Gutenberg’s accomplishment—the first major book printed with mass-produced, moveable type—was a watershed in the advancement of information distribution. It was also the European impetus for what we now call graphic design.
A new book published by Phaidon, Graphic: 500 Designs that Matter, collects milestones from the rich history of visual communication into a single tome of pioneering design and typology. Pairing canonical works to emphasize visual echoes across the ages, Graphic draws connections between images as disparate as the Nazi swastika (1920) and original Macintosh alert icons (1984). The result is a bold, non-chronological litany of some of the most important visual messaging of the past thousand years. Think Fette Frakturmeets the Nike “swoosh” logo.
In a world inundated with information, graphic design—the way in which messages are communicated through media—is vitally important. From subway maps to pie charts, great design cuts through the clutter to help shape and direct daily experience, either by facilitating our ability to quickly absorb what we need to know, or forcing us to question the obvious. Now if only the internet would catch up.
Graphic: 500 Designs that Matter is published by Phaidon. All images courtesy the publisher.
Source: Rian Dundon “This is what 500 years of graphic design in print looks like” timeline.com Aug 23, 2017