This survey profiles several of the most promising graphic and industrial designers working today: Tom Bonauro, Lucille Tenazas, Mike Nuttall, etc. Two pages of text, based on conversations with designers from each group, and four to six pages of reproductions are devoted to each of 21 firms. Aldersey-Williams, contributing editor to Industrial Design magazine, shows contemporary design to be increasingly witty, eclectic, expressionistic and technologically advanced, as he highlights the major concerns of the designers discussed. The industrial designers included here emphasize ergonomics (biotechnology) and product semantics (how form indicates function) and the search for an American vernacular; graphic designers express a tendency toward a synthetic conceptualism. In both areas, the impact of computer technology is considered significant. The author's decision to combine graphic and industrial design in one volume mirrors a trend away from specialization, and his introductory overview of the cultural conditions that led to the present design climate is informative. While the work depicted sometimes fails to be as boldly original as the designers indicate, almost all of it is beautiful and extremely sophisticated, making the book a pleasure to browse through. (Nov.)
This book brings us face to face with current trends in graphic and product design. Rather than showing us the work of long-established firms, Aldersey-Williams concentrates on 21 post-modernist design firms. He first provides a recent history of product and graphic design that helps us understand post-industrial design in relation to earlier trends. He then describes each firm's design approach, using lavish photographs as illustration. Graphic designers April Greiman and Doublespace and product design firms Smart Design and Technology Design are among the examples included. This well-designed book, though short on analysis, is a welcome addition to the literature. Douglas G. Campbell, Warner Pacific Coll., Portland, Ore.
Twenty-one industrial and graphic design firms are profiled from interviews on the background, working methods and views of each. Profiles are followed by a 4-6 page color portfolio of the firm's work. No bibliography. A square format: 101/4x101/4". Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)