Ho Ho Ho

When I was in Paris a couple of months ago, I bought a copy of Le Viet-Minh, a profusely illustrated history of the French entanglement in Indochine fighting Ho Che Minh’s Viet-Minh army, by Eric Deroo and Christophe Dutrone. I was waiting to write about it, hoping it would have an English language edition, but in lieu of that occurring (if ever), it is worth noting now. What makes this decidedly more interesting for designers than other books about the French and American Vietnam Wars, is the reference to the visual materials–from uniforms and badges to flags and iconography–used by the regular and irregular soldiers fighting this anti-imperialist war. One needn’t take sides, but we should all be aware of how graphics played a distinct role in keeping the proverbial hearts and minds of Ho’s supporters from going south. It can be ordered here.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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