I’m glad to see someone has finally managed to publish a survey of large scale architectural graphics, which in my humble opinion is a much neglected and marginalized form of visual culture. “Supergraphics – Transforming Space: Graphic Design for Walls, Buildings & Spaces” is a wonderfully engaging examination of the ‘cult’ of seductively large letterforms, arresting geometric abstraction and chromatically overloaded environmental design. Tracing a lineage from the radical painted architectural environments of the 1960’s to the present day ‘soft design’ of advanced digital light projections, the book examines a wide range of large scale architectural graphics which have been applied in order to radically transform and alter our experience of the urban environment. The concept of Supergraphics was originally political in nature, a way in which radical visionary architects could redefine the urban space by applying painted graphics to the interior and exterior surfaces of buildings thus ‘removing solidity, gravity, even history' from the built environment. The book covers a wide variety of ground, from deceptively simple exercises in visual ornamentation, complex spatial altering distortions to functional civic signage on a grand scale. Each ‘eye popping’ design has been documented with clarity and as one would expect by anything published by Unit Editions, the book has a clean, crisp understated layout and finish. A welcome addition to any design bookshelf. Unit Editions is fast becoming my favourite source of graphic wonder.
“Supergraphics – Transforming Space: Graphic Design for Walls, Buildings & Spaces” is published this month by Unit Editions.