Synopses & Reviews
This exciting new history of graphic design explores its evolution from the late 19th century to the present day. Organized chronologically, the book illuminates the dynamic relationship between design and manufacturing as well as the roles of technology, social change, and commercial forces on the course of design history. The layout of each chapter reflects the unique style of the period it describes, and some 450 illustrations throughout the volume provide a visual record of more than one hundred years of creative achievement in the field.
Under the influence of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th century, a new era began for design arts. Fueled by popular Art Nouveau advertising, the work of graphic designers became central in the growing consumer goods economy. This book traces the emergence of varied modernist design styles in the early 20th century and then examines the wartime politicization of regional styles through American government patronage and revolutionary Soviet ideas. Richly contextualized chapters chronicle the history of the Bauhaus and the rise of the International Style, followed by the postmodern movement of the 1970s and '80s. After highlighting recent developments in graphic design around the globe, the author discusses the impact of inexpensive, powerful design software and the challenges facing designers now.
"Eskilsonand#8217;s user-friendly textandnbsp;has excellentandnbsp;coursebook potential forandnbsp;college-level classes in the history of graphic design. The book highlights and defines key terms, visually spotlights central information within chapters, and displays high-quality, detailed images throughout. Graphic Design: A New History
will draw students in with exciting imagery and expand their knowledge with an engrossing narrative that presents an evolution of events unfolding as with any captivating plot."and#8212;Rebecca Klein Ganz, Savannah College of Art and Design
and#8220;Graphic Design: A New History
might well become a new standard in the field of critical graphic design history. A great strength of the book is the authorand#8217;s attention to the relation of graphic design to larger social issues, especially the formation of national identity. Another is his facility in visual analysis and ability to elucidate the meanings embedded in the formal aspects of design and typography. The book effectively integrates graphic design history into contemporaneous aesthetic debates, and relates the work to fine arts, decorative arts, and architecture. The illustrations are remarkably good, extensive, and well printed. The text has at least a brief discussion of every piece illustrated, which makes it an excellent resource and provides students with a model of how to deal with design analytically. I would recommend this book for college-level history of graphic design courses, and as a general background text for a graduate-level introduction to the field.and#8221;and#8212;Ethan Robey, Parsons The New School for Design/Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
and#8220;Stephen Eskilsonand#8217;s new book, Graphic Design: A New History
, is a comprehensive, thorough, well-illustrated and up-to-date survey of graphic design history. Amassing almost 500 pages, along with hundreds of color images, Eskilsonand#8217;s new book should most certainly share shelf space with Philip Meggsand#8217; History of Graphic Design
, which until now has really been the only complete history of this relatively young but ever more prevalent design field. Eskilsonand#8217;s book presents visual examples and contextual descriptions of how print, advertising, and design evolved and responded to currents in mainstream social, cultural, and political affairs. Students should find the book accessible, readable, and full of necessary introductory information. This volume offers enormous amounts of useful facts and background, and without a doubt it would be an appropriate book for any student of graphic design.and#8221;and#8212;Lucinda Hitchcock, Rhode Island School of Design
"An excellent survey of graphic design from the late 19th- to the early 21st century, this book is well written, highly accessible, and demonstrates sound scholarly research. Although the main focus is on the 20th century (unlike Philip B. Meggs's History of Graphic Design
), this work compliments the prior with a much expanded contextual and historical framework. The author establishes connections to social, political, cultural, and technical developments that influenced the aesthetic outcome of graphic design work over time. The book is superbly illustrated in full color, which makes for a much better appreciation, understanding, and absorption of the topics discussed, and includes many lesser known samples from within the design discourse. Lastly, the text truly leads up to the most recent 21st-century developments in design, issues with which design students and professionals are currently grappling. Graphic Design: A New History
is excellent for use with coursework in graphic design as well as other cultural studies classes, both at colleges and art schools.and#8221;and#8212;Henk van Assen, Yale University School of Art
and#8220;Stephen Eskilson has written an expansive new book on the history of modern graphic design. Rather than reconstruct the typical 'pyramids to Picasso' chronology, he begins with a richly detailed and insightful summary of the later part of the 19th century and assembles a remarkably thorough review of art and communications from the avant-garde and the war years to the international style, post modern design, and digital media. Interspersed with examples of architecture, references to contemporary essays and journals, and both familiar and new illustrations, it is perhaps the most inclusive, thorough, and up-to-date assessment of design available. It will prove accessible to students, authoritative to professionals and educators, and will provide an excellent basis for a comprehensive understanding of essential developments in contemporary visual culture. This is one of the most comprehensive and detailed texts I have encountered and is essential reading for any student or designer studying the history of 20th century design.and#8221;and#8212;Doug Wadden, University of Washington
"What makes this history 'new' is the author's focus on the role that technology has played, for better or worse, in the evolution of design style."and#8212;Lisa Rossi, Wall Street Journal
"[Eskilson] has done excellent work. . . . Anyone with a serious design library should consider acquiring Eskilson's new history. It will serve as a reliable reference and a fruitful compendium of visual ideas."and#8212;Ellen Lupton, I.D. International Design Magazine
". . . . To awaken greater appreciation for both the creativity and the impact of this often-discounted art form, art historian Eskilson has created a uniquely comprehensive, discerning, and vital history. . . . Eye-opening on many levels."and#8212;Booklist
Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2012 for Art and Architecture within the Humanities category.
About the Author
andlt;strongandgt;Stephen Eskilsonandlt;/strongandgt; is associate professor, Art Department, Eastern Illinois University. He is coauthor of Frames of Reference: Art History and the World and publishes frequently on contemporary art and design.