The Electric Information Age Book: McLuhan/Agel/Fiore and the Experimental Paperback

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Jeffrey T. Schnapp & Adam Michaels

Introduction by Steven Heller
Afterword by Andrew Blauvelt

4 1/4 x 7 inches, 240 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-61689-034-6
Design by Project Projects

Inventory Books paperback series IB03, copublished by Princeton Architectural Press

Free poster included

The Electric Information Age Book explores a time span in mass-market publishing in the sixties and seventies when former backstage players—designers, graphic artists, editors, "coordinators," and "producers"—stepped into the spotlight to create a set of exceptional paperback books.

The period begins in 1966 when Jerome Agel and Quentin Fiore, in collaboration with Marshall McLuhan, first developed The Medium Is the Massage into “an inventory of effects,” and continues to 1975, the publication year of Other Worlds, Agel’s collaboration with the exobiologist Carl Sagan. Graphic designers such as Fiore employed a variety of radical techniques—verbal visual collages and other typographic pyrotechnics—that were as important to the content as the text.

Aimed squarely at the young media-savvy consumers of the “Electric Information Age,” these small, inexpensive paperbacks brought the ideas of contemporary thinkers to the masses and established a distinctive new graphics-rich, montage-based genre of bookmaking that still resonates loudly today.