The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

Phaidon is publishing a boxed collection of what is says is ‘the very best in visual communication from the last 500 years’.

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design
The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is a collection of 500 cards, charting the evolution of graphic design through technological advancements and changes in techniques.

Bauhaus programmes, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, 1922 to 1931, Bauhaus, Germany / Bauhausbücher 14 by László Moholy-Nagy, 1929
Bauhaus programmes, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, 1922 to 1931, Bauhaus, Germany / Bauhausbücher 14 by László Moholy-Nagy, 1929

Mechanical reproduction in the 15th century, including the Gutenberg Bible and the Nuremberg Chronicles, the designs born out of the Industrial Revolution, icons captured in the 20th century and contemporary work is all covered off.

Merz, Kurt Schwitters et al., 1923 to 1932, Merzverlag, Germany / Merz, No 8–9, 1924
Merz, Kurt Schwitters et al., 1923 to 1932, Merzverlag, Germany / Merz, No 8–9, 1924

It’s an ambitious project realised with care and precision. Each entry is set on a double-sided A4 card, with the image on one side and its story on the reverse alongside contextual images.

An Essay on Typography, Eric Gill, 1931, Hague and Gill, UK
An Essay on Typography, Eric Gill, 1931, Hague and Gill, UK

The whole thing is presented in a sort of librarian’s ticket box which owes something to the design of an old box file.

Oz, Martin Sharp et al., 1967 to 1973, Oz Publications Ink Ltd, UK / Oz 7, ‘Blowing in the Mind’, October 1967
Oz, Martin Sharp et al., 1967 to 1973, Oz Publications Ink Ltd, UK / Oz 7, ‘Blowing in the Mind’, October 1967

It has been compiled from a graphic design gamut of books, magazines, newspapers, posters, symbols, logos, typefaces, information design, money, film graphics, identities, packaging, ads and album art.

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design
The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is published on 15 September by Phaidon, priced £140

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