39th out of 44 books — 10 voters
Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design
Although created to fulfill ephemeral needs, great works of graphic design often become memorable cultural icons representing the times and places of their origins. Design Literacy presents ninety-three "object lessons, " specific histories examining the contexts in which well-known, unknown, and anonymous works have made decisive contributions to the evolution of graphic...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Allworth Press
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Nov 02, 2010 Mariana rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: designers, design students
Much like his Looking Closer series, this is a book for what should be a redundancy but seems more like an oxymoron every day: the thinking designer. This is not an eye-candy book, full of pretty pictures and not much substance. It is a (brief) primer on design history and evolution. If Design Literacy and Meggs' History of Graphic Design had a baby, that would be the definitive book on the origins, development, and understanding of graphic design.
the book has a ton of design history information. I only got a through the first section and half the second. Which may be a shame but I just wasn't into it right now. Maybe I'll give it go at a later date and could give more attention to the reading. I found it just be okay so far.
Steven Heller writes a monthly column on graphic design books for The New York Times Book Review and is co-chair of MFA Design at the School of Visual Arts. He has written more than 100 books on graphic design, illustration and political art, including Paul Rand, Merz to Emigre and Beyond: Avant Garde Magazine Design of the Twentieth Century, Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design Second Ed...moreMore about Steven Heller...