The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

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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 Design is 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. Specifications:

  • Format: Boxed Set
  • Size: 315 x 250 mm (12 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 1000 pp
  • Illustrations: 3000 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714865591

Conceived and Edited by Phaidon Editors

"Tap into the fetish of the letterset with The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design a typographic box of delights."— Vogue

"Wonderful... The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is a history of visual astonishment."— The Observer

"Truly an archive... So each entry is like an individual art work... A defiant stand, perhaps, against the digital world, and all about the beauty of paper and printing... Perfect for devotees... A super-indulgent box of surprises, from the iconic Gitanes packaging to Milton Glaser's I Love NY."— Financial Times

"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'."— The New York Times Style 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

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