Graphic Design

A New History, second edition
Second Edition

Stephen J. Eskilson

View Inside Price: $65.00

February 28, 2012
464 pages, 8 1/2 x 10 1/2
480 color + 81 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300172607

Laurence King

Instructors: Please note that a third edition of Graphic Design will be available soon. Stock of the second edition should be available to fill orders for summer and fall 2019 classes; beyond fall 2019, please anticipate switching to the third edition. Go to the web page for Graphic Design's third edition to learn more or to request an examination copy. 

Now in its second edition, this innovative look at the history of graphic design explores its evolution from the 19th century to the present day. Author Stephen J. Eskilson demonstrates how a new era began for design arts under the influence of Victorian reformers, tracing the emergence of modernist design styles in the early 20th century, and examining the wartime politicization of regional styles. Richly contextualized chapters chronicle the history of the Bauhaus and the rise of the International Style in the 1950s and '60s, and the postmodern movement of the 1970s and '80s. The book's final chapter looks at current trends in graphic design, with in-depth discussions of grunge, comic book, and graffiti aesthetics; historicism and appropriation; and the influence of technology, web design, and motion graphics.

The second edition features over 80 new images, revised text throughout, a new chapter on 19th-century design, and expanded sections on critical topics including the Swiss Style, Postmodernism, and contemporary design.

Stephen J. Eskilson is associate professor of art at Eastern Illinois University. He is coauthor of Frames of Reference: Art History and the World and publishes frequently on contemporary art and design.



* A set of 100 color and black and white images in the book is available for $5.00 to instructors who adopt the book. Click here for the set's caption list. The downloadable files are 72 dpi jpegs with captions. Click here for the order form.

"This newly-updated edition adds over eighty new images and revised text, making this an even more essential reference for designers as well as art historians."—Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"Art historian Eskilson has created a uniquely comprehensive, discerning, and vital history. . . . Eye-opening on many levels."—Booklist

"Eskilson looks at design from the art perspective more than the others do, which is valuable because design does indeed intersect with art movements."—Steven Heller, New York Times Book Review

"Eskilson . . . scrupulously tells the history of graphic design, beginning with the printing of the Gutenberg Bible to today's digital design-it-yourself pages on social-networking Web sites. What makes this history 'new' is the author's focus on the role that technology has played, for better or worse, in the evolution of design style."—Lisa Rossi, Wall Street Journal

"[Eskilson] has done excellent work synthesizing a vast range of secondary literature on the history of graphic design; he has done an even stronger job amassing a body of rich, engrossing, and often surprising visual material presented via top-quality reproductions. . . . Through that mix of established landmarks and fresh finds from the archive, Eskilson goes far in enlarging the history of graphic design. . . . Anyone with a serious design library should consider acquiring Eskilson's new history. It will serve as a reliable reference and a fruitful compendium of visual ideas."—Ellen Lupton, I.D. International Design Magazine

"This second edition is one of the best accounts of the history of graphic design from the late 19th century to the present currently published in English."Choice

Sales Restrictions: For sale in North America only
Course Resources

Graphic Design

A New History, Third Edition
Third Edition

Stephen J. Eskilson

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