Phaidon Press, London, 2008; originally published 1996, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
ISBN: 9780714838519

From the Publisher. This critical study of graphic design and typography is a source for anyone interested in the art and history of books, letterforms, symbols, advertising, and theories of visual and verbal communication. A section on theory considers the centrality of the written and printed word to post-structuralism and deconstruction. A wide range of design practices are discussed, from the history of punctuation and the origins of international pictograms to the structure of modern typography. A section on media looks at the role of design in mass communications with essays on stock photography, visual journalism, illustration, advertising and vernacular design cultures. The book closes with history, a section organized as a time line spanning 200 years of design in America. These historical case studies show how the modern profession of graphic design emerged in response to cultural, political and economic developments in the United States.

On 3 book lists
Rick Poynor

When it appeared in the mid-1990s, Lupton and Miller’s highly original collection of essays had a tremendous impact on a generation of young designers committed to critical reflection and writing. Informed but never overburdened by critical theory, its topics include deconstruction, modern hieroglyphs, the relationship of “low” and “high” visual culture, and the visual representation of African Americans. The authors designed their own text and the book remains unusual to this day—one has to wonder why—for taking such a highly visual approach to design criticism. (Full disclosure: I wrote the book’s introduction.)

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