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Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life [Hardcover]

John Heskett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2002
The author aims to transform the way we think about design by showing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design, he says, combines both need and desire in the form of a practical object that can also reflect the user's identity and aspirations through its form and decoration. This concise guide to contemporary design goes beyond style and taste to look at how different cultures and individuals personalize objects. Heskett also reveals how simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behaviour in different countries. The book offers insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford and Sony approach design. Finally, readers are shown a vision of what design can offer in the future and especially in its role in humanizing new technology.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (1 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192803212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803214
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 906,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Review

'This is a book that has needed to be written for years.' Victor Margolin, Editor, Design Issues

From the Author

There is an error in the book on pages 72-3, with the Aeron Chair manufactured by Herman Miller attributed to Don Lawrence and Bill Stumpf. The first name should read Don Chadwick, to whom sincere apologies are due for the mistake.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars clear and concise overview on design 19 Sep 2011
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a well written snapshot of what comprises the disciplines of "design," from industrial products or even entire environemnts to the crafting of organizational images. In a perfect economy or detail, the curious reader can explore the modalities of all these disciplines as they are practiced today. It is useful and indeed fascinating. I know of no better source for those interested in these issues.

For example, according to Heskett, there are product design companies that rely on single maestros - designers celebiritries such as Philippe Starck. Then, there are team-based groups springing up in the US, like IDEO, that can design anything very quickly on demand, from toothbrush handles to Palm Pilots. Finally, there are sepcialised design groups within corporations, some of which act like consultencies that have to bid for business in competition with outside competitors (this occurs in Philips). Heskett does the same for graphic design, public relations, etc., so there is much here for those seeking specific answers to certain questions as well as a larger contextual overview.

It is nice to find a design book that is not a picture book, but one based on content and analysis. I will consult this for years to come for its holistic perspective on the multi-faceted disciplines that make up "design."

Recommended warmly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically interesting 14 Nov 2007
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This is a great study about how design isn't about crazy marketers thinking about how to make a fast book. It is about the practical, mechanical, ergonomic and use driven side of design. It's about how design makes a massive impact on all our lives in ways we rarely think about. He really does devote a significant amount of time to discussing the design aspects of toothpicks, and not only is it fascinating, it is useful. You will never think about design, or every day objects in the same way again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed overview of what design is and why it matters. 24 Jun 2003
By "tchurch88" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book held my attention and enjoyably helped me understand the concept of design from a holistic point of view rather than a "graphic design," "industrial design" or "any-other-niche design" point of view. Heskett has written a very readable (5-6 hours, and I don't read fast) book that successfully communicates what design is and why it is important. He helped me understand why design is personal, cultural and everywhere. Most of us, at some level, understand why design is important (especially when we experience poor design), but it was very educational to be reminded of this by someone with his perspective and understanding. He provides foundation (The 1st three chapters are "What is Design?," "The Historical Evolution of Design," and "Utility and Significance") and then details five applications of design (a chapter per application). The areas of application are "Objects," Communications," Environments," Identities," and "Systems." He concludes with a chapter on the contexts in which design exists and a look at the future of design. It is well written, and packed with great insights. I look forward to reading it again and gleaning more.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars clear and concise overview on design today 5 May 2004
By Robert J. Crawford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well written snapshot of what comprises the disciplines of "design," from industrial products or even entire environemnts to the crafting of organizational images. In a perfect economy or detail, the curious reader can explore the modalities of all these disciplines as they are practiced today. It is useful and indeed fascinating. I know of no better source for those interested in these issues.
For example, according to Heskett, there are product design companies that rely on single maestros - designers celebiritries such as Philippe Starck. Then, there are team-based groups springing up in the US, like IDEO, that can design anything very quickly on demand, from toothbrush handles to Palm Pilots. Finally, there are sepcialised design groups within corporations, some of which act like consultencies that have to bid for business in competition with outside competitors (this occurs in Philips). Heskett does the same for graphic design, public relations, etc., so there is much here for those seeking specific answers to certain questions as well as a larger contextual overview.
It is nice to find a design book that is not a picture book, but one based on content and analysis. I will consult this for years to come for its holistic perspective on the multi-faceted disciplines that make up "design."
Recommended warmly.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 23 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Gives a quality overview of the layers of design concerns and approaches for industrial design. No topic is examined in depth, which keeps the book flowing and light.
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