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Dermody and Breathnach, both designers and teachers of design, have created a book that approaches design history from the perspective of how the past informs the present. The introduction, a somewhat academic essay setting forth the premise of the book, offers rather obvious comments on design theory and history. Following that is a time line as conceptual framework for design history with examples of representative work from various periods and some modern designs influenced by them. Presenting a rich, profusely illustrated portfolio grouped logically into editorial, packaging, identity, and typographical and promotional design, the well-chosen examples are accompanied by short explanatory texts often incorporating the comments of the designers themselves. Verdict A fine portfolio section redeems an uninspired opening essay and a somewhat confusing time line. Students of design will be interested in the book, although the past/present theme doesn't always follow through.-Mark Woodhouse. Elmira Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.