I stumbled on this book: Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books in a Tel Aviv book store the other day. The vast majority of recent books on graphics design are meant to be "eye candy", sitting on coffee tables without being read in detail. What a joy it is therefore to go back to older titles.

This book lists 100 important books on graphics design and typography. Each book is discussed, put in its historical context, and highlighted with an image of the cover and  a few page spreads.

It is striking to see how only a few decades ago, graphics and type still looked so basic. But equally important is the realization how the current overdose of computer-generated images and decorations detracts from the basic purpose of a poster or a slide: convey a message. When people just had type and basic shapes as design tool, it forced them to make the most of them. I find myself in a similar situation, armed with PowerPoint, fonts, images but without the graphic artillery of sophisticated Adobe Illustrator designs. Looking some of the designs from the 30s or 60s convinces me that I can do without this back up.

Some books discussed in the book are still in print, and I have added a few to my wishlist:
Here is an extensive book review with a full list of the book titles inside by Swipe in Toronto (it is these type of specialist stores that I miss now and then here in Tel Aviv). Any more suggestions on typography and graphics design classics?

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