• PrintMag

From Question Mark to Exclamation Point: A Visual History

What do designers do when they aren’t sure how to start? That is the question, until … Eureka!! The question is the answer.

Here are dozens of images that trace the history of the question mark throughout design history, ending with the exclamation point.

See, for example:


Poster for the movie Stranger Than Fiction. Design firm: Bemis Balkind Studio



Book cover for Bush On The Couch. Designer: Rodrigo Corral



Book cover. Design firm: Why Not Associates


I even used the motif for the book jacket of Karl Jaspers’ The Question of Guilt.


Book cover for The Question of Guilt. Designer: Mirko Ilic


At least I am in good company:


Maquette for the cover of the book “On Mayakovsky” by Boris Arvatov. Designer: Alexandr Rodchenko



Record cover design for Blue Note. Designer: Reid Miles


The full slideshow on Flickr is below:

All images on this page are courtesy of Mirko Ilic, a New York-based graphic designer and illustrator. He co-authored The Design of Dissent, with Milton Glaser, and The Anatomy of Design and Icons of Graphic Design, with Steven Heller. He teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts.

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