Unit Editions wants to guide you through the marvels of design once again
After the success of Manuals 1 (the weighty tome that is showcasing corporate identity design manuals for the likes of NASA, Lufthansa and the NYC Transit Authority) there was never any doubt that Manuals 2 would follow. After all, any designer out there deserves the more insights one can get. So it is up to Unit Editions to present us with another thorough compendium of graphic standards and corporate identity manuals. In this inspiring tome Manuals 2 features a mix of 20 outstanding American and European design manuals, each photographed in exquisite detail and accompanied by meticulous descriptions of their physical make-up.
Featured manuals include IBM, Westinghouse, Canadian Rail, Bell, Knoll, PTT, Montreal Olympics and Dutch Police. Manuals 2 also comes up to date, incorporating contemporary manuals for RAC and First Direct. Many of the manuals are designed by the masters of 20th-century identity design: Lester Beall, Paul Rand, Allan Fleming, Total Design, Alan Fletcher, Otl Aicher, Studio Dumbar and North.
The book comes with a substantial essay by design historian Roger Remington (Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design) and an insightful text by Martha Fleming, daughter of Allan Fleming, designer of the Canadian Railways logo.
Also included are in-depth interviews with Michael Burke (UK/Germany), Sean Wolcott (USA), Liza Enebeis (NL) and John Bateson (UK) – all experts in the field of identity design. The foreword is by the legendary Lance Wyman, designer of the 1968 Mexico Olympic games.
“It’s still a bit of a mystery,” explains Adrian Shaughnessy, Unit Editions co-founder on the tendency of graphic designers to salivate over these, sometimes boring, style guides. “It was something Tony Brook spotted – we were in an archive and he saw all these amazing manuals and said, ‘I think there’s a book in there.’ Then other people kept saying how much they loved them” he added.
For him “these manuals are absolute marvels of information design – they’re so precise and clear, you can see what makes a brilliant instruction manual” therefore Unit Editions spent months re-photographing and retouching each image so that every single piece of text is legible.
“After some opulent photography of bindings and graphic details, Manuals 2 begins with a spread showing an image of each of the 24 manuals featured, from Connecticut General life insurance in 1960 to First Direct bank in 2008” writes EyeMagazine. “Along the way we get manuals for Canadian National Railways (1965, designed by Allan Fleming – see Eye 79) and the Montreal Olympics (1976).”
Is the manual as a tool that ‘can preserve the integrity of a visual system’ as Lance Wyman’s foreword questions? Leave it to the amazing volume of 432 pages full of saturated spreads of spreads to answer it before you do.
Tags/ corporate identity, unit editions, paul rand, manuals 1, manuals 2, manuals, graphic standards, european design, american design, ibm, westinghouse, canadian rail, bell, knoll, ptt, montreal olympics, dutch police, lester beall, allan fleming, total design, alan fletcher, otl aicher, eyemagazine