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Josef Muller-Brockmann [Hardcover]

Kerry William Purcell , Shizuko Yoshikawa
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 45.00
Price: 40.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2006
One of Switzerland’s most important graphic designers, Josef Müller-Brockman (1914–1996) is the father of functional, objective design and an influential figure for generations of graphic designers around the world. He was a proponent of the grid system, which provides an underlying structure to graphic work, and he created many of the twentieth century’s most significant and memorable posters. His influence on the world of graphic design is immeasurable and his life and work will be presented in this volume for the first time in comprehensive monograph form, with an authoritative text by Kerry William Purcell, author of Phaidon's Alexey Brodovitch, and over 400 images, ranging from finished works and design drafts to personal photographs.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (1 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714843490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714843490
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 25.4 x 29.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 919,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

‘one of graphic design’s most influential figures … a fitting tribute to the father of the grid.’
Creative Review

‘Studies like Purcell’s are the rarest of all design books. … a long, continuous, engagingly written account of Müller-Brockmann’s entire career. There have been a handful of graphic desgn books like this in the last decade … Knowing about Müller-Brockmann […] is part of being a well-educated, historically aware designer.’
Design Week

‘not only introduces us to many of his works […] but engages with another set of questions: those of influences, of the social and political environment(s) of the time … a great book’
Grafik

'One of the most significant voices of twentieth-century graphic design, [ ... ] Müller-Brockmann is perhaps best known as graphic design's leading proponent of the grid. ... with a combination of final design images, sketches, production drawings and unused design drafts from Müller-Brockmann's archive, all with detailed captions, this book provides a complete visual understanding of this prolific designer's oeuvre.'
Ampersand (D&AD members magazine)

'well-researched ... provide[s] a historical and professional context, in addition to broadening Müller-Brockmann's own self-abridged personal and creative narrative. ... it is illuminating to find rarely seen illustration, exhibition and set design works. ... Müller-Brockmann's achievement: a defensible claim to be the twentieth-century's most influential visual artist.'
Eye (The International Review of Graphic Design)

About the Author

Kerry William Purcell is a writer, lecturer, and design historian. His work has appeared in such magazines as Baseline and Eye. His previous books for Phaidon include Alexey Brodovitch (2002) and Weegee (2004).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Swiss school leader 22 Jun 2009
By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Muller-Brockmann is rightly regarded as one of the leaders of the Swiss school of graphic design which had a huge influence on other designers, especially in Europe but also in North America and Kerry Purcell has written, what will probably be considered, the definitive biography.

Large in size and published by Phaidon I was expecting something that would put his work in context and in particular I wanted to see extensive examples of this creative output which I had seen in many other books and magazines but being able to see them all in one place would be fascinating.

I found the book disappointing though, both in the editorial and production. There are too many pages devoted to his early life, upbringing, paintings and especially graphic design up to the fifties and Muller-Brockman (when he was thirty-five) considers much of this work mediocre. I think his output really only becomes interesting from the early fifties onwards with a series of stunning concert posters and the sort of work shown in New Graphic Design magazine. Issue seven had a long (thirty-seven pages) article he wrote called 'A Training System for the Graphic Designer' and I would have expected to see more than just the one spread from this article shown on page 149 here. The covers to four of his books are shown but not spreads from inside, the distinctive brochure work for Rosenthal ceramics has too few examples to really convey the beauty of the work he did for them. The concert posters, fortunately displayed large, do look a treat, though here it might have been useful for readers to have seen more than just the one grid Muller-Brockmann created for them.

My other disappointment is with the book's production and perhaps not surprisingly so.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Lauren
Format:Hardcover
This book i read back to back (the only book i have in graphics) as part of my research for my second year at university studying graphics. It is a must for anyone wanting to take their understanding of typography and the life of Müller-Brockmann to greater extremes. Good refrences for anyone writing an essay/refrenced manifesto. It is basically an autobiography of his life, his aims, were he lived, who he married and the lives of his children all based around his work and Müller-Brockmann's ideals learnt through practicing typography. Very well presented and graphically laied out. I dont think it would be a 'sintilating' read for some people, but its sure one of the best 'required reads' ive come across :)
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Swiss school leader 22 Jun 2009
By Robin Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Muller-Brockmann is rightly regarded as one of the leaders of the Swiss school of graphic design which had a huge influence on other designers, especially in Europe but also in North America and Kerry Purcell has written, what will probably be considered, the definitive biography.

Large in size and published by Phaidon I was expecting something that would put his work in context and in particular I wanted to see extensive examples of this creative output which I had seen in many other books and magazines but being able to see them all in one place would be fascinating.

I found the book disappointing though, both in the editorial and production. There are too many pages devoted to his early life, upbringing, paintings and especially graphic design up to the fifties and Muller-Brockman (when he was thirty-five) considers much of this work mediocre. I think his output really only becomes interesting from the early fifties onwards with a series of stunning concert posters and the sort of work shown in New Graphic Design magazine. Issue seven had a long (thirty-seven pages) article he wrote called `A Training System for the Graphic Designer' and I would have expected to see more than just the one spread from this article shown on page 149 of the book. The covers to four of his books are shown but not spreads from inside, the distinctive brochure work for Rosenthal ceramics has too few examples to really convey the beauty of the work he did for them. The concert posters, fortunately displayed large, do look a treat, though here it might have been useful for readers to have seen more than just the one grid Muller-Brockmann created for them.

My other disappointment is with the book's production and perhaps not surprisingly so. Phaidon in the past have created a reputation for publishing quality art books but in recent years I think they have become hopelessly over-designed. This book is a good example of this. They can't even get a little thing like page numbers right. Throughout the book they appear in three different positions on the outer margins of left and right-hand pages, three different positions when next to each other near the book's spine, the index pages has another position for them. Picture captions likewise meander across spreads and usually tend not to be near the relevant image. Text columns fall short on many pages because there are no paragraph indents, a line space is used instead. Pictures are too small despite there being huge amounts of empty page space.

This is just trendy designers doing their own thing and taking no interest in providing information to the reader with legibility and clarity. The surprising thing, to me as a publication designer, is that no one queried any of this and the book was published.

As I said earlier this will probably become the standard work about Muller-Brockmann, a pity because I think he deserves something much better.

***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT 8 Jun 2007
By V. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not only is this book an informative view at Josef Muller-Brockmann, it's beautiful enough to display. We've really enjoyed the series, including OTl Aicher, Max Huber. Because they're all the same size and thickness, we display them together. Phaidon does it right.
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