Author(s): Editors of Phaidon
Born of the traditions of fine art and printing, graphic design is a form of visual communication that seeks to inform, identify or promote through the combination of word and image. But unlike the written word or a work of art, a graphic design operates exclusively in the context in which it will be seen, and mediates between the wishes of the client and the expectations of the public. Moreover, a graphic work is created for mass reproduction.
The field of graphic design, as we know it today, has its roots in two developments: the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century and the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, both of which contributed to the process of graphic reproduction. Today, trade, commerce, communications and culture continue to feed the need for graphic design, and technological developments - most notably the computer - are constantly broadening its possibilities. Of all the arts, graphic design comes closest to our contemporary daily life, as we interact with graphic design on an almost continuous basis.
Five hundred graphic designs created since the advent of mechanical reproduction, are showcased in this archive - from the Gutenberg Bible and Nuremberg Chronicles of the fifteenth century, to the cutting edge magazines, posters and ephemera of today. It is the authoritative selection of newspapers, magazines, advertisements, typefaces, logos, corporate design, record and CD covers and moving graphics from around the world, which have created a benchmark for excellence and innovation.
Compiled and researched by experts, and illustrated with up to six images per entry, including rarely seen historical and contextual material, The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Designis the ultimate reference guide for the design professional and enthusiast alike. Designed with exceptional production details and rich with information, this book also becomes an object that appeals to the creativity and imagination of the reader.
"Though blindness is the only bulwark against constant image influx, the "Phaidon Archive", at least, allows you to see the images with brand new eyes." - "Blackbook"
"Even if you don't light up at seeing the work of Paul Rand or Andy Warhol, you'll want Phaidon's new "Archive of Graphic Design". Thumbing through the cards is like playing Trivial Pursuit. . ." - "Details"
"Leading arts publisher Phaidon has collated some of the world's most prolific examples of graphic design and put them in a handy box set of more than 500 flash cards." - "Acclaim Magazine"
." . .good graphic design can be informative, persuasive - and sometimes even moving. "The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design". . .surveys some of the highlights over the past 600 years." - "The Wall Street Journal"
." . .an impressive, exhaustive, rigorously researched, and beautifully produced compendium of 500 seminal designs spanning newspaper, magazines, posters, advertisements. . .examined through 3000 color and 300 black and white illustrations in their proper historical and socio-cultural context." - "Brain Pickings"
"Designers, design students, and design enthusiasts everywhere. . .this is cool." - "Felt and Wire"
""The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design" is the commercial art cannon embodied: 500 topic sheets on everything from a 700-year-old Buddhist text to the album art of Beck's "The Information." - "T: The New York Times Style Magazine"
"A radical departure from traditional bookmaking, [The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design] pays tribute to the power of design both through its contents and, well, its design." - Steve Heller" for "The Atlantic"
Conceived and edited by Phaidon Editors
Inspired by the model of Phaidon Design Classics, this book features 500 graphic entries - comprising all cultures and periods from the beginning of mechanical reproduction. Arranged in chronological order, each entry is accompanied by 300-400 word texts and 2 to 6 supporting images.