A Handbook for Seeing
Monacelli Press, 9781580934725, 256pp.
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
A new pictorial reference book for artists and designers, with over 400 images from sources ranging from Greco-Roman art to Benjamin Franklin and Wes Anderson--Symbols offers a fresh approach to understanding symbolism in the visual arts. Symbols are embedded everywhere in our global visual culture, from oil paintings to biscuit packaging, monuments to mass-produced ashtrays. Designers and California College of the Arts instructors Mark Fox and Angie Wang recognize sources both historical and contemporary, high and low, revealing the narrative riches of symbolism found in a range of media and across times, places, and cultures. Whether human or animate, natural or man-made--each symbol (from sun, moon, lightning, and serpent to lozenge, spiral, and swastika) is illustrated with both classical and archetypal examples and often surprising contributions from textiles, fine art photography, ceramics, African sculpture, ancient coins, modern architecture, Native American crafts, European heraldry, Soviet propaganda, bookplates, film stills, military insignia, and much more. A beautiful, visually arresting compendium that both informs and inspires, Symbols is a vital resource.
About the Author
Mark Fox and Angie Wang are professors at California College of the Arts in San Francisco where they have taught courses in graphic design since 1993 and 2005, respectively. They collaborate under the name Design is Play; their work is represented in design collections at the United States Library of Congress, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Museum fur Gestaltung, Zurich.