Review of Marks of Excellence : The History and Taxonomy of Trademarks

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Marks of Excellence is another contribution to Phaidon's de luxe series on design and architecture which provides an appropriate platform for communicating through impeccably and generously reproduced images. The indulgence of the coffee-table format is combined in this book with an intelligent and comprehensive text to create a reading experience properly saturated with looking. The illustrations are presented in two ways. Firstly the text is regularly punctuated with opulent full-bleed spreads which invite the reader to treat trademarks with an excited reverence akin to the fetishism of the centre-fold. By contrast, illustrations are also supplied in a diagrammatic fashion, where trademarks are reproduced in thumbnail sequences which reflect, throughout the book, the taxonomic structure of Chapter 4. These two ways of looking provide a visual correlative for the double vision of the text. Mollerup demonstrates an attempt at objectivity in the historical and theoretical backgrounds, his taxonomy and visual index which combine to jar with his value-laden stance. Mollerup displays little awareness of his own prejudices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-183
JournalJournal of Design History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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