Throughout most of the 20th and the 21st century, beauty in art, architecture & design did not have a great reputation. In the 20th century conceptual functionalism went to such extremes that architects and designers wound up designing everything with a psychotic sameness that ironically failed to do the one thing it promised: to function. Even when the communication is purely functional such as airline emergency exit cards, many people demonstrably do not read them, thus they do not work. Under the supervision of scientific advisers from the world of psychological aesthetics, the Beauty Book hopes to demonstrate why the shift away from beauty was so utterly stupid and what we can do to reverse it. Using examples from graphics, product design, architecture and city planning, it will shows that beautiful things are not only more joyful, but effectively work better.

  • Creative Direction: Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh
    Book Cover Design: Matteo Giuseppe Pani
    Design: Area of Practice
    3D artwork: David McLeod, Francesco Rossi
    Typography: Daniel Brokstad
    Production S&W: Erica Grubman, Gosbinda Vizarretea and Megan Oldfield
    Photography: Sarah Hopp
    Phaidon Editor: Sara Bader
    Phaidon Production Director: Elaine Ward
    Phaidon Production Artist: Joao Mota