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Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field Paperback – March 11, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I heartily recommend this book for anyone seeking a friendly, concise overview of graphic design theory. The texts included are fresh and provocative. And the book design makes it a pleasure to read (particularly in comparison to the Looking Closer series). Each group of texts is followed by a section of vivid images called "Theory at Work" that explicates the ideas presented. I plan to reach for this book any time I need to stimulate my brain and/or my design." -- Hartleib --Share Brain, April 29, 2009

"An intro to design theory featuring essays from some of the industry's most important contemporary thinkers." --How Magazine

"Design and Reflexivity by Jan Van Toorn. Appears in the book Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field edited by Helen Armstrong, published by Princeton Architectural Press.The political in design is often looked at in a context of making a political statement but neglects the political process linked to design itself. The circumstances and intentions that lie behind the designer are assumed to be transparent, but in a market economy the profit will always be the underlying factor. In this sense Van Toorn argues that in order for design to function it accepts the established order as the basis of its actions. Social order legitimizes design and in turn it becomes necessary for design to legitimize the social order as well, creating a system that denies a critical look into the system itself (102). Acknowledge this realization, reality becomes a concept that is separated from design it becomes difficult for design to become much more that representations of the representations of the current system." - Michael Carbaugh --Michael Carbaugh

"This book offers a great primer on graphic design theory by collecting 24 essays from design luminaries like Jan Tschichold, Lorraine Wild, Paul Rand, El Lissitzky, Herbert Bayer, and more, culled from writings spanning more than a century on wide ranging topics from typography to the social responsibilities of a designer. " --Jason Santa Maria
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (March 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568987722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987729
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Natalia Ilyin on September 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is perfect. I am using it as the required text for a senior-level course in theory. It's not too big, not too small, complete without redundancy and edited in such a way that discussions fairly jump from the text. Thank you, Helen Armstrong.
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A collection of seminal essays, yes, but perhaps overly broad and unfocused. Falls apart when trying to account for the last couple of decades as it's too timid to venture far beyond commercial design and the sphere of advertising. A really superficial engagement with the contemporary digital reality.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the book, good quality and good content, it's a must have for designers. Covers a lot of topics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good selection of texts. But for a book on graphic design theory it is horribly designed (by author herself!) Point size is in most cases too small for comfortable reading (problem with many newe books designed by people that read on screen in 200% enlargement and it seems they dont printout to test their design.) Body copy is barely passable, but footnotes (printed in brownish colour!!), image captions, quotes in Jan van Toorn text and Glossary (printed on toned paper (!!) in too light weight of Interstate, are simply unreadable by anybody above age of 16 or so.
simply bad design and sad for readers as it renders a lot of the book simply unuseable without large magnifying glass.
If author didnt care about it, publisher should.
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By M. Dunlap on February 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Here's a stupid irony. The layouts, if not the typography, are completely blown up in the ebook. I haven't finished it yet but I can't complain about the actual content, which is excellent.
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A solid, if not enthralling series of essay-style designer historical stories defining various movements throughout the ages. Gives perspective on where graphic design may be heading.
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