Bruno Munari Design as Art

Book Title: Design as Art

Author:Bruno Munari


Purchase: Design as Art $12.36 – Design as Art (Penguin Modern Classics)

Bruno Munari was described by Picasso as “the new Leonardo Da Vinci.”. Once you read Design as Art you will understand why he got such high praise. Munari has a way of writing that is very down to earth, yet has a hint of sophistication in its most modest form.

In Design as Art Munari helps you see design and everyday objects in new ways. For instance in one of the chapters titled Orange, Peas and Rose he goes at great length to describe each item as if you were viewing it as an alien. Doing it like this you get to view an orange as just what it is.

The Orange

“This object is made up  of a series of modular containers shaped very much like the segments of an orange arranged in a circle around the vertical axis. Each container or section has its straight side flush with the axis and its curved side turned outwards. In this way the sum of their curved sides forms a globe, a rough sphere.”  

– Bruno Munari


In that short paragraph about the orange, you can get an idea as to what I am talking about.  He helps you see average, plain, everyday things as something beautiful.  With his quirky attitude yet extremely smart and witty writing style helps keep you reading. Sometimes when you get a book

With his quirky attitude yet extremely smart and witty writing style helps keep you reading. Sometimes when you get a book in this topic, they can tend to get a little dull at times. But luckily that is not the case in Design as Art.

Bruno Munari Face Exercise

In another chapter, Bruno Munari talks about an exercise he does to see how many ways he can draw the human face from the front.  In the book, you get 7 pages of his variations of the human face. He says “His experiments in the visual lead him to try out all possible combinations and methods in order to arrive at the precise image he needs for the job in hand and no other.”  and “ this helps a graphic designer to find the image best adapted to a given theme, and each image and technique has precise qualities of its own and transmits a certain message.” 

– Bruno Munari

This kind of thinking is really important when it comes to things like branding and logo design. Sometimes you need to sketch out a bunch of ideas, try new methods and really dig down to get a feel for what you do need for the particular project.

In short I could go on forever about this book and all the great insight you will find. But you can buy the book for only $12 bucks these days. So there is no reason not to have this in your collection.

Who would this book be for? Anyone who wants to get a bigger idea of what design means. I will say that anyone going into the graphic design field SHOULD read this book asap. Anyone who is already in the graphic design field and hasn’t read this SHOULD read this book asap.