- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers; 1 edition (October 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 303778184X
- ISBN-13: 978-3037781845
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unimark International: The Design of Business and the Business Design 1st Edition
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Jan Conradi, author of Unimark International, believes that Unimark has been unfairly ostracised from designers' collective memory. In her view, it is a historically important organisation that deserves to be much better known. As many as 400 people worked at Unimark during its heyday... and the company, ravenous for expansion from its first day, opened offices in Chicago, New York, Detroit and elsewhere in the US, and around the world. Nothing on this scale of global ambition was seen again until the design boom of the 1980s. --RICK POYNER, Creative Review
Some say they [Unimark International] were responsible for the Helveticization of American business. But modernizing and universalizing typography was only part of their approach to making global design. This book, the first history of the legendary (among designers, that is) company, is not for everyone. But for those interested in the practice of corporate "branding"... this is an early missing link. STEVEN HELLER, The New York Times Book Review
The subtitle of this highly detailed and somewhat hefty book is perhaps one clue to summing it up: a case study in design as a business.... It is lavishly illustrated, in the manner of a design history text, but stops short of an extensive formal or aesthetic analysis of the look and the historical place of the work itself. This is a highly detailed, tightly focused history, showing evidence of close and faithful transcription of the archives. --BRIAN DONNELLY, Design Issues
About the Author
Janet Conradi, Professor of Graphic Design at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey.
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Are you a fan of Mad Men?
Watching Mad Men is like watching Unimark, complete with conflicts between creative and sales, and so many other aspects of the business and of the time. Read "Unimark International: The Design of Business and the Business of Design" for a sense of how real Mad Men can be. This book has won a rightful permanent place on my bookshelf. Having read it 3 times already, I find myself taking it out often for reference and visual inspiration. A page turner backed with excellent research, writing and photography. I highly recommend this book!
Unimark International `the book' is a very important document for understanding lineage from Bauhaus and Swiss Typography leading to our current day environment and corporate communications.
Unimark was a corporate design leader in mid 60s to mid 70s, servicing some of America's Major corporations with offices in New York, Chicago, and Detroit. This is a comprehensive story about Unimark's founding, development, aspirations, downfall, and eventual collapse. Unimark focused on Graphic Design as an answer to print media, signage, corporate logos, annual reports, product design, and advertising.
Print media is currently on its decline with Personal Computers, IPhone, Tablets replacing communication between individuals and corporations. Design is in greater need today than in 1960s as we have a proliferation of communications.
There is a lineage from Bauhaus and Swiss typography leading to Unimark. Unimark has its roots in both Bauhaus integration of Typography, Art, and Architecture, and Swiss Typography. Prior to being a Unimark founder Ralph Eckerstrom was employed by Walter Paepcke.
Paepcke built Container Corporation of America. CCA into one of America's most admired corporations. CCA under Paepcke supported art and humanities. Paepcke taught Eckerstrom the logic of integrating art and design into industry which resulted in proclaimed CCA advertising series `Great Ideas of Western Man'. Paepcke's employees were encouraged to study humanities, to gain understanding in how their work within CCA corporation related to a larger human community.
Container's design consultant, Herbert Bayer, who held the title Chairman of Container's Design Department from 1956 until 1965. Herbert Bayer was one of original Bauhaus instructors in Swiss Typography. Before founding Unimark, from 1958 until 1964, Ralph Eckerstrom served as director of Department of Advertising and Public Relations.
I was hired at Unimark in Chicago as an Architect in 1970, with a focus of new business in Urban Design Architecture and environment. This was a Unimark departure from Typography and Corporate Design. Unfortunately our business climate in 1970s was not conducive to any focus on our Environment of Urban Design. Since then our Environment and Urban cities have deteriorated to a question of `Climate Change' and congestion with nothing solved any different than existed in 1970.
Unimark departed because it was no longer relevant as an answer to our human condition.
Richard Loarie, Architect, AIA
More than a book that revolves merely around design, Unimark International is first and foremost a lesson in business, company culture and how those forces shape our everyday world and experiences as human beings. Designers are only a small percentage of the people who should get this book.