The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics
Milton Glaser, Mirko Ilic. Rockport Publishers, $50 (240pp) ISBN 978-1-59253-117-2
With a vibrant display of buttons, posters and leaflets that protest the Iraq war, the corporate media, the Israeli military and all points between, this book cuts a wide swath, indeed. Assembled by designer Glaser, best known for his I ? NY logo, and Ilic, a School of Visual Arts instructor and author of several books on design, the book bursts with compelling political designs from all over the world, but it lacks an overall direction and shape. Neither a deeply snoozeriffic foreword by playwright Tony Kushner nor a rambling interview of Glaser by the New York Times' Steven Heller give any clear indication of the books' overall purpose. Not that there aren't images here to make the skin crawl and the blood boil, including a photo montage of victims processed at a Khmer Rouge extermination facility, and silverware superimposed on either side of a cow collapsed in meat factory filth. The most fascinating section of the book focuses on conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, bringing the region's brutal recent history to life with a shocking immediacy and quiet rage. However, despite the book's striking and colorful individual parts, it comes across as a loosely organized compendium of leftist protest paraphernalia.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005