Paperbacks: Icons of Graphic Design, by Steven Heller & Mirko Ilic

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The Independent Culture

Far more interesting than its title seems to suggest, this book is a thesaurus of visual recycling. A number of double-page spreads carry

examples of how artists and designers are repeatedly drawn to certain motifs, such as speeding trains, elongation of the body (Lear, Dali, Gilliam), shouting mouths and the letter "O", which

becomes breasts on the dust jacket of GOOdbye Columbus and specs on a biography of EltOn JOhn). The dazzling illustrations show how the most inventive motifs inevitably become clichéd but manage to retain an ironic potency.