Design touches virtually every aspect of our lives, imbuing the most humdrum of objects with meaning. In Toothpicks and Logos, John Heskett illuminates a subject as vast and complex as human life itself, ranging from the earliest found implements in our history–the stick, the shell, the cupped hand–to modern advertising logos, software interfaces, and even the lowly toothpick.
Here is a truly groundbreaking book, one that will transform the way we think about design, revealing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, to the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design, Heskett writes, is one of the most basic expressions of what it is to be human–the reshaping of the environment to meet our needs and answer our desires, capturing both utility and aesthetics. Going beyond issues of style and taste, he describes how different cultures and individuals personalize objects–even simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behavior in different countries. Heskett examines architecture, multimedia, computers, software, and even the role of government in influencing design trends and he offers fascinating insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford, and Sony approach design. Finally, we are shown an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future and especially its role in humanizing new technology.
Learned, thoughtful, and filled with lively examples, Toothpicks and Logos offers an entirely new slant on design, bringing clarity and insight to a sprawling and staggeringly complicated subject.
University of Technology