Core77 reviews Timothy O’Donnell’s Sketchbook, which looks at the problem solving processes of influential designers on finished projects through the lens of their sketchbooks. It looks beautiful.

Organized in three sections, “Rough,” “Refined,” and “Random” (plus bonus section “Revealed,” where O’Donnell shows the thumbnail sketches he used to lay out the book), almost all sketches/sketchbook pages are pared with pictures of the finished product side by side. The “Rough” section features loose artwork and thick lines, but crisp final products, like the way Jason Munn turns simple sketches into iconic music posters, while the “Refined” section sees Stefan Bucher’s gorgeous pens turned into, well, equally iconic logos and business cards. Beyond nearly academic distinctions about the roughness of lines, the “Rough” and “Refined” sections are nearly indistinguishable. Once again, it seems that the graphic designers capable of hand drawing typography consistently generate the prettiest sketchbooks. Chris Bigg’s felt pen album covers fill the stark pages with high contrast imagery and Rob O’Connor’s album covers are nearly as stimulating in ideation as they are as finished products. Perhaps it’s no surprise that graphic designers produce the prettiest sketchbooks, but it the tight confines of typography often generate the quickest and most inspirational sketches as well.

Sketchbook may be purchased at Amazon.