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Designing The Communist Manifesto


Steven Heller takes a very interesting alternative look at Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto, from the viewpoint of graphic design.

The German exiles Marx and Engels wrote the manifesto to express the League’s principles, and the words alone—not its cover or interior type composition—ignited the firestorm that left much of the world dangerously split between warring ideologies. The inequities that triggered class struggles between bourgeois and proletarian would burgeon into major social, economic, and political transformations that triggered costly conflicts. Such was the power of words. From the standpoint of design, there was no market-driven need to create eye-catching, stylish graphics. Ideas, and a socio-economic climate that was ripe for them, sold this book. The power of design to grab attention was not even a consideration—nor, seemingly, necessary.


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