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The Anatomy of Design: Uncovering the Influences and Inspirations in Modern Graphic Design Hardcover – February 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

For 33 years, Steven Heller was an art director at the New York Times, originally on the OpEd Page and for almost 30 of those years with the New York Times Book Review. Currently, he is co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department, Special Consultant to the President of SVA for New Programs, and writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review. He was the recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum's 2011 Design Mind Award. He writes frequently for Metropolis and other design magazines, and is author, co-author, and editor of over 100 books on design and popular culture. He also writes The Daily Heller blog (http://imprint.printmag.com/daily-heller). He lives in New York City. Visit him online at http://www.hellerbooks.com.



Mirko Ilic is founder of Mirko Ilic Corp., in New York City. He has received medals from Society of Illustrators, Society of Publication Designers, Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, and Society of Newspaper Design. Ilic is co-author of The Anatomy of Design with Steven Heller and co-author of The Design of Dissent with Milton Glaser. http://www.mirkoilic.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592532128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592532124
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,496,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a visual equivalent of Bartlett's Quotations - with an ingenious analytical presentation. It is full of interesting ideas and enough content to last for a lifetime. Aside from being tremendously enjoyable to anyone like myself who is interested in the graphic arts, it looks like it gives a full course in graphic design and the history of visual art. The generous, non-stop foldouts are ingenious and every one of them is filled with fascinating images and commentary. It wouldn't surprise me if this work, aimed apparently at graphic designers, became a best seller simply as a new kind of art book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book, especially for referencing. Beautifully designed! As for the title I truely believe "The Evolution of Design" would've been more appropriate, especially while referencing to the earliest documents containing that particular object, artifact or style and its transcendence to what the subjects' conceived graphic design has "evolved" to.

True as stated in the preface, "These are not necessarily the best-known or celebrated objects of graphic design, though many contain the genetic codes or canonical works. Instead, they represent some visible and a few obscure relatively contemporary artifacts that are well conceived...", there could've been other, more successful pieces on the table for dissection, yet the specimens selected are exceptional!
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Format: Hardcover
Honestly, I haven't had the time to actually read this book yet. But the hundreds of examples they give for specific styles of design make this book amazing in itself. I've never owned a book that has so many examples of quality design. The cool part is that the examples actually pertain to specific pieces; there supposed to be the works that specific graphic designers drew inspiration from to create a certain their work. Basicly, you flip the page and there's an example of a good piece of graphic design. Then you unfold the page to see what works that piece drew inspiration from. It's really interesting. Every single page opens up, giving you twice the amount of content, so your getting a good deal. *There's a section that has some rather explicit graphics in it so this isn't a kids book.* Overload of quality design; couldn't ask for more in a book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is very thorough about the spectrum of design. As a senior graphic design student, it is the greatest resource I've ever had. I can't put it down. I love it!
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Format: Hardcover
Sometimes graphic designers find themselves stuck in their same old style, this book can make them break their paradigms a bit.

Unlike Steven Heller's other book, Graphic Design Time Line (to which I gave a 1-star grade), Anatomy of Design is more the kind of book that suits my practice.

Take a relatively current design piece dissected into its graphical components, then observe those components as they've been applied to other design projects, some as early as the 1920s. It's a treasure-trove of inspiration, even much better than those design yearbooks and showcases. While the latter displays works in an inert fashion, Anatomy of Design allows the reader to see how different elements come into play, and thus allowing designers to try different approaches and treatments to whatever current project they're handling.

Plus, each entry gets a few paragraphs of commentary. Very valuable, indeed!

It's a great companion for graphic design students and professionals.
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