Sometimes it is surprising to see how in an environment as ephemeral as it is that we live, there are works that last over time and surpass with the passing of the years. The same goes for Wucius Wong’s Foundations of Design , a book that brings together the three titles of the author created between 1977 and 1988, and exceeds the decades to become a true reference.
Unlike spoken and written language, whose rules and grammatical laws have been written for centuries, visual language, much younger, has lacked a specific order or regulation until the mid-twentieth century. The contribution of Wucius Wong to this field, with his already famous Fundamentals of design , was decisive.
When a technical book or directed to the professional public surpasses the 17 editions of its first edition it is for something. With a completely didactic imprint, Fundamentals of design is a good example of the design manual that every designer should have. The work carried out by Wucius Wong is precise and exhaustive. Hence, over the years, is one of the fundamental reference sources on the rules and graphic resources that govern the visual language.
Why is it a fundamental book for designers? First, we must mention the depth of the contents. The volume edited by Gustavo Gili as Fundamentals of Design , really is a compendium of three books by the author. Divided into three parts, in its pages we find three essential texts written by Wucius Wong between 1977 and 1988; a work that constitutes an ambitious proposal of visual grammar that compiles the principles, rules and basic concepts that intervene in the graphic composition.
In the three parts that the book is structured, Wong explores the two-dimensional design, the two-dimensional shape and the three-dimensional design. The author examines from the systematic typification of forms and figures to the meticulous compendium of compositional resources, such as superposition, dislocation, gradation or anomaly, to mention only a few examples.
Fundamentals of the design also includes about 900 diagrams and graphic documents and a specialized basic glossary. As a curious fact, Wong reveals to us the old character of the book in the preface of it, by indicating how the diagrams and the cover of the book have been designed thanks to the contribution of Aldus SuperPaint and Aldus FreeHand, while the Aldus Pagemaker program was used for the layout of the book.