These two new books focus on graphic design, delving into its evolving history, role in the digital world and its lasting impact

Words Eve Herbert

Constantly changing, the world of graphic design is all about style, innovation and evolution. As graphic design continues to grow outside of print and within the digital realm, exploring its history is key to understanding its future. These two books are perfect for those who work in the field, or are curious to learn more about graphic design.

Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter

This dinky but comprehensive volume celebrates the long, rich history of graphic design through an international range of successful and timeless designs, from the beginnings of mechanical production to the present. Derived from the acclaimed Phaidon Archives of Graphic Design, the book features a definitive selection of newspapers, magazines, posters, advertisements, typefaces, corporate designs and record covers, as well as rare historical, contextual and archival materials, which have set benchmarks for excellence and innovation. It’s a stylish and inspiring book, spanning familiar designs alongside some surprising and obscure inclusions, and of interest to anyone with a feel for design in any capacity.

phaidon.com, £16.95

Alan Kitching – A Life in Letterpress

This beautiful and richly illustrated book is dedicated to the work of renowned typographer, designer and letterpress practioner Alan Kitching. It traces his 50 year career, covering his years teaching letterpress at the Royal College of Art as well as his founding work with the Experimental Printing Workshop at Watford College of Technology in the 1960s and his iconic creations at The Typography Workshop. This expansive volume includes over 350 illustrations and shows how Kitching breathed new life into the arcane world of letterpress at a time when the rest of the design world was shifting into digital. It is an amazing body of work and the book is a fascinating insight into design and the art and methodology of letterpress.

laurenceking.com, £40

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