Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design
Reduced from $260. Highly recommended.
An international survey of graphic design from the beginnings of mechanical reproduction through to the present day illustrated with thousands of examples.
Entries include newspapers, magazines, posters, advertisements, typefaces, logos, corporate design, record covers and moving graphics from around the world, which have set a benchmark for excellence and innovation.
Inside the box are 500 cards 300 x 250mm. Each card has a single graphic image on the front. On the reverse is a selection of related images and a few hundred words of text. The whole package weighs in at 13kg.
There are sheets featuring typefaces such as Futura, the sans-serif face designed by Paul Renner in 1927; graphic designs for Chanel, Vogue, Shiseido, and Harper’s Bazaar; logos for GE, Braun, Esso and Volkswagen; and Guillaume Apollinaire’s 1918 graphic poem Il Pleut, formatted to run down the page to look like rain running down a window.
The sweep of the selection is exciting and impressive and it does feel like the biggest decision – to print each of the entries as a single page, instead of binding them in book form or formatting them for screen – went the right way. It is good to be able to take out a selection of cards and to be able to compare one against another, to rearrange the cards, or to display a selection of them for inspiration.
It is especially good the way each of the images speak for itself on the front, but on the flipside is the context, history and some related images for each illustration.