Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field
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The titles in our best-selling Design Brief series are highly praised by graphic design students, educators, and professionals worldwide as invaluable resources. Each beautifully designed, affordable volume offers a concise overview of a design fundamentalthe hows of design. But as most seasoned designers will tell you, a comprehensive education also requires an understanding of the whys of design practice. Graphic Design Theory presents groundbreaking, primary texts from the most important historical and contemporary designthinkers. From Aleksandr Rodchenko's "Who We Are: Manifesto of the Constructivist Group" to Kenya Hara's "Computer Technology and Design," this essential volume provides the necessary foundation for contemporary critical vocabulary and thought.
Graphic Design Theory is organized in three sections: "Creating the Field" traces the evolution of graphic design over the course of the early 1900s, including influential avant-garde ideas of futurism, constructivism, and the Bauhaus; "Building on Success" covers the mid- to late twentieth century and considers the International Style, modernism, and postmodernism; and "Mapping the Future" opens at the end of the last century and includes current discussions on legibility, social responsibility, and new media. Striking color images illustrate each of the movements discussed and demonstrate the ongoing relationship between theory and practice. A brief commentary prefaces each text, providing a cultural and historical framework through which the work can be evaluated. Authors include such influential designers as Herbert Bayer, Lszl Moholy-Nagy, Karl Gerstner, Katherine McCoy, Michael Rock, Lev Manovich, Ellen Lupton, and Lorraine Wild. Additional features include a timeline, glossary, and bibliography for further reading. A must-have survey for graduate and undergraduate courses in design history, theory, and contemporary issues, Graphic Design Theory invites designers and interested readers of all levels to plunge into the world of design discourse.
graphic design workshops and became the public face of its graphic design program. 54 | Graphic Design Theory Jan Tschichold Poster for the film Napoleon, 1927. A movement called the New Typography emerged from the Bauhaus search for a universal language and the resulting typographic experimentation. Tschichold codified this movement for the printing industry in his book The New Typography in 1928, which turned Bauhaus ideals into straightforward rules. Through such texts and designs,
1950s, 1960s, and 1970s graphic design became a profession. Swiss designers like Josef Müller-Brockmann and Karl Gerstner turned revolutionary avant-garde ideals into formal method– ologies, detaching design from a disruptive aesthetic agenda. The resulting International Style leapt from Europe to the United States, spreading values of neutrality, objectivity, and rationality expressed through tightly gridded layouts and restricted typography. Business and design joined forces as iconic American
industry, makes the latter no longer revealing. Thus in fact it is to build something up, some-thing artistic, created. Walter Benjamin | “A Short History of Photography” | 1880 Not surprisingly, institutions and galleries are often resistant to products that question generally held opinions and tastes. . . . But the peculiar dialectics of consciousness, . . . and given the relative lack of uniformity of interests within the culture industry and among its consumers, nevertheless promote the
1970s. It is typically defined as artists’ attempts to cope with a newly industrialized society. Modernism is progressive and often utopian, empowering humans to improve or remake their environments. Within modernism falls various other movements crucial to the development of graphic design. These include futurism, constructivism, and New Typography. The design community continues to debate the value of modernism, as basic modernist tenets still define conventional standards for effective design.
Foundations, © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. 32 László Moholy-Nagy, photography Dan Meyers © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. 36, 37, 38, 55 Jan Tschichold, © University of California Press, 32 László Moholy-Nagy, Painting, Photography, Film, 38–40, © 1969 Lund Humphries, by permission of The MIT Press. 35 Jan Tschichold, “The Principles of the New Typography,” in The New Typography: A Handbook for Modern Designers, ©