Blogpost: Pie International Publishing

Posted by T • October 14, 2020

Posted by T • October 14, 2020

Pie International Publishing

The name of the publishing house “PIE” is an acronym standing for “Pretty”, “Impressive”, “Entertaining” and was founded by a graphic designer with long-standing experience. Given the founder’s pedigree and expertise, it is not further wondrous that Pie International’s releases have an edge to them that is informed by the background of someone who thoroughly understands how designs works and what the merits of great design are. The tenet of Pie International and its publications is not merely to release great looking books for the uninitiated, but to also offer a source of inspiration for aficionados and creatives and enable them to discover new designers from different realms they might have not had access to.

What started with a Japanese focus has now evolved into a worldwide network incorporating not only art and culture from all corners of this earthround, but also publications on lifestyle, comics and cookbooks with the focus on quality – both content-wise as well as printing – being the common denominator.

Hell in Japanese Art

Shakespeare might have been of the opinion that hell is empty and all the devils are here, but Pie International’s highly imaginative tome on how the netherworld is perceived in Japanese culture suggests otherwise. Based on traditional Japanese artworks, this collection comprises emissions from both established artists like Kazunobu Kano, Nhichosai, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka and Kyosai Kawanabe as well as unknown ones from the twelfth to the nineteenth century.

A fantastic resource specifically for those interested in design, as details are enlarged to showcase the craft that went into the respective creations, which help to elicit a wide spectrum of emotions far beyond the realm of what “hell” is usually associated with, i.e. some of the depictions do not lack humour and there is hardly a depictions that is not thought-provoking.

A gorgeous, high quality, opulently illustrated book that is accompanied by insightful texts, resource materials and essays by historians that contextualises the vivid portrayal of what awaits us South of heaven.

Gateway to Another World

The Real-life World of Fantasy Games and Animations

Online gaming has not only become a profitable industry but a veritable world in itself, a world that for the younger generation does not only come close to real life, but has partly become a substitution and thereby changed the way they interact with their environments.

The Real-life World of Fantasy Games and Animations conveys the excitement that thrills children when they immerse themselves in not only virtual worlds but also fantasy novels and anime and how their experiences transcend, redefine and translate to the real world.

With the author Shimizu Daisuke being a bona fide luminary and accolade decorated creator in the realm of virtual gaming, we got someone qualified at the helm of inducting the recipient into imaginary worlds and it is nothing less than fascinating to be able to share his viewpoint on life, reality and how it can be bent

Hokusai Manga

Hokusai and his woodblock printing technique is known the world over not merely because it was exported to the old world in the nineteenth century, but because once other artists laid eyes on his work, they instantaneously recognized the unique craft Hokusai channelled, which was unlike anything else that was known in the Western world.

Being a master of Ukiyo-e and having refined the way of depicting the lives and habits of his contemporaries as well as mythical events, Pie International’s book on the master serves not only as an introduction for the uninitiated but also as a charming reference book with pieces selected from his extensive catalogue of artworks.

Nobu's Vegetarian Cookbook

I love Japanese cuisine – all facets of it, from the rituals around the meticulous preparation to the deliciously calibrated flavours that materialize on the top of your roof.

Nobu is a master chef and if you have ever had the fortune to sample from his cuisine, you would be aware that his approach to food takes things to the next level.

Nobu's Vegetarian Cookbook is a telling name for this beautifully illustrated cookbook as the focus is firmly set not only on replacing fish and meat but using vegetable in ways in variation that is rarely seen.

The World of Mucha: A Journey to Two Fairylands: Paris and Czech

Last time I was exposed to the world of Mucha was in Seoul, where I had the privilege to attend an exhaustive exhibition. Pie International’s collection of Mucha’s romantic art is the equivalent in book form to what I experience, comprised of over three hundred and fifty paintings that highlight the alchemy this precise artist channelled to not only lift what was known as Art Nouveau to new heights, but also transport the recipient to pleasantly alien, at times psychedelic, absinthe tinged worlds.

The resurgence and popularity of Art Nouveau in the nineteen sixties only helped to elevate Alphonse Mucha’s legacy to prominence and cemented his status.

Pie International’s take on Mucha is a comprehensive, wonderfully illustrated journey documenting Mucha’s humble beginnings in France and depicting his most characteristic works in the realms of fine art but also graphic design at large up until his career ended in Czechoslovakia.

Accompanied by essays shedding light on the historical context as well as details in how Mucha created his art, the book not only offers eye candy galore, but makes it an excellent resource for designers looking for inspiration to infuse their practice with magical elements.

T • October 14, 2020

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