Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design

Just got my grubby hands on this new title from Rizzoli, Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design, which was edited by Michael Idov (a novelist and contributing editor at New York Magazine), with contributions by Bela Shayevich, Vitaly Komar, Boris Kachka, Gary Shteyngart, and Lara Vapnyar. The hardcover features 50 modern Soviet “masterpieces” of graphic and industrial design, starting with massive state efforts such as Aeroflot and Sputnik, but quickly wades into the more populist realm of pyramid-shaped milk cartons, handheld video games, and Ural electric guitars. Each example of Soviet design gets a brief rundown alongside some fascinating photographs. Fans of LOMO will be pleased to know their weapon of choice has not been omitted either. I’d say it’s potentially a valuable resource for graphic designers interested in the era, as well as fans of Russian/Soviet culture/history in general. I think I’ve learned more about the USSR while perusing the pages of this title, than I have in the last 32 years of watching second-rate action movies featuring one-dimensional totalitarian baddies.

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