Published Design: Highlights from the IDSA Published Collection

Monday, November 20, 2023

Cover of L'art du Design (2013). Hagley Museum and Library.

Whenever I am asked which library collection is my favorite or to provide examples of items that strike my fancy, there is one collection to which I immediately turn: the published materials from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) collection. Starting in February 2021, I helped copy-catalog a portion of this collection. Being familiar with Hagley’s ever-growing industrial design materials, I was excited to take on this project.

The portion of the IDSA collection that I worked on included a mixture of colorfully illustrated volumes presenting design examples in furniture, ubiquitous products, and even signage, with a few academic and technical works as well. Many of these works showcase the modern/post-World War II era and contemporary design. Most are also rich with information and replete with top-notch photography. Some, with creatively constructed book sleeves and intricate designs, are works of art.

Here are a few choice examples of the artistry I found in this collection:

BeoLab 90 models from The Art of Impossible. Hagley Museum and Library.

Cover sleeve of Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century (2006). Hagley Museum and Library.

Cover sleeve of British Rail Design (1986). Hagley Museum and Library.

Diagram in Data Flow: Visualizing Information in Graphic Design (2008). Hagley Museum and Library. 


Doug McQuirter is the Reference Archivist at Hagley Museum and Library