Art AIGA 365: AIGA Year in Design 21

ISBN 13: 9781884081019

365: AIGA Year in Design 21

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9781884081019: 365: AIGA Year in Design 21

365 is the American Institute of Graphic Art's annual presentation of the best in American design, and features cutting-edge projects selected by a jury of pre-eminent designers and design specialists in the organization's Communication Graphics 21 and 50 Books/50 Covers of 1999 competitions. Communication Graphics is the premier design competition in the US, open to any and every form of graphic work, from traditional print and packaging to the most recent and innovative interactive technologies. 50 Books/50 Covers has recognized excellence in book design and production since 1923, and its entries include books and book covers ranging from trade, reference, and juvenile books to museum publications, encompassing standard as well as limited edition and special format books. Conceived by AIGA in conjunction with renowned San Francisco-based designer Jennifer Sterling, 365 serves up essays that contextualize the ever-changing shape of contemporary graphic design, including a text that critiques the New Minimalism movement for its conflation of consumerism and spirituality, and a defense of the printed book in the face of the ''post-literate'' Digital Age. In addition, AIGA's 2000 Gold Medallists--Scott and Laurie Makela, Michael Vanderbyl, and Fred Seibert--are profiled in insightful biographical essays and retrospective portfolios. This year's stunning plastic-encased volume is sure to become a design object collector's item.

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Review:

A book about graphic design is a delicate thing that pits its own presence against its (graphic) content. 365: AIGA Year in Design 21 is no exception. Beginning with a tribute to 2000 AIGA medal recipients P. Scott and Laurie Haycock Makela and other awards, it devotes a large section to selected work in communication graphics and finishes with "50 books, 50 covers." 365 has more weight and seriousness than one would normally expect, feeling less like a yearly journal than a comprehensive art catalog, partly due to its own design. Because the text is so small as to be illegible, and the design is based on a puzzling scheme of full pages, smaller postage-stamp-sized filled boxes, and a cryptic notation system, the material is so controlled that the physicality of the work is lost and the information is hard to read. The work itself is great, and worth the effort, but the book requires patience. --Juliette Cezzar

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