Iconic Product Design

An Illustrated History of the World's Most Innovative Devices


You will undoubtedly recognize quite a few of the products featured in this book—the Coca-Cola bottle, the Wester & Co pocket knife, the Kitchen Aid mixer, the Le Creuset Dutch oven, the Weber grill, the Bic cristal pen, the Rolodex address file, Kikkoman soy sauce bottles, the Kodak Instamatic, the Polaroid SX-70, the SONY Walkman, the Apple MacIntosh, and the Dyson air-multiplier.

Maybe they were part of your childhood or represent your ideal in design; certainly, they will evoke a sense of the familiar. Iconic Product Design is an engaging and accessible presentation of the history of product design, providing an extensive catalog of the most memorable product designs of the past 150 years.

More than 130 remarkable product designs from all areas, including household appliances, everyday objects, furniture, entertainment technology and office equipment, are presented in this collection. Accompanying the images are well-researched and charming vignettes about each product, with amusing insights and fun tidbits of information about its time and place. Each one informs how design has been influenced by changes in technology, science, and society. While these products were considered innovative at their inception, all have withstood the test of time and many are still, remarkably, in use today.

Iconic Product Design is a comprehensive collection of iconic product design objects, chronologically organized from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the present. Each spread of this richly illustrated book showcases the author’s representation of the chosen design, expressing its essence and capturing its spirit. In the introductory text, he shares his concept of the term iconicity to help the reader understand what makes these products stand out and why they are considered icons today.


"In this age of accelerating complexity, it is a pleasure to be introduced to Wolfgang's beautifully illustrated book—to just settle back, smile, and be reminded of the forgotten, simple objects that we live with and enjoyed in the past, present, and future." —Charles W. Pelly, former president of the Industrial Designers Society of America and founder of BMW-Designworks

"An amazing time travel machine! This inventory of the iconic objects of our daily life is a reference for all of us, but also for our design schools and their students." —Maurille Larivière, cofounder and president of The Sustainable Design School, Nice, France

"This collection is a timely reminder that not everything has been digitally transformed. Talented human beings, designers who care passionately about the people who will use their designs, continue to inspire. Form-making that will become iconic the way these are is not easy; but worth learning how. This is an exceptional guide in the quest." —RitaSue Siegel, founder and partner, RitaSue Siegel Resources

“Amazing how he has illustrated the everyday products we use that have become the symbol and representative image in our minds for a whole category of products, e.g., Carousel Projector, Apple MacIntosh, Walkman. Design is global.” —Dana Wolcott, adjunct professor and lead innovation coach at Rochester Institute of Technology

“Wolfgang Joensson clearly understands what has timeless aesthetic value, extraordinary functionality and uplifts the visual spirit in all of us by what he has chosen to include in his informative and beautiful book.” —Joseph Lembo, Lembo Design Inc.

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