According to prolific chronicler of design Steven Heller, the book The History of Graphic Design by the late Philip B. Meggs first published in 1983, was “the first time the words ‘History’ and ‘Graphic Design’ were used together in a book title”.
The classic text is now in its fifth edition and has been revised by colleague Alston Purvis. The book is now updated for the digital age. Digital textbook developer Inkling has created an interactive version for the iPad. They converted all 24 chapters to allow the reader to go on guided tours of a particular graphic design or view slideshows of a specific designer’s body of work. It includes quizzes and flashcards to help students with test preparation.
Converting the book for the iPad meant covering Meggs’ colossal task—to represent the evolution of graphic design. Meggs lived to see the dawn and maturation of the digital age. However, the migration of print matter to iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and other electronic books would have been plenty of new history to include in the book.
The iPad version of the textbook is available from Inkling for $64.99 (list price is $85, which is the same as the print edition). Chapter 4 is available currently as a free preview. To read it, download the free Inkling app from iTunes.
Students can prep for exams with flashcard apps for the iPhone and iPad. Both apps are available from iTunes for $1.99.