Influences: A Lexicon of Contemporary Graphic Design Practice 02/20/11
A lexicon is a language's vocabulary. Influences: A Lexicon of Contemporary Graphic Design by Anna Gerber and Anja Lutz tries to build a vocabulary of influences in the graphic design profession.
The book sports a pretty pink cover and inside it's laid out like a dictionary, alphabetical entries. What's different though, is these entries are done by responses from graphic designers.
In book form, Influences is a bit overwhelming to read. I suppose if I were a graphic designer and more familiar with more of the represented artists and agencies, I would have gotten more from the book. I think in the right hands it would be an excellent reference.
The site Objects in Space had an article on Influences that explained the project was originally designed to be a wiki but grew into a book. A wiki with clickable links and maybe a tag cloud to see how the different influences stack up would work better than the book. I'd love to see videos and mind maps and other visuals linking together the collective creative process.