Unlike Meggs’ History of Graphic Design, which begins with the invention of writing, Stephen J. Eskilson’s Graphic Design: A New History, skips right to the development of type and typography starting from Gutenberg to Bodoni. The introduction started off promising, but Eskilson doesn’t delve into typography as much as Megg in the rest of the chapters.
As far as I could tell, the only ‘new’ information on the history of graphic design is in chapter 10. Although I am glad to see Eskilson covering web design, I am disappointed to find out that only Flash and motion graphic go down as part of graphic design history. Who really care about the Flash-based promotional web site for Snakes on a Plane?
I have to read this book for my class on graphic design history, but I definitely recommend Meggs’ over it for clearer references and much more engaging reading experience.