A tribute to Joe Molloy
Just about a year ago, the world lost Joe Molloy, an exceptional graphic designer / poet and very dear friend of mine. You’ll likely haven’t heard of him, though he did very well respected work. Here some of his output for you to enjoy:
The last major project Joe designed is the book ‘Sensual Mechanical: The Art of Craig Kauffman’. An overview of LA artist Craig Kauffman’s career. It’s an incredibly beautiful book and I remember sitting at Joe’s dining room table going over the choices for cover materials, the end pages, layouts, etc. I’m particularly fond of the way he used a full, rounded version of Akzidenz Grotesk to great effect.
I’m always happy to see one of these books ‘in the wild’ at the bookstores of LACMA, MOCA, or Arcana.
Joe did all the graphic design for his friend Frank Lloyd’s gallery. You can see some of it here and enjoy the incredible wit he applied to his type work:
Maybe this is a book that you may actually be familiar with. He designed the book ‘Drawing on the right side of the brain’ for his friend Betty Edward.
We’d be sitting – again at his dinner table – and bemoan the restrictions that publishers would put up to limit his craft and creativity, but in the end, Betty ended up pleased with the results.
And lastly, the tribute page that the Getty set up in his honor:
But, you guys don’t have to take my word for it: shortly after Joe died, I saw a thank you note from Saul Bass to Joe, probably written in the 70s, congratulating him on his good design work.
At least we have some of his work left for us to enjoy and know that through his teaching influenced a new generation of designers , though I miss the evenings where we would have a glass and talk about all the luminaries he had befriended or worked with Ray Eames, Esther McCoy, Deborah Sussman, Peter Shire, Henk Elenga, Ron Rezek, and on and on…