Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things

Paperback / softback

Main Details

Title Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things
Authors and Contributors      Edited by   Grace Lees-Maffei
Physical Properties
Format:Paperback / softback
Dimensions(mm): Height 246,Width 189
CategoriesArt and design styles - c 1800 to c 1900
Art and design styles - from c 1900 to now
Industrial / commercial art and design
History of architecture
ISBN 9781350112476
Professional & Vocational
Illustrations 50 colour illus

Publishing Details

Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Imprint Bloomsbury Visual Arts
Publication Date 23 January 2020
NZ Release Date 23 January 2020
Publication Country United Kingdom


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 what makes a design 'iconic', and fifty essays by leading design and cultural critics tell the story 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 (TM), Hello Kitty (TM), the typeface 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.

Author Biography

Grace Lees-Maffei is Professor of Design History at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.


A lavishly illustrated, treasurable guide. * Choice Magazine * This book demonstrates the vast and all-encompassing remit of design from Post-It-Notes to the classic Chanel suit. Within its pages acknowledged design classics jostle with other designs that have such a ubiquity we often forget just how iconic they really are. -- Charlotte Fiell, Design Historian and Author, UK Do you enjoy riding tuk-tuks in South Asia (Italian design, in fact), secretly enjoy visiting MacDonald's, or spend most of your time on Facebook? What got you hooked? In this book fifty icons of modern design are unpacked for you in a thoroughly imaginative manner, cutting across class, age, regional and temporal boundaries. A must for all students and lovers of design alike. -- Peter McNeil, University of Technology Sydney, Australia