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American Signs: Form and Meaning on Rte. 66 (Anglais) Broché – 14 octobre 2002


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Biographie de l'auteur

Lisa Mahar is a cofounder and partner in the New York architecture and design firm MAP. Her first book, Grain Elevators, won the AIA International Book Award. Mahar is the recipient of the Design Arts Awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts and is a winner of the ID Magazine Graphic Design Honor Award.


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Amazon.com: 7 commentaires
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting and informative, but book design is annoying 25 avril 2004
Par Another Storey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Anyone interested in the history of roadside signs will learn much from this book, but what a chore it is to read it. The main text is in bright red type with minimal margins. Captions and diagrams are in black type (thankfully) but far too small to be read easily. In many diagrams the type is not only tiny but is also in all-caps, which might not be a problem if the diagrams weren't so wordy. Some of the photos are so small that we just have to assume that they illustrate the author's points.
I recommend the book because of its content, but be sure to get a good reading light and a magnifying glass to get the full benefit.
10 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Questionable on many levels 29 novembre 2005
Par Wayne A. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I'm a professional designer and one of my favorite books on the popular cultural environment is "Main Street to Miracle Mile" and I imagine many who seek reviews of this book would say the same. This is not the book for you.

First, the illustrations are small and often not helpful. The author is of a school of design communication that is thankfully fading rapidly, turning up increasingly in the remainder bins. Recall the last time you picked up a 90s era book on, say, deconstructionist architecture and were stupefied by page after page of arid photos and obscure diagrams. This book isn't as bad as most but it clearly comes from that same camp.

Second, her whole point is that signage is an indicator of social change. Like many schooled in modern French criticism (also turning up in remainder bins these days) she frequently asserts without proof, as if an elegant sentence is somehow enough. The example that most irritated me was her statement that in the 60s regal motifs in signage became popular as a result of racial tensions and a yearning for authoritarianism. Aside from the fact that regal motifs were widespread through much of the early 20th century--as even cursory research will reveal--the assertion is made without any real attempt to prove this outrageous point. My sense was that she was writing within an intellectual milieu, of a type that afflicted us all during the 90s, that simply accepted certain cultural issues, like racism, as givens that required no evidence even in their particulars. Not exactly what we called scholarship and now again call scholarship. The book has that preaching-to-the-choir quality that was all too common with socio-politicized academic publications. Thankfully, we seem to be growing out of that phase.

Rather than being useful book on signage in America (that book still needs to be written) or even a useful book on social and cultural change, this is more an Exhibit Z of 90s-era intellectual and academic style, a trendy, obscurantist, frequently sloppy, and sometimes strident style I believe future historians will not mention favorably. From what I do understand about French-school criticism, that's, ironically, what it's supposed to be, a reflection of its times.
6 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
American Signs: Form and Meaning on Route 66 11 avril 2003
Par Michael Webb - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
A scholarly study of vintage motel signs on an abandoned highway may sound absurd, but architect Lisa Mahar draws you into her obsessive quest. She spent eight years on research and layout--driving, photographing, and analyzing the shifts in style over the 35-year heyday of what was once America's most celebrated artery. It celebrates a vanished era of local sign makers who had pride of craft and a responsiveness to location, in contrast to the standardization of corporate logos. Mahar's analysis of geometry and iconography is fascinating. (Michael Webb is the book reviewer for LA Architect magazine.)
3 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Read this and learn how to look at and think about a sign 24 août 2006
Par Bernard M. Patten - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Every once in awhile someone from the high culture descends into a part of the low culture, studies it, and comes up with interesting findings. That Lisa Mahar is from the high culture there can be no doubt for she has won numerous awards from AIA, NEA, the NYS council on the arts, etc. That she has come up with another subject of interest (her book on grain elevators being a classic) there can be no doubt. In this instance, a book about motel signs, she gathered from her vast collection (500+) of pictures and old post cards the most interesting motel signs on route 66. She culled the ones that showed best her ideas of the evolution, and development of motel signs in terms of form, materials, orientation, symbols, content, and context. When you finish reading her book, you'll recognize streamline from art deco and colonial from international styles. You will know the possible deep embedded meanings in angled forms, irregular shapes, abstract symbols (like the Holiday Inn signs with that shooting star) and the artistic significance of asymmetry. Some of these deep meanings are frightening, if true as claimed by her, especially the crowns, turrets, shields, arrows, and crests in the context in which they appeared, the 1965 Watts insurrection and the 1967 Newark rebellion. Once you have read and reviewed this book, you will never be able to just look at a road sign again. Instead you will think about them - who made them, when, why, and out of what, as well as the overt and covert meanings. Most importantly, you will think how the sign fits in and reflects the place, culture, and tenor of its time.
4 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
what a great book. 24 janvier 2005
Par SoylentG - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
It is very possible that this book was actually written for me. As designer, it talks about nerdy things that I actually care about. Shapes, construction, and typography of signage.
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