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By Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, Jennifer Tobias, Josh A. Halstead, Kaleena Sales, Leslie Xia and Valentina Vergara
216 pages, softcover, $29.95
Published by Princeton Architectural Press
papress.com

Extra Bold, a self-described “design manual for everyone,” is especially relevant to graphic designers. Helmed by the famed designer-instructor Ellen Lupton, the diverse author line-up covers a swath of topical subjects including systemic racism and gender issues as well as general career advice. Divided into three categories—theory, history and work—the material is conveyed in varied formats, including front-loaded essays, interspersed interviews, historical portraits, timelines and definitions. Jennifer Tobias’s cartoons and infographics peppered throughout add color to the densely packed 216 pages. While the book may appear to be directed toward a younger audience due to its “field guide” approach, its exposure to social and political issues offers plenty to reflect upon with personal stories and rousing manifestos. The introduction states the guide’s conception was fueled by frustration at the predominantly white male focus in two of the authors’ art education. Extra Bold attempts to rectify this bias by showcasing often underrepresented segments of society, and offering education and guidance for a more inclusive, sensitive future. The book delivers on its mission and challenges readers to question and redesign societal systems. My only criticism is that perhaps the book’s scope is too bold. The book blurb claims to provide, “…stories and ideas that don’t show up in other career books,” but some items—particularly in the work section—have been well-covered and, if omitted, could have left room for more delving pieces on topics that haven’t gotten attention. Regardless, Extra Bold is recommended for those wishing to expand their worldview. —Nancy Goulet

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