We recently got an advance copy of one of Phaidon’s new Wallpaper* City Guides: Barcelona. As you can see in the photo above, it is pocket sized, eminently portable and sports a distinctive Pantone-swatch-like cover. What’s inside looks just as good any issue of Wallpaper magazine, a mag whose graphic design often rivals the design it covers. Besides being smartly designed graphically, the book features side tabs for quick access to content which includes standard guidebook fare, hotels, restaurants, etc, and some interesting not so standard such as “24 Hours”, an itinerary for the best of the city in one day, “Architour”, a guide for the city’s iconic buildings and “Escapes”, a guide for those who want to leave the city for a day. Above all, everything in the book is about style and design, so don’t expect to find budget hotels or cheap eats here. Which was the main criticism I got from Angie. She lives in Barcelona and was visiting Montreal when I asked her to take a look at the guide. Her comments; “excellent, but geared only to very trendy, upmarket traveler”, “languages, they forgot Catalan and Castellano”, “Escapes, El Bulli was rated the world’s best restaurant, booking in not essential; it’s virtually impossible!”. If you want a guide to the best/hip design Barcelona has to offer, this is it. Paperback, 120 pages, well illustrated, $8.95 at Amazon. Barcelona and 19 other cities are due out this month. Thanks Zania, Angie!