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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cultural Amnesia

"Containing over one hundred original essays...Cultural Amnesia illuminates, rescues, or occasionally destroys the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century."

So here's the question: why pick Art Deco as the graphic style for such a book? I mean this as a serious question: for a book whose subject is an entire century of ideas, should it be "styleless," for lack of a better way of saying it?

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UPDATE: Here's what reader Jasfitz is referring to:


Anonymous said...

Nice question.
I think the Art Deco line illustration could be used, but not that type.
The opposite problem happens on "By It's Cover." The cover shows abstract representations of famous book jackets but it ends up getting lost in the different styles.

Sarah said...

Perhaps because Art Deco has it's roots in both fascination with primitive cultures and the Industrial Revolution.

It employs both organic and geometric shapes.

That is my interpretation of Art Deco, anyhow.

Joanna Goddard said...

i agree w/your point. the art deco style makes it confusing; you immediately think it's about just one era.

still, it's a very pretty cover!

Anonymous said...

This is really a deeply unfortunate cover: everytime I see it in my bookstore, I think it's a cheap reprint of a sci-fi cover from the 60's.

jasfitz said...

I don't understand the obvious reference to Peter Behrens, German creator of, well... the first real formalized corporate identity (AEG). He used quite precisely the illuminated lightbulb mathematical imagery to brand them. This is a very clear ripoff of that, and I can't make sense of it. Here's the specific poster they ripped (badly, I might add!) from:

jasfitz said...

oops, didn't post the url properlly: