Dr. Nicolas P. Maffei is a design historian specialising in graphic design, modernism, and American design. He has written extensively about American design of the 1930s, including streamlining, as a cultural expression combining avant-garde and popular elements. This grew out of his PhD on the American industrial design pioneer, Norman Bel Geddes, and resulted in his book Norman Bel Geddes: American Design Visionary (Bloomsbury). Subsequent research has focused on the branding of the post-WWII American steel industry, exploring the imagery and rhetoric of shininess to promote ‘big steel’ as modern and progressive. Maffei’s recent book, Reading Graphic Design in Cultural Context (Bloomsbury) focuses on the impact of digital technology on traditional graphic design forms, including the book, the poster and data visualisation.
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