Friday, September 07, 2007

Euro Deco: Graphic Design Between the Wars.

Euro Deco: Graphic Design Between the Wars. By Steven Heller and Louise Fili. Chronicle Books, 2005. 500pp., colour illustrations, 9.1 x 8 x 1.6".

As I've written before I have a huge soft-spot for typography and typography books - I also really like Modernism and to some extent the aesthetics of Art Deco (even though it's been somewhat trivialised). This book, recommended to me when I bought the fantastic ABZ, seems like it could be worth checking out.

"One of the most beloved design styles of nostalgic collectors, Art Deco developed in France following World War I and quickly became popular around the world, proliferating in lively posters, typefaces and skyscraper designs. Borrowing from Modernism's austere simplicity, while incorporating flourishes that would appeal to a mass audience, Art Deco allowed manufacturers to boost consumer desire for new and fashionable products. A compilation of six now out-of-print books from Chronicle's Deco Graphic Design series, this volume offers lesser-known examples of Deco graphic design from six countries: France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and England. The playful advertisements and product labels, many created by unknown artists, demonstrate the breadth of the style's reach and its variation across Europe. Dutch beer posters, German cigarette packages and Italian book covers burst with color, allowing readers to slip back into a time in which the airplane was "a symbol of futuristic wonder" and inventions like furnaces and Pyrex pots were making their debuts. In each chapter, Heller, senior art director for the New York Times, and Fili, principal of a New York graphic design firm, introduce the historical context surrounding each country's Art Deco movement, noting prominent poster artists who influenced the field. Whimsical and informative, this volume should keep readers coming back for multiple perusals." -- Publishers Weekly

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