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Graphic Design in the Twentieth Century (World of Art)

A Concise History

Richard Hollis


A new edition of this seminal survey on the history of graphic design in the twentieth century

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The story of graphic design is one of the most exciting and important in modern visual culture. Renowned designer and lecturer Richard Hollis’s pioneering Graphic Design: A Concise History traced the medium’s development in the twentieth century, from its roots in printing, and defined its function as visual communication: to identify, inform and promote. Here, reissued with a new title, preface and updated recommendations for further reading, this authoritative documentary history begins with the poster and goes on to chart the development of graphics in print, advertising, corporate identity and television, concluding with the impact of digital and electronic media on the forms of graphic design.

Preserving the author’s original layout, now regarded as a graphic design classic in its own right, the book features over 800 illustrations fully integrated with the text. An essential reference, this indispensable account is clear, comprehensive and compelling.

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'The best introduction [to the subject] yet written'

'I do love the book ... Richard Hollis is an acute graphic design historian and his compact history is among the key chronicles of this significant design practice - what's more its encyclopedic format makes it the most accessible book of the genre'
Steven Heller, co-chair MFA Design at SVA/NYC and design critic and author

'Essential and affordable reading for students, designers and historians … considered, well-informed and imaginative'
The Eye

'The stories, briskly told, often add new insight to familiar tales'
Communication Arts

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Third edition

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Publication date: 7 October 2021

ISBN: 9780500204511

About the Author

Richard Hollis (b.1934) is a British graphic designer. He has taught at various art schools, written several books, and worked as a printer and magazine editor. Employed in Paris as publicity designer for Galeries Lafayette, he later went on to design the quarterly journal Modern Poetry in Translation, before becoming the art editor of the weekly magazine New Society and later designed John Berger’s Ways of Seeing. He also designed the visual identity and marketing materials for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London (1970–72 and 1978–85) and co-founded the School of Design at West of England College of Art. He first published this, his most famous book, previously titled Graphic Design: A Concise History, in 1994.