Design Quarterly's Online Life

If you never experienced the Walker Art Center’s Design Quarterly you’ve missed one of the important documents of design history and practice. DQ was the clarion of postwar Modernism and post-Modernism. In 1946 it was also the first design journal issued by a museum. With issue 133 (1987) – April Greiman’s special fold-out issue – DQ was the first to use new digital imaging tools.

The first twenty-eight issues of Design Quarterly were published under the original title Everyday Art Quarterly between 1946 and 1953. The editorial aim was to bring modern design to the masses through thoughtful examination of household objects and their designers. Audiences were introduced to the work of now-legendary designers and to the Good Design movement (as represented by MoMA and Chicago’s Merchandise Mart). When in 1954 the name was changed to Design Quarterly, the editors focused more on international design, which continued to the very end. The Walker Art Center ceased its affiliation with the journal in 1993, with issue 159.

Long out of print, and mostly available through antiquarian book dealers, much of DQ’s content is now available online at JSTOR:

“A not–for–profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive of over one thousand academic journals and other scholarly content. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.”

DQ was the proverbial “who’s who” of design greats, and with each issue came a new slant on the ever broadening design field. Shown here (top to bottom) is April Greiman’s 133 DOES IT MAKE SENSE, 1986 (which folded out into a poster); covers for Paul Rand’s 123 A PAUL RAND MISCELLANY, 1984;  59: INDUSTRIAL DESIGN IN THE NETHERLANDS guest edited and designed by Pieter Brattinga, 1964; and 56: AMERICAN WOOD TYPES, written and designed by Rob Roy Kelly, 1963.

(See yesterday’s Daily Heller on Phyllis Robinson: Mad Woman)

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