Toothpicks and Logos

Toothpicks and Logos : Design in Everyday Life

3.61 (54 ratings by Goodreads)
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John Heskett wants to transform the way we think about design, by showing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design combines 'need' and 'desire' in the form of a practical object that can also reflect the users identity and aspirations through its form and decoration. This concise guide to contemporary design goes beyond style and taste to look at how different cultures and individuals personalize objects. Heskett also reveals how simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behaviour in different countries. There are also fascinating insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford, and Sony approach design. Finally, we are shown an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future and especially its role in humanizing new more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 143.3 x 195.1 x 15.2mm | 290.3g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0192804448
  • 9780192804440

Table of contents

1. What is Design?; 2. Utility and Symbolism; 3. Objects; 4. Communications; 5. Environments; 6. Systems; 7. Contexts; 8. Identities; 9. Futures; Further Reading; Indexshow more

Review quote

"In a notably lucid narrative rich in provocative examples, Heskett succinctly traces design's development from the earliest of technological breakthroughs to today's frenzied array of gadgets, graphics, and objects great and small, essential and frivolous. He goes beyond the classic duo of form and function to discuss utility and significance and to differentiate between the ephemeral and the enduring."--Booklist"An ambitious overview of the concept of design.... Members of various design-related professions (graphic, interior, environmental, and industrial) will find this book of interest, but it will also prove rewarding for anyone interested in mass media, information glut, consumer buying habits, propaganda, ergonomics, and the cultural differences inherent in globalization."--Library Journalshow more

About John Heskett

John J. Heskett is Professor of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. A world renowned commentator on design, he is the author of Industrial Design, widely used as a basic textbook, and Philips: A Study of the Corporate Management of Design. He has also contributed articles and essays to numerous magazines and anthologies, and regularly writes for ID more

Review Text

Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, once asked, 'Is there a science of design?' For a time it seemed that the vanguard of the international design community in the early 20th century would answer this question in the affirmative and regulate the status of the profession, develop common methodologies in education and practice, and advance towards a social Utopia where design would improve the quality of life at all levels. But that modernist vision has now been dead or dormant for a very long time. John Heskitt, Professor of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology, presents an up-to-date overview of today's many-tentacled design industry. His philosophy is a balanced and inclusive one which celebrates the achievements of the leading modernists as well as the more heterogenous outcomes of postmodernism. He reveals how designers and their work are widely trivialised in the media, and his corrective view is timely and cogently argued. He surveys the whole gamut of design activity: from crafting or mass-producing objects to man's impact on the environment; from techniques of ideological or commercial persuasion to manipulating fashion cycles; from corporate identity in the high street to systems design for transportation; from palaeolithic flints to the equally functional design of hospital equipment. Although he lacks the space to present case histories in depth, Heskett introduces and where appropriate illustrates recent work by Dyson, Mellor, Porsche, Rams and Starke among others, and highlights familiar brands from Apple to Volkswagen. There are few books that make this unwieldy subject accessible - let alone pleasurable - for general reader and design student alike, but Heskett has covered the ground well and he has an enviable talent for making us look at well-known artefacts in a fresh way. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

54 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 22% (12)
4 30% (16)
3 37% (20)
2 9% (5)
1 2% (1)
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