Philip B. Meggs
Philip Baxter Meggs (1942–2002) was an American
graphic designer, professor, historian and author of books on graphic design. Currently his book "History of Graphic Design" is required reading in many courses on design.Fact|date=May 2007
He has been called the most important historian of design since
Nikolaus Pevsner(1902-1983).Fact|date=May 2007 In contrast to Pevsner, he published a history of graphic design that went beyond the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. One of the first educators to create an overview of the history of graphic design that did not depend exclusively on the traditional structure of the history of the art, Meggs believed that graphic design would need to acquire an adequate understanding of the past and its relation with art.
Life and early career
Meggs was born on May 30, 1942 in
Florence, South Carolina, to Wallace Nat Meggs and Elizabeth Pruitt Meggs. He had a twin brother, William Joel Meggs.
He received a
Master of Fine Artsdegree from Virginia Commonwealth University(VCU) and an honorary doctorate from Massachusetts College of Art.
He married Libby Phillips Meggs circa 1964 and had two children, Andrew Meggs and
Career and accolades at VCU
In 1968, he began teaching in the Communication Arts and Design Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, chairing the department from 1974 to 1987, during which time enrollment doubled and the program rose to national prominence. In addition to his teaching at VCU, he served as visiting faculty at
Syracuse Universityand the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.
His "History of Graphic Design" was published in 1983.
While a professor at VCU he authored more than a dozen books and 150 articles and papers on design and typography, including a section on graphic design in the
Encyclopædia Britannica. He was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame and received its Educator's Award for lifetime achievement and significantly shaping the future of the fields of graphic design education and writing.
He died after a long, hard-fought battle with
leukemiaon November 24, 2002 at the age of 60 and was buried at Dale Memorial Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
*1983 A History of Graphic Design. (1st edition) Van Nostrand Reinhold
*1991 A History of Graphic Design. (2nd edition) Van Nostrand Reinhold
*1992 Type and
*1993 Typographic Design: Form and Communication. for Philip B. Meggs and
Rob CarterISBN 0-442-00758-2
*1998 A History of Graphic Design. (3rd edition) John Wiley & Sons ISBN 978-0471291985
*2005 Meggs' History of Graphic Design. (4th edition) Ed. Wiley. Revised by Alston W. Purvis
List of AIGA medalists
* [http://www.legacy.com/TimesDispatch/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=617655 2002 Obituary] in the
* [http://www.adcglobal.org/archive/hof/2001-2002/?id=201 Art Directors Club biography, portrait and images of work]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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