perfect survey of commercial design, the colourful pages include product packaging, clothing, pop accessories, fashion photography, advertisements, various identity and event collateral (party announcements, posters, flyers, business cards), apparel print graphics, and a huge section on the interior architecture and retail environment design across their many flagship stores, cafes and offices, largely designed by Ettore Sottsass and Sottsass Associates.

A visually dazzling book and a wonderful, rare piece of commercial design history.

First edition, 1989.

* Condition: Very Good (tight, clean copy, only very light shelf wear to spine corners – protected in original issue plastic box)  – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

Due to the weight of this volume, your order will possibly incur additional postage costs.  We will contact you with the best shipping advice upon your order, or alternatively, please email us in advance.  Thank you for understanding.

ESPRIT: The Comprehensive Design Principle
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