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Unit Editions: Manual 1

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Graphic Design: Drool on – The new Unit Editions book revels in golden age identity design manuals

There are different levels of commitment to design geekery, and the new book from Unit Editions is a reward for those who really put in the hard yards. Manuals 1 is billed as “the first comprehensive study of corporate identity design manuals” and features 20 examples of the guidelines given to designers in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. From NASA to Lufthansa and the NYC Transit Authority to British Steel, the book provides a masterclass in how institutions built their visual languages – and by extension defined themselves – in what has been called “the golden era of identity design.”

Unit has moved printing to Italy, a change which has seemingly boosted the tactile qualities of their titles and as ever the book itself is terrifically designed. Add in texts from Massimo Vignelli, Armin Vit and Unit’s own Adrian Shaughnessy and you have a publication as beautiful as it is informative. And of course the “1” in the title tantalises us with the prospect that there is more where this came from. Level complete design nerds; now claim your prize…

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