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Reading graphic design in cultural context

Reading graphic design in cultural context

Lees-Maffei, Grace, author; Maffei, Nic, author

Reading Graphic Design in Cultural Context explains key ways of understanding and interpreting the graphic designs we see all around us, in advertising, branding, packaging and fashion. It situates these designs in their cultural and social contexts. Drawing examples from a range of design genres, leading design historians Grace Lees-Maffei and Nicolas P. Maffei explain theories of semiotics, postmodernism and globalisation, and consider issues and debates within visual communication theory such as legibility, the relationship of word and image, gender and identity, and the impact of digital forms on design. Their discussion takes in well-known brands like Alessi, Nike, Unilever and Tate, and everyday designed things including slogan t-shirts, car advertising, ebooks, corporate logos, posters and music packaging

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2018
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Available: Online

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Statement of responsibility: Grace Lees-Maffei, Nicolas P. Maffei
ISBN: 135001558X, 9781350015586
Physical Description: 288 pages : illustrations (black and white, and colour)
Subject: History of art; Industrial / commercial art & design; Graphic design; Graphic arts.; Product design; Art and Design.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9780857858009


  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Contents
  3. List of Illustrations
  4. Reading Graphic Design in the Expanded Field: An Introduction, Grace Lees-Maffei
  5. Part One: On Message and Off Message
  6. 1 - Branding as Sign System: Semiotics in Action, Grace Lees-Maffei
  7. 2 - The Responsive Brand: Uniformity and Flexibility in Logo Design, Nicolas P. Maffei
  8. 3 - Whose Wall? From Posters to Digital Displays and the Colonization of Public Space, Nicolas P. Maffei
  9. 4 - Slogan T-shirts: Billboards of Identity Politics, Nicolas P. Maffei
  10. Part Two: On Legibility and Ambiguity
  11. 5 - Seeing Clearly? Legibility, Word and Image in Postmodern Print Design, Grace Lees-Maffei
  12. 6 - Signifying Orientalism, Chinoiserie and Japonisme: Fashion Photography in Vogue as a Case Study, Grace Lees-Maffei
  13. 7 - A Good Read? Corporate Literature and Brand Stories: Alessi SpA as a Case Study, Grace Lees-Maffei
  14. 8 - Information Overload: Negotiating Visual Complexity in a Data Rich World, Nicolas P. Maffei
  15. Part Three: On Paper and On Screen
  16. 9 - How To? Visual Techniques of Persuasion in Guidebooks and Manuals, Grace Lees-Maffei
  17. 10 - Driving Sales: Print and TV Advertising of Cars to Women Drivers, Grace Lees-Maffei
  18. 11 - Picturing Music: The Rise and Fall of Music Packaging, Nicolas P. Maffei
  19. 12 - EBook, iBook, weBook, youBook: Declensions of Digital Design, Nicolas P. Maffei
  20. Index