Author Stephen J. Eskilson demonstrates how a new era began for design The book’s final chapter looks at current trends in graphic design. This distinctive approach enables Stephen J. Eskilson to discuss the evolution of graphic design in light of prevailing political, social, military. Graphic Design, A New History. Stephen J. Eskilson. Laurence King, pp.,. illus., cloth, £ ISBN: It is no mean feat to write.

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I think I’d like to see Steven Heller author hraphic history of design, better still a design history web site to match the fluidity of the business And Eskilson reads them that way too, as if they existed in a vacuum.

Richly contextualized chapters chronicle the history of the Bauhaus and the rise of the International Style in the s and ’60s, and the postmodern movement of the s and ’80s. This is just a guess. Following eskilaon lead of design history and the methods of material culture studies, graphic design history has, for more than a decade now, been shifting its attention away from cataloguing the hits of famous designers and toward the significances of more ordinary examples of desgn design, and the contexts in which they were used.

This might seem like a minor point, but Eskilson’s misreadings of his selected examples are not infrequent and they erode one’s confidence in his authority about other matters. Now, I know we’ve seen this mark bastardized as it has become part of the public lexicon, but shouldn’t a graphic design history book include the original design? Does he have a new story to tell from the point of view of gender or race, perhaps? Chapter Seven contains the same sort of awkwardness: Sometimes his readings of images are helpful in that they make one follow his footsteps around the elements of an image.

Graphic Design

But I don’t think Alice and Lorraine are big fans of Eskilson’s book. That was, until I read his analysis. I may be late in the discussion, and forgive me if I’m repeating something stated above, but Alice seems to get at a very important issue that has a great deal to do with publishing. An example of this can be seen on pages to, where Caslon, Baskerville, and Bodoni are set in full alphabet showings that are dsign different from the way that they appear in the images of historical documents that show what the original versions of the fonts looked like.


Dec 17, Meg Dilnot rated it really liked it Shelves: The inclusion of the word “new” in the title is cesign. On our complaint about the footnotes: The trick is to know that even after you finished it, there’s still a lot more to learn. I had great difficulty in getting myself past the Introduction: When talking about an Xbox campaign created in by the London design consultancy Fuel, he focuses on an image of a pair of false teeth soaking in a drinking glass garnished with a straw, lemon wedge and ice cubes, accompanied by the tagline, “Play More.

The fskilson criticism about grapic lack of footnotes is simply irrelevant. Contents From Gutenberg to Bodoni 1. Unless, of course, that opinion belongs to Joe. Other editions – View all Graphic Design: I feel that it is probably best to pick and choose the areas that interest you rather than reading it cover-to-cover. Just because the work was the production of anonymous jobbers rather than individuals who identified themselves as graphic designers is no justification for writing this work off as “not design.

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A New Graphic Design History?: Design Observer

I could list more. Preview — Graphic Design by Stephen J. Organized chronologically, the book makes an important critical contribution to the subject by presenting graphic design and typography as deeply embedded in the gaphic of society in every era. I enjoyed this text considerably more than previous ones I have been forced to trudge through for the sake of my education.

A New Graphic Design History?

And particularly primary source books I can’t tell you the number of surveys and text books garphic I’ve eliminated over the years. He is coauthor of Frames of Reference: This history is now seen to be especially relevant in light of the technological changes in visual communication over the last twenty years.

The book is a richly illustrated, which makes it a bit unwieldy, and I think the chapters on recent graphic design post-Internet are a bit on the weak side as they lack the depth and perspective of the earlier sections. Our picking at details perhaps camouflages the real point which is a question about the nature of graphic design history writing and what it should be in the beginning of the twenty-first century.


That disquisition on the Wurlitzer ad is typical of Eskilson’s approach, which on the surface seems so reasonable: This book feels very much like a marketing project aimed at knocking the eskileon, but aging Meggs’s survey-book off the shelf: I actually wish history books were written like this — lively. Fueled by popular Art Nouveau advertising, the work of graphic designers became central in the growing consumer goods economy. I should point out two more things: Are you sure that writing for this site is still worth it?

Hey, have a nice day! The least an author can do is be frank about this, disclosing and discussing sources” page Or has he improved upon other histories, such as Meggs’s, by bringing the narrative up to date with insights into recent work and new technology? There is one picture in the Introduction of posters being pasted on a hoarding or billboard wall.

The layout was very stale, funny since its supposed to be a book on graphic design. She established her own design practice, Green Dragon Office, eskilosn to focus on collaborations with architects, curators and publishers.

However, I have read several art history books, and know that they can be quite dry. Overall, it was an interesting read about the movements that sha The thing I liked about this book is that instead of doing a strictly timeline approach to graphic design history it chooses to group things by stylistic movements.

Graphic Design: A New History by Stephen J. Eskilson

Swinburne University of Technology. But the version we are most used to seeing is clearly in a thinner weight of the font. I know that we cannot lay the fault for this entirely on the author, traphic that the two publishers who brought this book to the public must have decided that they weren’t necessary as well.