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Look of the Century:
Michael Tambini, founder of Pentagram Design in London, presents The Look of the Century, a thorough yet concise wrap-up of the most outstanding designs of the last 100 years. A record of human inventiveness, as well as of human consumption, this weighty little softcover volume (512 pages) looks at various stylistic movements, their leaders, and the key developments and innovations that have shaped our aesthetic environment. Chock-a-block with thousands of small color reproductions and written in an extremely accessible style, this book serves as a kind of field guide to the world of products. It is organized into sections on each of the various rooms in a house and chapters on leisure, transportation, the office, graphics, advertising, and packaging. Form, craft, detail, size, longevity, availability, and cost are addressed for each item. And more complex issues like the impact of assembly-line production, the phenomenon of mass consumption, the notion of corporate identity, the consequences of the design industry for the environment, and the effects of computers on product forms and their construction are explored as well. Also included is an A to Z of designers' biographies, as well as a glossary of terms. --A.C. Smith [via]