Graphic Design: Now in Production Andrew Blauvelt, Ellen Upton et al., Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, 2011; 240 pages, $40.
This richly illustrated compendium, featuring essays by 15 scholars and critics, accompanies a major exhibition that highlights communication design since 2000. The show covers design-driven posters, magazines, books, software and typography as well as branding campaigns for businesses, organizations and countries. Many of the gallery displays are interactive, and the exhibition also features information-sharing Night School activities and a retail store offering designer-created goods.
“Graphic Design: Now in Production” is currently at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, through Jan. 22,
2012. Subsequent itinerary: the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, June 2-Sept. 3, 2012, in the museum’s temporary display venue, Building 110, Governor’s Island; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Sept. 30, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, N.C., October 2013-January 2014.
Design and Truth
by Robert Grudin, New Haven, Conn.,
Yale University Press, 2010; 224 pages, $26.
Exploring how design reflects the mindset of a society, be it through the esthetics of motorcycles, Google software or the World Trade Center towers, Grudin argues that good design keeps us in touch with our primal nature.
The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism
by Nicholas Fox Weber, New Haven, Conn., Yale University Press, 2009/11; 544 pages, $27.50.
As a student of art history in the 1970s, Weber developed a close friendship with Josef and Anni Albers, who shared stories of their experience at the Bauhaus in the 1920s and early ’30s. The author contextualizes these memoirs through an anecdotal account of the personal relationships fostered at the historic German school.
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts
by Simon Garfield, New York,
Gotham Books, 2010; 356 pages, $27.50.
Garfield’s lighthearted work delves into the 560-year history of fonts as well as the recent interest in typeface that has accompanied the rise of computer word-processing. The author explores the subliminal responses prompted by various fonts. Case studies include graphic designs linked to 1960s Beatlemania and to the 2008 Obama campaign.
Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline
by Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton, New York,
Princeton Architectural Press, 2010; 272 pages, $50.
Offering abundant images, this volume charts the evolution of timelines in the U.S. and Europe from 1450 to the present. The authors show that time can be represented in myriad ways—including a line, a circle or even a vertical ladder, as was done by 18th-century missionaries hoping to convert Native Americans