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American Modernism: Graphic Design, 1920-1960 Paperback – October 1, 2003
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From Vogue to the Playboy bunny and Show Magazine, Remington and Bodenstedt's energetic and insightful survey covers 40 critical years in American design history, starting with the emergence of the modernist movement in the 1920s, in terms of the enormous, pervasive, and ever-evolving influence of the European avant-garde on advertising, magazine design, posters, and other media. Whitney Scott
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The author writes about the development of Modernism in Europe and how it spread to the US with the arrival of many European graphic designers escaping the oppression in Europe during the Thirties. In America they found a receptive country open to new ways of designing for print, which flowered, with the explosion of creativity in the Fifties and Sixties. On page 179 there is a list of many great designers, whose work is the basis of this book, who have died and Remington rightly says that their absence denies emerging young designers creative role models.
The design of the book is first-class (a tip of the hat to Brad Yendle) the images are well selected with a good mix of posters, advertisements, corporate graphics, magazine covers and logos. I would have preferred to see more magazine spreads and at least one example of the amazing 'Upper & Lower Case' publication. All the illustrations have good long explanatory captions.
If you are involved with commercial graphic design and want to learn about its history in America this book can't be beat. I mentioned earlier two designers whose work I love and the following two books are well worth searching out, 'Dorfsman & CBS' by Dick Hess and Marion Muller, 'Herb Lubalin' by Gertrude Snyder and Alan Peckolick. The book that really got me interested in expressive typography and I still think is valid in this digital age is 'Typography' by Aaron Burns, published in 1961.
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It was very informative and I'm glad to have read it!
greetings from Buenos Aires