If you’re going to act like a design guru on internet forums, you might as well sort of know what you’re talking about. And when it comes to great designs, we can’t imagine a better curator than the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. So if you’re going to brush up on the best designs of the last 100 years or so, we’re guessing it’s hard to do better than the Smithsonian’s Great Design.
Subtitled “the world’s best design explored and explained,” the book covers every major design milestone from the 1860s to the present. No more gathering bits and pieces from various websites to keep up your design guru online persona — just one book to help you drop all the knowledge bombs your fingers can type.
Released by DK Publishing, Great Design is a hardcover coffee table volume measuring 9 x 10.86 inches, making for an excellent piece to leave lying on top of your fancy Analog Clocktail Table. It covers over 100 of the best designs from a wide range of industries — products, furniture, graphics, textiles, industrial, and more. Rather than just dumping a product gallery down your way (although full photographic galleries are onboard), the book takes its time to explain the story behind each of the iconic pieces, and offers a visual analysis and in-depth exploration of the factors that made each one possible over its 256 pages. On top of that, the book includes in-depth discussions of key design elements, as well as profiles of influential entities in the design world.