Meggs’ History of Graphic Design

The book I chose talked about graphic design through the ages. The book is called Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. There were many chapters to this book, but what really interested me was the chapter of the invention of writing. The aurthor had talked about alot of different types of writing starting from the prehistoric era. I was really intrigued about petroglyphics which are carved or scratched signs or simple figures on rocks. I had never heard of petroglyphics before looking at this book. They are found throughout the world, whether its from Africa to North America, or the Islands of New Zealand they can be found throughout and are left by the prehistoric people. Many petroglyphs  are pictographs, some could be symbols that is thought to represent ideas or concepts from the people of that time.



Books on Graphic Design: Thinking with Type

Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton is an all time best selling book that doubles as a guide and stimulating visuals for typography. This edition includes content that covers information on print, style sheets, use of captions, numerals, fonts and typefaces. This book gives all the do’s and dont’s of the font world and even advice on how to break the rules with fonts.

Ellen Lupton is the director of Graphic Design MFA program at the Maryland Institute College of the Arts as well as a curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC. She is also a writerThinkingWithType_Post_01 and educator which is what inspired her to write and create the informative book of type for others to work and reflect with.

This book gives many helpful visual examples and explanations of all things type. This book is mainly targeted for those who are in the field of design, writing and editing and really make such a huge difference in how things can be styled.



Creative Edge- Type by Lynn Haller

The book I have selected for this blog post is a book of the progression of typography and graphic design throughout the past 50 years.   Graphic design has shifted from precise lines and edges to a more expressive medium full of manipulation and creativity.

Typography nowadays is a very wide spectrum; images can be created with words, or words can be almost completely absent from a piece, but meaning is still strong.  Type can be “custom created” to fit a certain concept that the artist is trying to convey to the viewer.  This technique emphasizes the storytelling aspect of the piece.  Type can be created on the computer, by hand, or even by rubber stamps and an inkpad.

The image I have selected from the book is a black and white CD cover for the AV Deli/audio production house.  The designer, Thomas Wolfe, used several programs to create this cover like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Raydream Designer, and QuarkXPress.  The typeface used is called Banco, which is a querky-type font that has short but expressive lines and bends.  The CD is of sound effects created from manipulated snippets from old B movies which is made into a collection of industrial sound bytes.  After listening to the CD, Thomas was inspired and the soundtracks reminded him of the old Godzilla movies.  He wanted to portray those sounds in an edgy, rough feel to the cover.

I think this cover stands out to me because of the use of type and photography.  They are working hand to hand as the photograph of the lizard’s expressive, open-mouth face is almost clamping down on the type.  Extra details, like the dust and noise makes the image look more aged and edgy!blogpost 2

Books on Graphic Design: Thoughts on Design

The book I have chosen is called Thoughts on Design by Paul Rand. This book is filled with many types of design–from illustrations to designs on magazine covers and then to ads. There are so many types of simple designs which easily illustrates a message to the readers. Most of the posters or magazine covers are dated from the late 1930’s to the 1960’s. During that time many prints were in black and white due to the high costs in colored ink.

I have selected two images from the bookwhich I found the most interesting. The first poster seems as if it was made for humor. The designer used a real object with a couple lines painted over to form face, by using the bristles as the beard of the face. With the use of the picture of a real brush and then a small drawing painted over it, caught my attention the most because it was actually misleading when I first saw the poster. Which causes me to take a longer time to understand what was actually going on in the illustration.


In the next picture, it had a good use of space with the steering wheels for an ad poster. I am most drawn to the use of layering and repetition of the shaped used to construct a simple car advertisement. Also, the lighting on the wheels give it that nice sense of depth in the design.


The author made this book for new and oilers audiences torecognize and see many different artists use the various concepts to manipulate the focal point in their posters or magazines or which ever they had designed for.

The Art of Illustration 1750—1900

IMG_1242Giambattista Piranesi was an Italian artist who lived during the 18th century. He was known for his etchings of Rome and of imaginary prisons. His work influenced Romanticism and Surrealism.

Piranesi mostly worked with etching, a printmaking technique that uses chemical action to produce incised lines in a metal printing plate which then hold the applied ink and form the image. At the time, his pieces were considered very unique as his style had elements that weren’t found in other artists’ work. He created a series of prints called, “Carceri” that featured his most prominent work. These include prison etchings that showed remarkable scenes of labyrinth-like prisons.

He played around with how light is displayed in his work. Light from outside showed how life still went on even as the prison was still functioning. The details in the shadows inside the prison encapsulate the indefinite feelings of despair. The perspective of the prison feels grandiose because he used long lines to capture that feeling of grandeur.

He went on to continue to work in Rome where his etchings were popular as they showed the architectural prowess of the city. His legacy lives on with his etchings still playing a vital role in some artists.

“The Shape of Graphic Design” by Frank Chimero

The Shape of Graphic Design

The Shape of Graphic Design is written by Frank Chimero. Chimero describes his publication in the following quote inside:

“The project will be focused on Why instead of How. We have enough How; it’s time for a thoughtful analysis of our practice and its characteristics so we can better practice our craft. After reading the book, I want you to look at what you do in a whole new light. Design is more than working for clients.

But really, this book aims to look at the mindset and worldview that designing develops in order to answer one big, important question: How can we make things that help all of us live better?”

One part of Chimero’s book that I will keep in mind when I am working on my own art is the idea of storytelling in “Chapter 7: Stories and Voids.” Telling a story within a design can catch a viewer’s attention, with the incorporation of empathy, causing them to continue to observe the whole piece, from top to bottom. This is true with any form of art, from music, to magazines or books, and even on a billboard. The goal of any form of design is to catch a person’s attention and to pull them in, wanting to learn more about the art.

What appealed to me the most about this book is that it simply isn’t a textbook, teaching readers how to create and design. It was made so artists are able to turn to it when they are struggling to find a purpose in their work.

Graphic Design: The New Basics

The book I read was Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole. I found the chapter on patterns to be very interesting. Styles and motifs of patterns have evolved within cultures and fashion. For example, in the twentieth century, designers avoided ornate detail in favor of minimal adornment. Today, surface pattern is all about creating a vibrant composition.

The chapter states the rebirth surface patterns is due to the revival of craft in architecture, products, and interiors. In the nineteenth century, designers began analyzing how patterns are made. They found that nearly any pattern arises from three basic forms which are isolated elements, linear elements, and the criss-crossing or interaction of the two. They state that many different terms have been used to name these elements, but we commonly call them dots, stripes, and grids. For example, they claim form can be considered a dot, from a simple circle to an ornate flower. A stripe, on the other hand, is a linear path. It can consist of a straight, solid line, or it can be built up from smaller elements such as dots that link together to visually form a line. Additionally, these two basic structures, dots and stripes, interact to form grids. As a grid takes shape, it loses the identity of the separate elements in favor of a larger texture. Creating that larger texture is what pattern design is all about according to the book.