29 July 2008
Googling the canon
For this special issue of Eye, we put 93 designers into the search engine
Nearly two decades ago, historian Martha Scotford analysed five key books (including Meggs’ History) to discover what the canon of graphic design history might be.
To make this diagram for Eye no. 68 , our ‘Beyond the canon’ special issue, we Googled 93 designers’ names – 63 from her original research*, plus 30 others. The names were placed in the search field in inverted commas: e.g. “Saul Bass”, “Piet Zwart”. Linear plotting means that popular figures such as Man Ray, William Morris and Marjane Satrapi (see Eye 50) run off the page. Don’t try this at home. Read Martha Scotford’s Afterword on the Eye website.
* ‘Is There a Canon of Graphic Design History?’ (AIGA Design Journal, vol. 9, no. 2, 1991, reprinted in Design Culture, ed. Steven Heller and Marie Finamore, 1997).
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