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Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design Paperback – 30 Aug 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (30 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321887204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321887207
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 745,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Get up off your grid, and look at this book packed with inspiration and information about the pioneers and radicals and experimenters who broke the rules of design even before they were proofread. Graphic Icons offers colorful and  painless lessons in design history, and sparks insights into the social context and intrigue that were the stage on which this brilliance flared."  --Stephen Doyle, Creative Director, Doyle Partners

"Graphic Icons is a book that probably everyone assumed already existed but didn’t. We owe a debt of gratitude to graphic designer John Clifford for making sure it does. What a labor of love: Clifford’s reverence for the greats of the profession is apparent on every gorgeous page of the book. Sure to become required reading for any graphic design student (but also ideal for the coffee table), Graphic Icons is 240 pages of pure inspiration. The book includes most of the designers you’d expect: Lissitsky to Lustig, Lois to Landor. But despite that sense of recognition on nearly every page it’s just amazing how fresh all the work feels. In fact, there is so much terrific visual (and written) information here that my only complaint is that the book isn’t much, much longer."  --Allison Arieff, Book Board Member, Designers and Books

“Simple and straight-forward. I really like the clarity of the presentation, and the list is first-rate.” --Tom Geismar, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv

"Wonderful! It's a concise overview, and the selection of images is well considered." --Rudy VanderLans, Emigre


About the Author

John Clifford is an award-winning graphic designer/creative director, and principle at Think Studio, a New York City design firm. His recent projects include collateral for The World Financial Center, the L.L. Bean 100th-anniversary book, web design for Maine Road Management, packaging for Paul Labrecque Haircare, and books on architecture, photography, and popular culture for The Monacelli Press, Yale School of Architecture, and Abrams. Previously, Clifford worked at Doyle Partners, Platinum Design, William Stout Publishers, and Chronicle Books, as well as in marketing and sales in the entertainment industry. He has designed for notable clients like Pantone, Saks Fifth Avenue, Martha Stewart, Barnes & Noble, and David Byrne. Clifford has also taught at Parsons School of Design, judged the I.D. Annual Design Review, and written for The Designer's Review of Books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A rapid (two to four pages each) illustrated look at the art movements and innovators that have inspired modern graphic design. A must for budding and experienced graphic designers, not to mention digital user experience programmers and designers. The pages are chock full of illustrations guaranteed to provide inspiration and example for your day to day work.

Obviously, any book like this must to a certain extent be a personal choice of the author, but there was one glaring omission which surprised me. That of the surrealists, whose influence on modern design has been massive. In fact a number of the designers featured cite Man Ray, for instance, as a major influence. A very strange absence.

Personally, I would have also included typographer Mathew Carter who produced the first digital fonts properly designed for screen display - the sans-serif Verdana and the gorgeous serif Georgia. But these are nit-picks. John Clifford has done an excellent job of providing something which is fun to read, educating, and inspiring of new ideas. Go for it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Indispensable Book 14 Oct. 2013
By AHR - Published on
Format: Paperback
Beautifully curated and designed, this book is both informative and inspirational. Understanding the history of contemporary design is essential for anyone entering the field - or with merely an interest in the subject. The great range of work contained in this book serves this purpose perfectly. Concise and accessible, Graphic Icons is an essential addition to any design library. I wish it had existed when I was in school!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Visually Striking! 8 Oct. 2013
By schmoll - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A visually striking look at some of the most important designers and their work. An excellent primer for the new student or those with a casual interest in graphic design. A valuable resource for inspiration to the seasoned professional and a reminder of why they chose the profession.

Beautifully designed. Contains great recommendations for further exploration. Concise and thoughtful writing that is considerably more personable than a text book.

Highly recommended. After purchasing a copy for myself, I have picked up a few extras for gifts.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A must have resource guide. 9 Oct. 2013
By roadsiderest - Published on
Format: Paperback
John Clifford's has produced an insightful collection of outstanding graphic designers and their noted works. The book offers manageable content and dynamic visuals to spark the interest for anyone exploring the field of graphic design.

I think this book is a smart additional to any educator's suggested reading list.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An Important and Necessary Book 11 Oct. 2013
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's amazing that such a reflection on the new 21st century artist has not been compiled. Such work is an intergral part of all of our lives, and the icons of this field need to be recognized and appreciated. Thank you John Clifford.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An essential addition! 21 Nov. 2013
By sandra shuhert - Published on
Format: Paperback
Whether you're a professional graphic designer or an armchair aficionado of great visual communication, Graphic Icons is essential reading material. Author John Clifford profiles the work and the stories behind these masters of graphic art, each of them true pioneers of modern design. I can't say that I've cracked many of my textbooks since design school, but this book inspires me every time i flip a page, and reminds me why I chose this profession in the first place. Thank you, John Clifford, for a wonderful, entertaining and beautiful compilation.
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