Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life

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9780192804440: Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life
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Design touches virtually every aspect of our lives, imbuing the most humdrum of objects with meaning. In Toothpicks and Logos, John Heskett illuminates a subject as vast and complex as human life itself, ranging from the earliest found implements in our history--the stick, the shell, the cupped hand--to modern advertising logos, software interfaces, and even the lowly toothpick.
Here is a truly groundbreaking book, one that will transform the way we think about design, revealing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, to the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design, Heskett writes, is one of the most basic expressions of what it is to be human--the reshaping of the environment to meet our needs and answer our desires, capturing both utility and aesthetics. Going beyond issues of style and taste, he describes how different cultures and individuals personalize objects--even simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behavior in different countries. Heskett examines architecture, multimedia, computers, software, and even the role of government in influencing design trends and he offers fascinating insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford, and Sony approach design. Finally, we are shown an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future and especially its role in humanizing new technology.
Learned, thoughtful, and filled with lively examples, Toothpicks and Logos offers an entirely new slant on design, bringing clarity and insight to a sprawling and staggeringly complicated subject.

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About the Author:


John J. Heskett is Professor of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. A world renowned commentator on design, he is the author of Industrial Design, widely used as a basic textbook, and Philips: A Study of the Corporate Management of Design. He has also contributed articles and essays to numerous magazines and anthologies, and regularly writes for ID Magazine.

From Library Journal:

An ambitious overview of the concept of design in the largest sense of the word, this volume tackles a diverse range of subjects, from tableware to advertising campaigns. Heskett (design, Illinois Inst. of Technology) guides the reader through a cursory yet compelling exploration of the myriad incarnations of design. Rather than organizing the book by profession or discipline, he takes the perspective of the end users (or receivers) and considers how they encounter design in their day-to-day lives as objects, environments, communications materials, identities, wayfinding systems, etc. Moving rapidly from one example to another, the book whets the appetite for deeper information and comes through with a robust "For Further Reading" section. Members of various design-related professions (graphic, interior, environmental, and industrial) will find this book of interest, but it will also prove rewarding for anyone interested in mass media, information glut, consumer buying habits, propaganda, ergonomics, and the cultural differences inherent in globalization. It is best suited to larger libraries or libraries with extensive liberal arts, fine arts, or communications sections. Phil Hamlett, Turner & Assocs., San Francisco
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780192803214: Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life

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ISBN 10:  0192803212 ISBN 13:  9780192803214
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2002
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