Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things


Author Grace Lees-Maffei
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic
Date 2014
Cover Hardcover
Dimensions 7.7 x 9.9 in.; 240 pages
Iconic Designs  is a beautifully designed and illustrated guide to fifty classic "things"–-designs that we find in the city, in our homes and offices, on page and screen, and in our everyday lives. In her introduction, Grace Lees-Maffei explores the idea of iconicity and what makes a design "iconic," and fifty essays by leading design and cultural critics address the development of each iconic "thing," its innovative and unique qualities, and its journey to classic status.

Subjects range from the late 19th century to the present day, and include the Sydney Opera House, the Post-It Note, Coco Chanel's classic suit, the Sony Walkman™, Hello Kitty™, Helvetica, the Ford Model T, Harry Beck's diagrammatic map of the London Underground and the Apple iMac G3.

This handsome volume provides a treasure trove of 'stories' that will shed new light on the iconic designs that we use without thinking, aspire to possess, love or hate (or love to hate) and which form part of the fabric of our everyday lives.