Book Review

January 29, 2015

February 19, 2015
Beginning of class

22 days



The history of graphic design is so tightly bound to its production output that the two can hardly be separated. For several hundred years, the primary production method was ink on paper, bound together in the form of books.

For this assignment we'll be delving into the collection of books available at the WCC Bailey Library as the basis for composing a written review.

To kick-off the assignment we will visit the library as a group. This sequence of this assignment will follow the steps listed below.

  1. Selecting the book

  2. Reading the content of the book

  3. Writing the book review

  4. Submitting the written work

Book Selection

Each student will select one physical book from the WCC Library.

Possible ideas: 1.) A book written in the sixties about contemporary design techniques, i.e. screen printing posters; 2.) A monograph profiling a historical practitioner, i.e. Bradbury Thompson or William Morris monograph; 3.) A collection of images showcasing a historical movement or time period, i.e. Art Nouveau design motifs.

All book selections must be approved by the instructor before leaving the WCC library. Each student must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. The subject matter must relate to some aspect of graphic design history. The relationship can be direct or tangential.

  2. The book must have a substantial amount of written content. In other words it cannot be exclusively pictures (like a Dover Clip art book).

  3. Each student must verbally justify their selection before approval.

  4. The book must be checked out from the library. WCC Student ID required.

Book Reading

Each student will read the book (or a significant amount) in the allotted amount of time) in order to understand the major points the author/editor is attempting to make.

Knowing that books vary in length, it's understood that it may not be possible to meticulously absorb every word. It will be expected, however, that every effort will be made to consume the entire book.

Written Review

The book review will highlight the major points the book is trying to make  as well any other additional things you find interesting. A possible structure for the written review might look like this:

  1. Introduction statement. Statement of intent or interest in the subject. Announcement of author credibility or introduction to other works by the same author and/or publisher.

  2. Photo of Book. A self-taken photo (or photos) of the chosen book (not an photo or Google image search photo).

  3. Summary of main points. Perhaps the table of contents can suggest some broad topics to begin with.

  4. Critical examination. A critical look at the book itself. How does the book succeed, how does it fail? Please note the graphic design of the book itself.

  5. Conclusion. Final thoughts, major take-aways, suggestions for further investigation.

The written review will be shared with the instructor via Google Drive. While logged into your account select: New / Google Doc. Please work on your writing in that document and share the document with the instructor anytime before the submission deadline.

Target word count: 400 words


Please note: this assignment has changed considerably since the first time this was given in GDT-101. The examples linked below reflect a previous set of criteria that is no longer in effect.