What is graphic design history for? It is a perennial question I encounter with my students—typically written on their bored faces (Or maybe it’s me?). I’ve never heard a leading design practice discuss history except for theirs, nor one that has clinched a client because of it. This existential question was one of many that led to the 2014 conference: “Graphic Design: History and Practice” in the Free University of Bozen-Bolano in Italy. The 6 presentations and 2 post-discussions, as well as 3 additional reflections, compiled in this book offers a small but valuable inquiry into the role of graphic design history in contemporary times. Whether it is uncovering the role of women, harnessing the digital wave or rethinking its place in design education, there is much to look forward to for those interested in its past.
#ADesignLibrary spotlights lesser known design books, and invites public access to my personal collection of titles that focuses on Singapore architecture and design, Asian design, everyday design, critical and speculative design as well as design theory and philosophy. I welcome enquiries and physical loans.
BY JYNI ONG
The Singapore Graphic Archive is a visual treat for any design enthusiast. Founded in 2011 by Justin Zhuang, the archive is a treasure trove of vintage Singaporean design created before the 2000s. The entire archive, in its web and Instagram form, is solely down to Justin’s interest in his country’s design history.
After writing a book titled Independence: The History of Graphic Design in Singapore since the 1960s, Justin compiled his research into the archive. Collecting material from interviewees, old newspapers, publications and more, the archive highlights beautiful design from matchboxes to bus times guides uncovering Singapore’s rich layers of history, from its colonial past to its economically prosperous present.
➜ Read the full story in It’s Nice That
BY TAY SUAN CHIANG
SINGAPORE’S TRANSFORMATION from a small fishing village to a modern city today can be seen through its architecture – from the kampong houses of old to today’s gleaming skyscrapers.
What’s less obvious is that our history can also be seen in other ways, from old school matchbox designs to…
➜ Read the full story in Business Times Lifestyle