Meggs' History of Graphic Design, Fourth Edition
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More About This Title Meggs' History of Graphic Design, Fourth Edition


Now in its Fourth Edition, this unrivaled, seminal work continues its long tradition of providing balanced insight and thorough historical background. Under the new authorial leadership of Alston Purvis, this authoritative book offers more than 450 new images, along with expansive coverage of such topics as Italian, Russian, and Dutch design. It reveals a saga of creative innovators, breakthrough technologies, and important design innovations.


The late PHILIP B. MEGGS was a designer, educator, and author. He was School of the Arts Research Professor, Communication Arts and Design Department, at Virginia Commonwealth University; visiting faculty at Syracuse University and the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland; and contributing editor to Print magazine. He authored more than a dozen books and 150 articles and papers on design and typography, including a section on graphic design in Encyclopedia Britannica. He was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame and received its Educator's Award for lifetime achievement and significantly shaping the future of the fields of graphic design education and writing.

ALSTON W. PURVIS is Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Boston University. During his career, he has worked as an instructor at The Cooper Union and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at The Hague. His photographs have been exhibited in Amsterdam, London, New York, and Paris. He is the author of Dutch Graphic Design, 1918–1945 (Wiley) and H. N. Werkman; and coauthor of Graphic Design 20th Century; A Century of Posters; and Wendingen: A Journal of Arts 1918–1932.



Preface to the First Edition.


Part I: The Prologue to Graphic Design.
The visual message from prehistory through the medieval era.

1. The Invention of Writing.

2. Alphabets.

3. The Asian Contribution.

4. Illuminated Manuscripts.

Part II: A Graphic Renaissance.
The origins of European typography and design for printing.

5. Printing Comes to Europe.

6. The German Illustrated Book.

7. Renaissance Graphic Design.

8. An Epoch of Typographic Genius.

Part III: The Bridge to the Twentieth Century.
The Industrial Revolution: The impact of industrial technology upon visual communications.

9. Graphic Design and the Industrial Revolution.

10. The Arts and Crafts Movement and its Heritage.

11. Art Nouveau.

12. The Genesis of Twentieth-Century Design.

Part IV: The Modernist Era.
Graphic design in the first half of the twentieth century.

13. The Influence of Modern Art.

14. Pictorial Modernism.

15. A New Language of Form.

16. The Bauhaus and the New Typography.

17. The Modern Movement in America.

Part V: The Age of Information.
Graphic design in the global village.

18. The International Typographic Style.

19. The New York School.

20. Corporate Identity and Visual Systems.

21. The Conceptual Image.

22. National Visions within a Global Dialogue.

23. Postmodern Design.

24. The Digital Revolution and Beyond.



Picture Credits.