The official blurb states: "Graphic Design, Referenced" is a comprehensive, visual index of graphic design terms, historic figures, landmark design projects, technological innovations, other miscellaneous inclusions, and more. This is true. The authors have approached this as something of a complementary volume to the existing cannons of graphic design history (Meggs, Hollis & Eskilson) rather than just a competitive product.
From the first read through, I couldn’t help but think of this book as a bento box: very compartmentalized and tasty sections artfully arranged within a larger alluring presentation. I still think it fits the analogy. On one level this is just a sampler of the massive range of the world of Graphic Design: It could be considered a "cliffs notes" for graphic design...but in a good way, not a substitute for delving deeper into each entry, but rather a clear overview which entices the reader to dig deeper on their own. Plenty of suggestions for further reading are scattered throughout . Early innovations and precursors to modern work are barely touched on, deferring to the more scholarly publications on graphic design.
What this new book does offer is a visual feast of the work referenced and very concise but carefully worded descriptions of the key components and icons of graphic design. The explanation of print processes and definitions of often cited movements and terminology makes this a great reference book for students and professionals needing to brush up on or confirm a hunch. The advantage of having more contemporary work showcased makes this desirable for the here and now but sadly also soon to be dated. A follow up edition will no doubt add soon-to-be-classic works being made today. Still, this one volume collects what may be found in fragmented form across the internet and wikipedia, but together between these covers makes a tight and enjoyably condensed collection of what every designer should ideally already know but likely doesn't.