Neue Grafik Reprinted


3 of 5 stars
What’s this?

For graphic designers, this is a big deal:

“The ‘International Review of graphic design and related subjects,’ was initiated by designer Josef Müller-Brockmann and published in eighteen issues between 1958 and 1965 by an editorial collective consisting of him, Richard Paul Lohse, Hans Neuburg und Carlo Vivarelli. The complete volumes are now available in an excellent facsimile reprint from Lars Müller Publishers.”

The reprints come case-bound, obviously intended to be displayed prominently on your bookshelf so that visitors can see how hardcore Modernist you are.

Neue Grafik

Now, in the past I’ve been guilty of a certain, design-centric flavor of conspicuous consumption-oriented blogging in which an artifact of mid-Century Modernism like this one is presented along with a declaration of purchasing intent. The tone is usually flagrantly concise, as in “Must have!,” or “Sold!” or, “Just bought it,” as if to imply that the object is so essential, so unimpeachably critical to the worldview of any designer that it simply must be owned, and if you didn’t know that already, you’re not a real designer.

But this reprint goes for US$300, and to be frank, most of these things are incredibly boring, not particularly relevant any longer, and highly overrated. Don’t get me wrong; I’d be very keen to get my hands on one of these sets to peruse it, and maybe spend a few hours reading through its pages. But after indulging in many of these sorts of things over the years, I feel now that I understand that they are really more about showing off than studying up.

Don’t let that stop you from buying a set, though, if you are so inclined. Read more here.


One Comment

  1. I understand your position and would likely agree with you regarding the majority of those individuals purchasing this collection. My only rebuttal to you is that there are certainly people in this world, collectors, who find great pleasure in accumulating objects from whatever era or subject matter that turns them on. I’ll bet this book set is one of them, perhaps it’s just that many graphic designers these days seem quite pretentious about the design industry, especially amongst the new wave of wave of modernist lovers (or dare I say hipsters). That pretension can be a precursor to the idea of all consumed material being in some way or another devoted to ‘bragging’ or to creating the appearance of being more culturally aware than the rest of us ignorant yuppies.

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