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Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic Design [Paperback]

Michael Bierut , William Drenttel , Steven Heller
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1, 1994 1880559153 978-1880559154
Looking Closer is a collection of the best contemporary writing about graphic design, including theoretical, practical, business-oriented, philosophical, and humorous essays. Selected by a prestigious editorial committee composed of Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Steven Heller,and DK Holland, the essays reflect on inspiration, ethics, "isms," the impact of new technology, and the role of design in the larger culture.

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Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic Design + Looking Closer 4: Critical Writings on Graphic Design (Bk. 4)
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Editorial Reviews


A scholarly volume . . . these essays and contributions examine some of the major artistic, design, and philosophical arguments evolving in the field today, and are recommended reading for college-level graphic designers . . . -- The Midwest Book Review

The editors . . . have gathered essays, rants, and observations that are indeed significant. The reader takes in history, both recent and long past; reminders of ideas that have triumphed; styles that have crashed and burned; arguments that remain unsettled . . . -- Step-By-Step Graphics

This eye-catching volume has something for everyone. . . a graphic designer's dream. . . . Admirers of Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Dugald Stermer, Steven Heller and 40 others can feast their minds on this intelligent collection of thoughtful essays . . . Looking Closer is a provocative magnifying glass through which to view our culture -- Design Management Journal

To jump smack dab into the middle of the current graphic design dialogue, read Looking Closer and Looking Closer 2. These volumes combined offer 80-plus lucid commentaries on everything from "jive modernism" and the social function(s) of design to postmodern theory and its implications for design. What astonishes me about these visual artists' texts is just how stylish, thoughtful, accessible and engaging they are. . . . the reader feels privileged to eavesdrop on the cream of the profession . . . talk theory and talk shop with each other in readily comprehensible ways . . . -- Photography in New York, January/February 1997

About the Author

Steven Heller is editor of the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design and the chair of the MFA design department at the School of Visual Arts. He is the author or editor of more than seventy books on graphic design, and he is a contributor or contributing editor to nearly 25 magazines, includingPrint, U&lc, Eye Magazine, Communications Arts, ID magazine, Graphis, Design Issues, andMother Jones. Since 1986 he has been senior art director of the New York Times, which he first joined as an art director in 1974. From 1967-1973, he served as art director for numerous publications, including Interview magazine, The New York Free Press, Rock Magazine, Screw magazine, Mobster Times, Evergreen Review, and the Irish Arts Center. He was awarded three design grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, in 1986,1988, and 1990. In 1996, he received a Special Educators Award from The Art Director's Club of New York. He has been the curator of ten design exhibitions, including "The Art of Satire" at the Pratt Graphics Center and "Art Against War" at the Parsons School of Design. Since 1986, he has directed "Modernism & Eclecticism: A History of American Graphic Design" an annual symposium at the School of Visual Arts. He lives in New York.

Product Details

  • Series: Looking Closer (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Allworth Press (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880559153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880559154
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone can find something interesting in this book April 16, 2000
This is the first volume in a collection of books on design criticism. The articles are pulled from sources like the Journal of the AIGA, Print, and EYE magazine. The topics range the "ugly aesthetic" to the state of design education. The articles are all decent none really stick out as undeserving of a place in this collection. Paul (IBM logo) Rand Contributes an interesting essay on what purpose logos really serve and Paula Scher talks about the way she runs her classes at SVA. The essays all provide some food for thought(even it the thought is " I'd like to smack this guy.")Buy it and keep it with you It's a good thing to have around while your waiting for a bus, a haircut, or a class to begin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new go to book March 13, 2014
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This excellent collection of essays about Graphic Design will become a new 'go to book' for me. It's the kind of book that can be read and re-read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read September 21, 2008
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This seems to be a very good series for Designers who see design as a way of life and not just a paycheck. There are a lot of conceptual motifs discussed as it examines all of the intellectual considerations a designer must address when working on a job that demands more than aesthetic alone. It delves into the very essence of communication at the visual level as it reviews typography, semiotics and a host of other immediately pertinent subject matter. Well worth the price of admission. An indispensable publication that will maintain it's relevance for decades to come.
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