Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Borries Schwesinger's The Form Book

I've just been reviewing Borries Schwesinger's The Form Book for IDJ. I'm a fan. It's an engaging book that manages to combine a sense of the history and social role of forms, with a primer in basic typography,  a genre analysis identifying the essential features of different kinds of form, and a portfolio section of interesting forms from information designers around the world - some more exemplary than others.

Formulare Gestalten, the original German edition has been out for a few years, and this new version, with a more international set of illustrations is set to sit alongside Robert Barnett's work as essential reading for forms designers.

My only criticism (apart from carping minor ones that would only draw attention away from Borries' achievement) is that it has come rather late in the day – just as paper forms are starting to seem rather irrelevant and unnecessarily complex when compared with their personalised, carefully-paced, take-it-easy digital cousins.

The Form Book is published by Thames & Hudson, 2010.