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Meggs' History of Graphic Design Hardcover – 20 Dec 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 5th Edition edition (20 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470168730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470168738
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 3.8 x 28.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

The classic "bible" of graphic design history now fully revised and updated!

This is the unrivaled, comprehensive, and award–winning reference tool on graphic design recognized for publishing excellence by the Association of American Publishers. Now, this Fifth Edition of Meggs′ History of Graphic Design offers even more detail and breadth of content than its heralded predecessors, revealing a saga of creative innovators, breakthrough technologies, and important developments responsible for paving the historic paths that define the graphic design experience. In addition to classic topics such as the invention of writing and alphabets, the origins of printing and typography, and postmodern design, this new Fifth Edition presents new information on current trends and technologies sweeping the graphic design landscape such as the web, multimedia, interactive design, and private presses, thus adding new layers of depth to an already rich resource.

With more than 1,400 high–quality images throughout many new or newly updated Meggs′ History of Graphic Design, Fifth Edition provides a wealth of visual markers for inspiration and emulation. For professionals, students, and everyone who works with or loves the world of graphic design, this landmark text will quickly become an invaluable guide that they will turn to again and again.

About the Author

The late Philip B. Meggs was a designer, educator, and author. He was School of the Arts Research Professor, Communication Arts and Design Department, at Virginia Commonwealth University; visiting faculty at Syracuse University and the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland; and contributing editor to Print magazine. He authored more than a dozen books and 150 articles and papers on design and typography, including a section on graphic design in Encyclopedia Britannica. He was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame and received its Educator′s Award for lifetime achievement and significantly shaping the future of the fields of graphic design education and writing.

Alston W. Purvis is Professor of Graphic Design at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. During his career, he has worked as an instructor at The Cooper Union and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at The Hague. His photographs have been exhibited in Amsterdam, London, New York, and Paris. He is the author of Dutch Graphic Design: 1918 1945 and H. N. Werkman; and coauthor of Graphic Design 20th Century; A Century of Posters; Wendingen: A Journal for the Arts 1918 1932; Creative Type; Dutch Graphic Design: A Century of Innovation; Jan Tschichold: Posters of the Avant Garde; Posters NL; Jan Tschichold, Master Typographer: His Life, Work and Legacy; The Ballets Russes and the Art of Design; and Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stef on 26 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really great reference book, well structured, clear and a surprisingly enjoyable read. Not very technical or theoretic as most graphic design books.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amandanos on 2 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On my daughters university course reading list. As the course is Graphic Design I can but assume that it is very useful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 69 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Dont buy at Kindle, paper is better 3 Feb 2012
By Vlad Golovach - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book but the Kindle version is awful - bad styles, low image resoluton. The publisher should be spanked for such product, considered that you can always buy Inkling version that is so much better prepared.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Just keeps getting better 26 Nov 2011
By AvidReader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Megg's History of Graphic Design just keeps getting better. The author's completely re-wrote some sections of this book, and added new information. The topics covered bring you right up to contemporary designers/work. Designers from all over the world are also featured. Some of the older sections have also been re-worked, included better quality and color images for early printed books. The section on the development of modernism (in Russia, Europe, and the US) is better than anything you will find in comparable history books. This still leads the field in Graphic Design history. I wish I could have used this version of the text when I was in school. It is definitely a must have for anyone who calls themselves a designer; it seems expensive, but you will get your money's worth out of it. And the book itself, physically, is very high quality and will last a long time.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring History Lesson for Designers 24 Nov 2011
By Andrea P - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is incredible. If you are a graphic designer, I highly recommend it for your library of inspiration and resource.

Meggs' History of Graphic Design provides such rich history and insight into the world of expression through visual communication. It starts with cave drawings and the origins of the Alphabet to the new digital age and everything in between.

I was surprised to learn how much of our ancestors' findings are used to this day, including origins of font names, and basic printing methods.

The book also goes into explicit detail on how visual evolution was, and still is, so profoundly affected by world economics, war and revolution.

Of course, a book of this caliber would not be complete without images and succinct footnotes. Great to flip through for design inspiration.

If anyone thinks we just "make things pretty" or "doodle all day", well, they're probably just jealous. However, if you want to put them in their place, hand them this resource. This book truly makes me proud to be a graphic designer.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Getting fluffier by the edition, but still a good text. 18 Jan 2012
By C.J. Hustwick - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The late Philip Meggs was responsible for producing the single greatest book I've read on the history of graphic design, and since he died in 2002 others have taken up the task of revising this work. Unfortunately, this venerable text is getting compromised, and I found this Fifth Edition larded with obsequious, toothless writing. I'll give a couple of examples:

Page 60-61 covers the area of illuminated Persian manuscripts and painting. It's a nice enough little passage I suppose about Islam being "one of the world's greatest religions", but instead of a meaningful discussion and comparison of these works with European manuscripts, there is almost zero criticism. I'm just not seeing the "magnificent" history of Persian painting or how many of these manuscripts provided anything new or groundbreaking. Incidentally, Sir Kenneth Clarke covered this issue in some detail back in the 1960s with his BBC series "Civilisation".

The last and newest chapter of the book covers iPhone apps, internet applications, "typography in the built environment" and other hybrid beasts that now pass for graphic art. There is a brief write-up on motion graphic and special attention given to Hollywood's Danny Yount. Personally, I found his vector-graphics titles for "Kiss, Kiss Bang Bang" totally imitative, unoriginal "Bass-lite"; a parody of styles crafted by the pioneering commercial artists of the 1960s. Honestly, I'd expect a bit more of a critical discussion from a book that is at the epicenter of the design camp (not the film world). There's been an awful lot of this nostalgia in title sequences, whether it be "Catch Me If You Can", "Monsters, Inc." or even French "OSS 177" movies.

I might also add that I am not particularly pleased with the actual design of the book itself, with its photography-based dust jacket art and new miniaturized serif typeface for the body text. Still, this book remains a solid choice for the student and is loaded with Meggs' insight. I'd just save some money and purchase an earlier edition is all. There are better books out there that focus solely on digital design.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Tried and True History of Graphic Design 10 Dec 2011
By julie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a designer, having a copy of Megg's History of Graphic Design is very helpful. Not only is it a thorough history of design touching upon the start of the alphabet, typography, printing, web design, and everything in between, it's great to get some inspiration for your next project. This latest edition is full of high quality, colorful images and fantastic examples of graphic design pieces that at times in history have been decorative, inspirational, informative, useful and educational.

Going through this 570 page book, it's easy to see how extensive the world of graphic design is. Megg's touches upon several design movements (Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Post Modernism, American Craft), as well as international design, and the way they reflect the times and lifestyles and influence on the world. While this tried and true Megg's History of Graphic Design has been brought up to date, it should be reminded that this is written as a text book and is heavy on copy. The final chapter makes this latest edition complete with it's write up and visual examples of digital design. I mean, this book is showing cave drawings in Chapter 1 and magazine covers on an iPad in the last chapter! You can't get more thorough than that.
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