Graphic Design History

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In this groundbreaking anthology, nearly 30 legendary writers explore and characterize the unique developments, notable people, and memorable events that shaped the world of graphic design. Taken in many cases from hard-to-find sources, these essays provide a unique scope and array of provocative viewpoints that are not found anywhere else. Readers will be taken on a fascinating journey through the trends that shaped the industry for the past 100-plus years, written by the people who helped define it.

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Editorial Reviews

Photography in New York
"Avoiding the pedantic and the jargonized, the editors have pulled together from the pages of design magazines a selection of some forty eminently readable short essays on key designers, publications, and issues."
Library Journal
In its relatively short history, graphic design has incessantly suffered problems of identity: Is it art or craft, science or communication? While the question may be unanswerable, this collection of previously published essays by some of the leading writers and historians in graphic design helps to define the historic role of graphic design in our culture. While not comprehensive (little attention is given to the role of the illustrator, for instance), the essays nevertheless span an impressive range of multinational topics that examine both the theory and the practice of graphic design. Special attention is lavished on the pioneers and groundbreaking designers who paved the way for modern graphic design. Editors Heller (art director of the New York Times Book Review) and Ballance (graphic design history, Cooper Union, New York) contribute essays, as do Victor Margolin, Ellen Lupton, and others. A worthy accompaniment to Philip B. Meggs's A History of Graphic Design (Wiley, 1998), a single-author volume that discusses design in a chronological context, this collection is recommended for academic libraries, particularly those that support graphic arts programs. Kraig Binkowski, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Heller, a senior art director at the , argues in his introduction that familiarity with the roots of design is necessary to avoid reinvention and that "although graphic design history is routinely inserted as an afterthought or foot note in some histories of art and culture, it is a significant component of mass communication, from producing advertising to defining zeitgeist." He and co-editor Ballance (Cooper Union; the U. of Miami) have collected essays, originally published in a variety of design periodicals, into a reader providing insight into particular works while establishing the works' significance in the larger world of design and cultural environment. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581150940
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,019,197
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 6.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Heller is co-chair of the MFA Design: Design as Author program at the School of Visual Arts, New
York. His many previous books include Typographic
Universe, New Modernist Type, and
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Beginning of History
American Graphic Design Expression: The Evolution of American Typography 3
A History of Design, a History of Concerns 13
Construction Work 21
Wheels of Fortune 27
Two Magazines of the Turbulent '60s: A '90s Perspective 31
Post-Saturday Evening Post: Magazine Design and Its Dis-Contents 41
Esquire and Its Art Directors: A Survivor's Tale 51
Kicking Up A Little Dust 65
Lester Beall: A Creative Genius of the Simple Truth 75
On Merle Armitage: The Impresario of Book Design 81
Heartfield in Context 89
Peter Behrens: Design's Man of the Century? 97
Lucian Bernhard: The Master Who Couldn't Draw Straight 105
The Search for George Olden 115
An Eminent Pre-Modernist: The Curious of T. M. Cleland 131
H. N. Werkman: The Outsider 139
Alvin Lustig: Born Modern 147
Fortunato Depero: Cheering Up the Universe 153
Cipe Pineles: Artist as Art Director 161
Massin Ahead of Time 167
Alexander Liberman: On Overcoming Aesthetics 175
The Brand Named Walter Landor: Historical View 181
Helene Gordon-Lazareff: The Tsarina Who Was ELLE 189
A Retrospective: Herbert Matter 195
Dan Friedman: The Design World's Favorite Enigma 199
The Visual Thinker Henry Worlf! 207
For the Voice 213
The Bauhaus in Dessau 225
Piet Zwart's NKF Catalog 229
The Bald Soprano 237
A Brave New World: Understanding Deconstruction 245
The Advertising of Magritte/The Magritte in Advertising 253
Film Posters by Moscow's Stenberg Brothers, 1923-33 259
Souls on Fire 267
Polemics and Politics, American Style 273
The Rise and Fall of Design at a Great Corporation 283
Advertising: The Mother of Graphic Design 295
Ad Campaign of the Century 305
A Certain Commitment: Art and Design at the Royal PTT 313
Renewal and Upheaval: Dutch Design between the Wars 321
Interview with Louis Danziger 329
A Danziger Syllabus 333
Index 337
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