Meggs’ History of Graphic Design is the first book in my Essentials for Graphic Designers series – which is a collection of books that have helped me in my studies as a graphic designer, and are excellent resources for anyone wanting to learn about the various facets of graphic design.
When I started the Design Essentials program between BCIT and Emily Carr, this book was one of the first things the students were required to read. It is not an easy read, as Meggs has piled a lot of information into this book so it is only easily digestible in small doses. Even though it wasn’t easy at first to get into this book, I found that as we progressed through our program, it was easier and easier for us to retain the information in the book.
The beginning of Meggs’ History of Graphic Design talks about the start of graphic design – back to the invention of writing and the beginnings of typography and how it has evolved. Then he takes you into the different eras of graphic design, and how these eras impacted what we see nowadays in the North American culture and around the world. From the Arts and Crafts Movement, to Art Nouveau, and all the way through to Postmodern Design with everything in between – this book covers it all in such depth it’s hard not to be fascinated with how our world has evolved into the Digital Revolution we are in now.
Meggs couples all of the rich content in this book with a lot of great imagery, so you’re really able to experience each era through the pages. You can see the differences between the various styles, artists, and the influences on their work throughout evolution.
I recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about graphic design and who is looking for a timeless reference tool for the trade. Enjoy!