These two books on graphic design focus on the roles of individual designers more so than stylistic trends. An update of F.H.K. Henrion's AGI Annals(Bks. Nippan, 1989), AGIprofiles the members of Alliance Graphique Internationale-an elite club of international designers admitted by invitation only-covering the period from the group's establishment in 1951 to today. Each page is dedicated to an individual designer and includes both a biographical sketch and color reproductions of artwork. The best part is an essay collection at the end that discusses such interesting topics as currency and postage stamp design, wine bottle labels, large-scale graphic design on buildings, and the influence of computers on typeface design. Highlights of exhibitions and annual conferences are also included.
Equally distinctive and beautifully illustrated, The Big Book of Graphic Designpromotes the work of contemporary designers from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Although the selection of countries and designers included appears to be arbitrary, the artwork here demonstrates exemplary design in several important graphic genres. Some of these areas include corporate design, design for art exhibits, album covers, magazine design, and brochures that promote the work of designers. Another interesting feature is the inclusion of specialized indexes to designers that include image thumbnails and contact information. Both books are recommended for design school libraries, AGIas an essential title and The Big Book of Graphic Designas an optional selection.
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