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Graphic design : a new history
Eskilson, Stephen
Adult Nonfiction NC998 .E85 2007

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From Publishers' Weekly:

It should be no surprise that Eskilson's study of the evolution of graphic design from Gutenberg to grunge and beyond is an oft-assigned tome for budding designers. However, one needn't be a student to appreciate Eskilson's ability to hold a narrative thread as art movements, technology, and other influences continue to broaden the scope of his topic as the book progresses. Working his way through a dense and diverse melange of media, such as pulp magazines, photography, architecture, typefaces, logos, Nazi propaganda, movie posters, and signage, Eskilson (coauthor, Frames of Reference: Art History and the World) is an enthusiastic and informative guide. The tome is liberally peppered throughout with iconic images such as Currier and Ives prints, James Flagg's I Want YOU for U.S. Army, and Shepard Fairey's Hope, featuring Barack Obama, as well as digressions on key contributors such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Gustav Klimt, and movements like De Stijl. Given the sheer number of topics and concepts encompassed by graphic design, Eskilson isn't able to dwell on any specific subject for too long, which may frustrate some readers. Originally published in 2007, this newly-updated edition adds over eighty new images and revised text, making this an even more essential reference for designers as well as art historians. Photos and illus. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Eskilson (art history, Eastern Illinois Univ.; coauthor, Frames of Reference: Art History and the World) focuses here on the evolution of graphic design since the 19th century as well as on what recent developments in the field of information technology mean for today's designers. In a refreshing divergence from the usual pattern of art surveys, he attends more to social trends associated with graphic design rather than limits the content to artistic styles, time frames, and biographical sketches. The result is an effective description of the political effects of design (e.g., strategies used by illustrators of war posters) and countercultural influences (e.g., drugs and graffiti) supported beautifully by 400-plus large color reproductions. Given the book's readability and attention to larger historical topics, it is recommended as the best graphic design history for public libraries. It is also recommended for academic libraries; however, Philip B. Meggs and Alston W. Purvis's Meggs' History of Graphic Design (Wiley, 2005. 4th), which offers a more complete overview of artistic styles (especially typography), would perhaps be better suited for design history curricula.-Eric Linderman, Euclid P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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