Bruno Munari "How do we see the world around us? Bruno Munari was among the most inspirational designers of all pdf Design as Art – Bruno Bunari. DESIGN AS ART. Today it has become necessary to demolish the myth of the. ' star' artist who only produces masterpieces for a small group of ultra-intelligent. Design as Art. Bruno Munari. Paperback, pages. Published September 25th by Penguin. Classics (first published ). Original Title. Artista e.
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Design as Art (Bruno Munari) - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Design as Art. Moiré. Millions of people, amazed by the glories of nature and stunned by the terrible havoc of natural calamities, recognize this definite and mobile symbol as . DOWNLOAD PDF. Report this file. Description. Download Design as Art (Bruno Munari) Free in pdf format. Sponsored Ads. Shop Related Products.
Whether or not Calder started from the same idea. These give it a faintly sophisticated appearance which does however have an appeal also for those consumers who are at the furthest remove from modern culture. They then make a plaster model. It is therefore in certain cases possible to design posters on the same lines as wallpaper. If one splits a six-foot-long green bamboo cane lengthwise. Like this presentation? The object is monochrome but with noticeable variations of shade.
But there are thousands of suspended objects and always have been. Nearly all of them had one of my useless machines at home. They have only two things in common: Then these friends of mine discovered Alexander Calder.
Let us suppose that we start with a glass ball.
The diameter of this disc determines the other two geometric forms B and 2B the one being just double the other. There is a harmonic relationship between all the parts which go to make up a useless machine. The backs of these forms are painted as the negatives of the fronts. Calder triumphed in our circle. They laughed all the harder because my machines were made of cardboard painted in plain colours. They had to be light so as to turn with the slightest movement of the air.
The wooden rods to which the shapes are attached are also measured in relation to the diameter of the ball: The whole thing is then balanced up and hung on a piece of thread. I think it is best to make this clear. But all my friends rocked with laughter.
The inspiration for them seems to be drawn from the vegetable kingdom. One might say that Calder was the first sculptor of trees. There are plenty of sculptors of figures and animals. Mobiles are by nature different. Whether or not Calder started from the same idea. Their basis is geometrical. Now I myself thought that instead of painting triangles and other geometrical forms within the atmosphere of an oblong picture for this — look at Kandinsky — was still essentially realistic it would perhaps be interesting to free these forms from the static nature of a picture and to hang them up in the air.
They have the same principle. They used to say that Morandi made abstract pictures by using bottles and vases as formal pretexts. I made them very light and used thread so as to keep them moving as much as possible. And so I did. Take a branch with its leaves still on and you are looking at a mobile by Calder. I cut out the shapes. In they were painting the first abstract pictures in Italy. But the pieces of a useless machine all turn upon themselves and in respect to each other without touching.
Very often these abstract paintings were still lives of geometric forms done in realistic style. The subject of a Morandi canvas is in fact not the bottles. People have often wondered how the idea originated. Bottles or triangles were therefore the same thing.
Some were made of flexible wire and wooden rods. The wire gave a special springiness to the wooden rods. The components were always tied together with thread. I intended these objects to be thought of as machines because they were made of a number of movable parts fixed together. They are useless because unlike other machines they do not produce goods for material consumption. Some people declared that on the contrary they were extremely useful because they produced goods of a spiritual kind images.
A useless machine which was mass-produced in aluminum They were projects for strange constructions for wagging the tails of lazy dogs. These comic machines were later published by Einaudi in a book long since out of print called Le Macchine di Munari.
They were inspired by the famous American designer Rube Goldberg. Nine Spheres Appendix: The Machines of my Childhood He gives the right weight to each part of the project in hand. Thus in the recent past we have had the aerodynamic style. Certain industrial products depend in large measure on him for their success.
Various kinds of tool were used as evidence for this argument. I once asked an engineer who had designed a motor-scooter why he had chosen a particular colour. Instead we have formal coherence. An engineer must never be caught writing poetry. We have therefore discarded beauty in the abstract sense. It does not refer to an industrial designer. In the early days of rationalism it used to be said that an object was beautiful in so far as it was functional.
Today we do not think in terms of beauty but of formal coherence. The industrial designer therefore thinks of the aesthetic side of the job as simply a matter of providing a finish. Even so. The designer works differently. On one occasion I even saw an aerodynamic hearse.
For beauty in the abstract may be defined as what is called style. But if we saw a fig-leaf on a weeping-willow we would have the feeling. He therefore tries to give it a form as appropriate as possible to its function. He is in fact a design engineer.
Nearly always the shape of a thing. He is a planner with an aesthetic sense. A leaf has the form it has because it belongs to a certain tree and fulfils a certain function. He thinks from the start in terms of printing techniques. He helps the object. It would lack coherence. Today the designer in this case the graphic designer is called upon to make a communication called a poster to inform the public of some new development in a certain field. And why is it the designer who is called upon? Why is the artist not torn from his easel?
Because the designer knows about printing. At one time people thought in terms of fine art and commercial art. A designer tries to make an object as naturally as a tree puts forth a leaf.
Now we no longer have this distinction between fine and not-fine. Each object takes on its own form. He does not just make an artistic sketch and leave it up to the printer to reproduce it as best he may. Art is once more becoming a trade. A leaf is beautiful not because it is stylish but because it is natural.
But of course this will not be fixed and final because techniques change. Visual design is concerned with images whose function is to communicate and inform visually: So we used to have sewing-machines built by engineers and then decorated by an artist in gold and mother-of-pearl. The designer is therefore the artist of today. Industrial design is concerned with functional objects.
He does not smother his object with his own personal taste but tries to be objective. And finally because he responds to the human needs of his time. The definition of art that has caused so much confusion in recent times. It is therefore a question of coherence. It is planning done without preconceived notions of style. Research design is concerned with experiments of both plastic and visual structures in two or more dimensions. What we call design. What then is this thing called Design if it is neither style nor applied art?
It is planning: This atmosphere is created by all the objects produced by industry. The distinction between pure art. Graphic design works in the world of the Press. An object should now be judged by whether it has a form consistent with its use. Around the person of the Artistic Genius there circulated other and lesser geniuses who absorbed the Pure Forms and the Style of the Master and attempted to give these some currency by applying them to objects of everyday use. At all events.
They design a Surrealist television set. It therefore comes about that in France they make lamps inspired by abstract forms without bearing in mind that a lamp must give light. Pure and Applied Once upon a time there was pure art and applied art I prefer to use these terms. It tries out the possibilities of combining two or more dimensions. This led to the making of objects in this style or that style. So all this talk about sober harmony.
Just as there are dead languages. An exact project produces a beautiful object. A thing is not beautiful because it is beautiful. It is most unlikely that the public would understand. But seeing the things behind the names will help us to understand the structure of the world we live in.
When they saw it they ran to watch the blacksmith hammering the glowing iron on his anvil. It is a well-known fact that to get a message across we can use not only words. Good language will help us to communicate with one another about the realities of our environment.
Just as there are words which belong to other ages. You will see that every age has had its ideal Venus or Apollo. To children in it meant a lot: Beauty as conceived of in the fine arts. If you want to know something else about beauty. Imagine the pungent stench of the hot iron. They used to put pink and yellow side by side. Then they would make unexpected leaps from one shade to another. The colours used for furnishings did not differ much from those for clothes or carriages. Looking into the past we find certain periods dominated by certain colours and forms: At some times in the past a certain series of colours.
But today different colours have different uses. And so on down to our own times. For roadsigns we use only red. In printing we use the dull four-colour system which reduces all colours to a norm. We can point out similar changes in the colours used for visual communication. We can imagine it for fun. At that time they used some really refined combinations of colour.
In advertising we use bright brash colours or very refined ones according to our purpose. We are surrounded by countless visual stimuli. A double-bend sign in the style of Louis XIV. And we have forms that are beautiful and exact because they are true forms: In the past.
We have machines that enable us to see music and sounds in the form of luminous waves. As the speed and volume of traffic increases. All over the world psychologists. They had heraldic arms instead. We have a host of machines exploring for us what we cannot see with the naked eye. Almost without realizing it we arrange these images in order. It is no longer possible to confine oneself to local tastes. Reading them is a matter of conditioning.
These are forms we see every day. Now we can even see the invisible. But at first glance you were certain of one thing only. Another point is the speed at which signs can be read. Then you become aware of the material it is made of. Visual language changes according to the needs of the day. This apparently insignificant fact is the subject of careful study today.
A Rose is a Rose is a And then you go up to it and see. We have already made a catalogue of stimuli in our own minds. The growing use of symbols such as roadsigns and trademarks on a worldwide scale demands absolute clarity of expression. If a visual message is going to get across to people of different languages and backgrounds it is essential that the message does not lend itself to wrong interpretations.
Then there are the lights which already form an accepted part of the nightscape. There have always been dangerous double bends. To accept. We already know that roadsigns occur at a certain height above the ground and have exactly those shapes and colours and no others. We have X-ray photos. All over the world this kind of lettering conveys an immediate message: In the face of this one simply cannot go on using the same red as a background for quite different products.
It goes without saying that if I have to publicize a cultural campaign on behalf of works of art I must not use vulgar colours.
I must immediately convey the idea that here we are dealing with something lofty and not to be compared in any way with commonplace things. I know this is an exaggeration. Even before we read what it says. It is true that a badly designed poster will have some effect if the walls are smothered with it. So we all have inside us naturally with some variation from person to person groups of images.
Between these letters and the right kind for the job there is a vast range of letters to choose from. On the contrary. A lot of people think that the public does not understand such matters. It goes without saying that an essay on Giotto as an architect ought not to have a title in such lettering. There is a whole mechanism already at work on its own. There are masculine forms and colours and feminine forms and colours. Unhappily there is a lot of confusion and waste in these messages that surround us.
There is one American catalogue that gives a choice of one thousand two hundred colours. The eye of the beholder is hopelessly muddled. Putting things in pigeon-holes like this helps us to make snap readings of signs. Often a firm unwilling to call in a graphic designer will use lettering suited to cheese to present a book of famous artists. They often weary us with their petulance. What most interests a stylist is line. While the stylist is at work he feels all the great artists of the past breathing over his shoulder.
The great thing is to get it down before inspiration cools. It is within the scope of all those who have artistic stirrings. There are things on sale that demand a tremendous effort to guess at their proper use. The Stylists One of the commonest aspects of design. With the confusion of form that persists today a brush can look like a cat.
Styling is a kind of industrial designing. They then make a plaster model. The same can be said of form. This second sketch is always done with a great flaunting of perspective and with dazzling highlights: The stylist works for the quick turnover. It does no more than give a veneer of fashion. One sees something similar in those drawings of seaside and suburban villas in which the clouds behind and the tree before the house make ever such a nice picture. Then it is worked out in more detail and on a bigger scale.
A little science fiction does no harm and a sense of elegance is basic. The stylist strikes while the iron is hot. If curves were In yesterday. What does fashion actually do? It sells you a suit made of a material that could last five years. In any case. Mystery Art The children come out of school happy and laughing.
But meanwhile an idea has been implanted in their minds that will be difficult to change for the rest of their lives. It could be an iron. Is this a flatiron or a speedboat? Someone turned up this sketch by the famous American stylist Bernard Tettamanzi it was he who created that fabulous car for Peter Zunzer.
Leaving the vital parts inside the car alone. Therefore different things will have different forms. They go home on foot or by bike or in the vast black limousine chauffeured by a peaked cap and a pair of white gloves. While a job is in hand. In the United States stylists are responsible for giving a new look to a car or other object that has flooded the market and is no longer selling.
As soon as one thing is sold they must invent another to supersede it. Out with delicate colours. After a season of violet.
A designer with a personal style. A fashionable colour reaches saturation point and everyone longs only to see its opposite. There is no way of knowing the life-size of the object sketched out in such a masterly fashion with the point of a Flomaster.
So everyone who sets great store by his dignity rushes out to buy the new model for fear of being thought old hat. Opinions vary. Among other things. The same principle can be used to sell anything. The stylist therefore works by contrasts. This is a work of art. A transparent plastic box full of second-hand dentures.
A tinned blackbird signed by the artist. But this picture is done in Impressionist-Cubist style. A painting in three dimensions. Or take another kind of protest picture. Is this not perhaps the mirror of our society. A picture made by pouring on paint at random. For example. But what about the art critics whose job it is to explain these things and make them clear?
What have they got to say about it? They say that here we have a lyric poem in pure frontal visuality that avoids three-dimensional language in order to reinstate man in the field of semantic-entropic discourse so as to achieve a new dimension that is.
And yet the three-dimensional picture is behind glass in a gilt frame and the two-dimensional statue is on a pedestal. And in fact you only have to go to a proper museum to see what visual art really is.
That painting is done with oil on canvas. A toothpaste tube twelve yards long. A blown-up detail of a strip-cartoon. Ten one pound tins of the same.
How are they to come to terms with these contradictions? But this is nothing compared with what they might meet with later on. How is it that our times are producing such works of art? A realistic monochrome picture of a lavatory seat. That the most beautiful art is that of the distant past. A postcard of Portsmouth twelve feet by six.
Then perhaps these children happen to see an exhibition of modern sculpture. It will bear witness to how indulgent we solid men are towards the wicked artist. It is not true to say that all posters today are the same. That is why young people are all in love with the Beatles and live in houses with good solid nineteenth-century pictures. Why have we become like gods as technologists and like devils as moral beings.
How is one to distinguish at a glance between a motor-tyre poster with female figure and one for a fizzy drink with ditto? There once was a company that always put lots of women in its advertisements. We must introduce the notion of character.
Now we have countless cameras clicking away and taking exactly the same sort of photo for every product. There are differences. And vice versa. And as this Rule is a General Rule. It therefore seems plain to me that we must add a footnote to the General Rules for making a good poster. He has a style of his own. These Rules are arrived at by Research and Questionnaires which are then boiled down into Statistics. But the style should rather be that of the thing being advertised.
It has to be this way because the Public wishes it so. They depend on the taste of the artist. Only a knowledge of their experiments can provide the distinctive quality posters need if they are to be something more than general information aimed at everyone and no one. Looking at the techniques of the past we notice that a human face made in mosaic has a different structure from one painted on a wall.
They are not classical artists or romantic artists. The problem is therefore how to give individual character to images. How can we do this? We have. We may also look for all possible linear connections between the features. I mean living culture. There are products which already have strongly distinct characters of their own. The features — eyes. In the same way if one is thinking of making a face out of glass. Look at a book of contemporary photographs and you will see for yourself.
His experiments in the visual lead him to try out all possible combinations and methods in order to arrive at the precise image he needs for the job in hand. And by culture I do not mean what is taught in schools and can readily be found in books. There are thousands of ways of photographing or drawing the human face. Or if we imagine seeing this face through a pane of glass with lettering on it. There must be coherence between the product and the forms and colours used.
A poster recommending concentrated soups is designed to reach a different public from one announcing the call-up of conscripts into the armed forces. But posters and advertising in general are nearly always totally divorced from culture. Visual characterization makes for directness and immediacy.. Communication must be instant and it must be exact. Variations on the Theme of the Human Face In how many ways and with what techniques can one produce variations on the human face seen from the front?
The graphic designer works without set limits and without rejecting any possible technique. These we seize at a glance. They have what might be called sonic form. The lines straight or curved. A graphic symbol for a cosmetic cannot be the same as one for coal.
Some words. For the sake of this exercise we must keep to full-face. But this can only happen if we preserve the general shape of the word. Such an exercise as this helps a graphic designer to find the image best adapted to a given theme. That is. We are of course referring to printed. This is especially the case with words we are used to reading — or forced to read — every day: The Shape of Words Not only does each letter of a word have a shape of its own.
The graphic designer usually makes hundreds of small drawings and then picks one of them. Knowledge of the shape of words and the possibilities these offer for communication can be very useful to the graphic designer when he comes to make warning signs that have to be taken in quickly. One can go even further. This gives a clearer idea of the shape of the word. An experiment anyone can make is to cut out the letters of a newspaper title. The graphic designer can also operate in this field.
Klee once wrote a poem and filled the spaces between the letters with various colours. The reading time of posters is often varied by the use of. Quick legibility is the quality required most of all for roadsigns. In this way our reading has been slowed down and the message retarded in the interests of a quite bogus aesthetic standard. Poems and Telegrams It is certainly quite wrong to read a poem in a hurry. The Futurists composed their tavole parolibere according to this principle.
And I will go further and say that each text. When we are sitting in an armchair reading a good book we need to slow down our reading speed. For rapid reading the type must be simple and clear. The result was that the words revealed themselves to the consciousness in slow motion.
A poem only communicates if read slowly: Though some contemporary poems do in fact have as few words as the average telegram. Though it is commonly done. They are poems struck off at random. Not everyone sees pictures in the fire. The stains on old walls simply look like stains to him. Leonardo da Vinci saw trees. The shape of a cloud. Two in One Two images in one. But at the same time it is very tiring to the eye. If you do not know what a Bunstable is you will never see one anywhere.
The same thing happens with the grain of wood or marble. It depends on what they are looking at. This is done so as not to split the words and create time-gaps in the middle of them.
On old walls. It depends on the person looking. Not a word of explanation is needed. Shakespeare saw whales and camels in the clouds. Some posters and advertisements are read at two or three different speeds. In some publications that have artistic pretensions the printed text is lined up on the left while the right-hand margin is left ragged.
The detailed outlines of the individual parts are so arranged as to make up a picture of a car. Simple Simon looks at the clouds and just sees clouds. To a certain extent. In such a case the second image works on the subconscious and may well have a more lasting effect. We have a historical example in the paintings of Arcimboldi. To neglect the rules is dangerous. In this case no one may do as he wants to.
Roadsigns are the best known. Our movements on the roads are rigorously controlled: Simultaneous superimposed images may for example be useful in a poster showing a hand composed of cigarettes holding a cigarette.
Even tramps use a sign language to tell each other if they can go to a certain place. Each sign and each symbol has an exact meaning that is recognized the world over: And one can formulate fairly exact rules for it.
Today there are trademarks. In the old days there were the symbols of heraldry. We are already conditioned to doing what these signs tell us to do. A Language of Signs and Symbols? Many of our activities today are conditioned by signs and symbols. These double images may either be obvious or concealed. But joking apart. One can present an image with the merest suggestion of another image in it.
Each of us is part of the larger organism of human society. A big triangle with three small ones alongside means that one should spin a really tear-jerking yarn I imagine that the big triangle is the wife and the little ones her starving children. It might be put into words in this way: I am in a narrow place between rain and snow. In these ancient scripts the signs have one value as image or idea when they are alone.
This principle. Tell a tear-jerking tale. Everyone naturally knows road signs because you have to learn them if you want to drive a car. In a certain sense the plan of an electric circuit composed of symbols and connections is nothing less than a synthetic discourse of component parts.
But when the signs used in other fields. If we suppose all these signs and symbols to be already known to the reader. The narrative should be clear enough. We can express the weather with meteorological signs.
We shall try to use the symbols as the words are used in a poem: Maybe it is not possible to tell them all apart. Will something like this be the international language of the near future?
In limited ways perhaps it might. They exist in the catalogue of an American company which produces plastics. Think of it. Or rather. Attempt at a poem: Rain on the firing switch end of precedence In meteorology and electronics it is already used. Rood Red. Twelve thousand colours. But it has not yet been used to tell a story. In this case it is the roughness or smoothness of the surface which determines the variation.
By the time we have finished we will be extremely tired and our strip of paper will be several miles long. On the same strip. Add one drop of black to the red and paint another disc.
But try asking the waiter for yellow wine and all you will get is a pitying. Red silk is different from chalk of the same colour. But in the first place we must distinguish black and white from the colours proper.
I am sure that you are prepared to take my word for it and not insist on making the experiment for yourselves to test me out. If we take. We can then repeat the operation starting with another red. Jones is therefore attempting the impossible in trying to match the velvet of her sofa with her sitting-room walls. Brown is in fact the colour with the most variations because it can be nearly red.
Take this red. It is true that the list we gave at the beginning was very basic. There is another American catalogue with a modest 1. Every colour changes according to the material in which it is fixed. Then we start with a red with two drops of yellow added…. But even if we named all the colours we can think of we would still not reach This catalogue might be very useful for someone planning a large uniform edition of books. Unfortunately people talk of colours too loosely.
Each colour is reproduced and numbered. A smooth surface reflects the light and the colour is more intense. You will now realize that twelve thousand colours exist. Then let us take it towards a dark corner of the room. What colour is white wine? We could for example list all the various reds.
So we may in theory set about obtaining a great number of colours in the following way: How does one arrive at such a vast number of colours? There are various methods. But the story of colours does not end there. Then another drop. The same thing goes for all the other posters nearby. It usually happens that when someone cannot keep his end up in an argument he begins to shout. It is a way of getting information across to the average passer-by.
You will find that some are yellow. A poster for soap. It must jump out at you. We already know that a certain detergent washes white. Any knowledge of the world we live in is useful.
And the worst thing of all is that there are thousands of them all bellowing at you in satanic discord. They probably meant that a poster must stand out a mile from the other posters displayed around it in the street. In this way he does not add anything new to his argument. Do you know what colour a sheet of white paper is? Would it be a good thing if people were taught to know their colours?
I certainly think so. Not having studied the exact techniques of visual communication. Many posters want to make themselves heard at all costs. A triangle offers three escape routes. Even today you will find this basic design used for countless posters. This is the Japanese flag. Now his office is furnished with exquisite taste.
The eye is in fact accustomed to making its escape at the points or corners of things. A photo of a globe. The poster is accepted and printed. On the other hand one sometimes sees posters so jaded they seem to have been deliberately camouflaged. There is nothing in the least gaudy about it. The colours are muted. Basic pattern of a poster in the form of the Japanese flag. Why is such a simple design so effective? Because the white background isolates the disc from everything around it.
There is one basic kind of poster that graphic designers often use. The picture hanging on the wall beside it looks like a washed out photograph. The space around the disc isolates the image from any other near-by forms.
A circle has no corners. It probably happens like this. This sketch is full size. It has to tear itself away. The eye is attracted by the dark disc and has no way of escaping.
How is this basic pattern used in a poster? The disc may represent or become a tomato. In these surroundings the poster. Posters are usually designed as single entities. Poster without End Is it possible to make a poster of unlimited dimensions. Besides this. These lead it out and away from the poster. Every figurative element of the poster that is cut by the right-or left-hand edge will inevitably combine in some unforeseen way with the poster next door.
On the other hand it is a mistake to divide the surface of a poster into different blocks of colour or print. Here the left hand side must know what the right hand is doing.
A poster three foot by five. If as in a recent example two faces in profile are looking into the poster from right and left. If some form is cut in half by the right-hand margin. This never happens to posters with a central image.
Now it often happens that a poster is simply not designed to be displayed side by side with its twin. But there is a way of getting round this problem. The eye wanders over the surface and is continually forced to follow the dividing lines between the light and dark sections. Such a poster fades too easily into its surroundings. Basic pattern of a poster cut up into separate sections. The edges of a poster are therefore worthy of special consideration.
In any case one can never ignore them when one designs a poster. This poster gets across its message even if you just catch a glimpse of it. It is hard to say for sure whether it is one poster or many. The eye is attracted by this interplay of various combinations. The red background holds the whole thing together. An Italian example of this — but of a product sufficiently well known to English readers — is the Campari advertisement displayed in underground stations. In this particular case the series can only run horizontally.
They may serve as neutral areas to isolate one poster from the others around it. The motif which links one poster with its neighbour can also be quite distinct from the thing advertised. It is therefore in certain cases possible to design posters on the same lines as wallpaper. The graphic form is contained within two squares.
Such a mark must be legible even if reduced to the smallest proportions. Christian and Greek writing.
Various working stages are visible in this sketch. It will then be the child who makes contact with you. Children generally regard such persons with the utmost severity.
To enter the world of a child or a cat the least you must do is sit down on the ground without interrupting the child in whatever he is doing. Children do not understand what on earth they want. Every day you see some old woman approach a child with terrible grimaces and babble idiocies in a language full of booes and cooes and peekiweekies.
He is trying to understand the world he is living in. Then he will go on to read and understand things of ever increasing complexity. The great thing is to make a good impression.
Twenty-four hours make one whole day and one whole night. He will pretend to understand. In twelve hours the sun rises and sets. Put your hand on it and feel it. We must look at the calendar: Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation? Why not share! An annual anal Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. HratchouhiAntebian Follow.
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Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Book Details Author: Bruno Munari Pages: Paperback Brand: Description One of the last surviving members of the futurist generation, Bruno Munari's Design as Art is an illustrated journey into the artistic possibilities of modern design translated by Patrick Creagh published as part of the 'Penguin on Design' series in Penguin Modern Classics.