The Story of Art by EH Gombrich is one of the most accessible books ever written on the visual arts. Its popularity has ensured that it’s been in print since 1950 and has, to date, sold over seven million copies worldwide. It’s also been a mainstay title for Phaidon, the book’s publishers, who are about to release a new “pocket edition” boasting a complete redesign of the original book.
Phaidon’s redesign has been completed in-house – by the London office’s design manager, Sonya Dyakova – and the result is an exercise in clarity and simplicity, in keeping with the style of Gombrich’s own writing. All of the featured illustrations (now in colour throughout and moved to a separate section at the back of the book) have been improved and the edition now also comes with six fold-outs and with redrawn maps and charts.
Despite the considered use of Bible paper, the book still runs to over 1000 pages – it’s a hardback, too – so whether or not it offers a more portable version of the text will depend on just how big your pockets are. At a much more affordable £12.95, however, it should reach a whole new generation of art enthusiasts.
The Story of Art (pocket edition) is published in November by Phaidon.