Area 2 is Phaidon’s follow-up to the impressive comprehensive design book area. Keeping with the same format as the original, Area 2 features 100 current graphic designers selected by 10 curators. However, unlike the first edition, Area 2 goes beyond print media to focus on a larger community of “designers” from programmers to performers, along with graphic designers in the classic sense.
100 Graphic Designers
Each page of Area 2 is as impressive as the last, thanks to the incredibly talented group of designers selected by the curators. From gorgeous collages by Keiji Ito from Tokyo, to amazing use of lines and shapes by Hansje van Halem from Amsterdam, every designer’s 4-page spread makes one think, “here’s another person to watch.” On top of the work being excellent, it is refreshing to see work from around the world, most of which I had never seen before. At the same time, I was occasionally pleasantly surprised to find something I was familiar with, such as the Brooklyn Museum logo I often admire in New York subway ads.
The curators for Area 2 include Julia Hasting, design director of Phaidon Press, Saki Mafundikwa, who founded the first graphic design college in Zimbabwe, and Dan Nadel, founder of Grammy Award-winning packaging company PictureBox, Inc. In addition to selecting 10 designers each, the curators write introductions to their selected work, providing some background information and insight on the design. For example, Dan Nadel writes of Sara De Bondt, “She frequently superimposes color tones over type, relying on the kind of simple, striking typographic compositions that convey a message while adding both literal and figurative layers of information to the affair.”
10 Design Classics
Area 2 ends with ten “design classics” chosen by the curators. Each speaks of work that made an impact on them, from a restaurant in Rotterdam to a perpetual calendar. The variety of work in just these ten selections mirrors what Area 2 has achieved throughout the book, a look into the many forms of design that influence and inspire us.