The keyword in the full, lengthy title of this acclaimed biographical study is Albert Kner – Artist, Icon, Legend: Discovering his Legacy in Industrial Design (Robert Elton Brooker III and Ádám Erdész) is 'discovering'. Kner invented hundreds of everyday, common-use items such as the cardboard six pack and the flip top cigarette box. Yet his name is almost unknown.
Albert Kner (1899-1976) started his life in Hungary in the book arts, having designed and typeset his first book at age 12. His artistic training was interrupted by World War I, where he suffered a paralysing war injury that forced him to tape one eye shut in order to sleep. He did not enter the family printing business, a decision that saved his life, but also led to decades of artistic struggle as a designer of books, posters, packaging, stage sets, and furniture. In 1940, with limited English, Albert emigrated to Chicago with his wife and two young children. Almost instantly he was hired as Design Director of the largest cardboard manufacturer in America. His responsibility was to make cardboard beautiful, which he most certainly did.
“Albert Kner is a hidden treasure of the design world, and deserves far greater recognition for his many achievements. This book presents not only his later, important work in package design and consumer research, but also explores his extensive work in graphic design when he was still living in Europe. Brooker and Erdész have done a superb job in presenting Kner’s remarkable life in all its phases; their narrative is supported by 112 inspiring illustrations in black-and-white and full color. A wonderful book from start to finish.” – Bruce Kennett, author and designer of W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design
Corvina/Club of Odd Volumes, 222pp 22cm x 28cm, hardcover, 2023
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