One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three

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Exercise has been good for us as long as anyone can remember. Prehistoric man did it (if we’re to believe Fred Flintstone). Sedentary activity produces lethargy, obesity, and disease. One-two-three, one-two-three builds strong bodies and minds. Frankly, when I was in school, I hated gym—and the gym teacher. The uniformity sought after by such exercise masters was anathema to my anarchistic character. Thank heaven for personal trainers. It’s one thing to march to the same song and another to an individual beat.

So what does this have to do with design? The images for this Italian exercise manual imply two things: 1.) Only men need to exercise; 2.) There are more than enough exercises to keep one fit. The cover of this booklet is attempting to copy a similar manual with a cover by Ludwig Hohlwein, but the little drawings of exercisers inside make you realize that today’s infographics haven’t changed all that much since 1934.


For more Steven Heller, check out Inside the Business of Illustration—one of the many Heller titles available at

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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.View all posts by Steven Heller →