Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR) is a new ongoing abstracting and indexing service that aims to cover many of the most important design and applied arts journals and annuals published during the twentieth century. Titles in the initial releases have been selected because of their outstanding international coverage and breadth of scope. DAR covers articles on all design, from architecture to embroidery. When complete it will cover over 70 titles.

Update frequency



In total nearly 55,000 records as of November 2011, with 10,000 records added annually

Among subjects covered:

  • Advertising
  • Architecture
  • Book Design
  • Calligraphy
  • Ceramics
  • Fashion
  • Furniture Design
  • Glass Art and Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design
  • Jewelry
  • Metalsmithing
  • Packaging
  • Photography
  • Poster Design
  • Textile Design
  • Theatre Design
  • Typography


Features of DAR

  • DAR provides abstracts for the first time of articles in many of the major design journals and annuals published in the 20th century
  • DAR indexes all relevant images in articles, including images in advertisements
  • DAR is international in its coverage

Why DAR is of value to your library

  • DAR opens up access to the contents of journals and yearbooks that are probably sitting on the shelves of your libraries unused or underused
  • Many of the issues discussed in the journal literature of the past, such as aesthetics, ethnic art, and aspects of design education, design ethics, design management and design theory, are just as relevant today as they were when they were written. At the same time the basic techniques of making, e.g. the making of ceramics, glass, furniture, textiles, etc., have changed little over the years
  • Many of the designers featured in the journals and annuals covered by DAR are still active today
  • DAR is an invaluable resource for historians and collectors of furniture, ceramics, glass, posters, etc, as a means for identification, documentation, and dating of objects
  • DAR will open up many new areas of research


Journals and yearbooks covered by Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR)

Titles in blue either completed, or scheduled for completion in 2010/2011

A-D (USA, 1940-1942)
AIGA Journal (USA, 1982-1986)
Alphabet & Image (UK, 1946-1948)
American Craft (USA, 1979-1986)
The Annual of American Design (USA, 1931)
Annual of the Society of Industrial Designers (USA, 1949-1954)
Art and Industry (UK/USA, 1936-1958)

Art and Publicity (UK, 1925)
Art Directors Club Annual (USA, 1921-1986)
Artwork (UK, 1924-1931)
Book Design & Production (UK, 1958-1965)
CA (USA, 1958-1969)
Ceramic Review (UK, 1970-1986)
Ceramics Monthly (USA,1953-1986)
Commercial Art (UK/USA, 1922-1931)
Commercial Art and Industry (UK/USA, 1932-1936)

Communication Arts (USA, 1969-1986)
Craft Horizons (USA, 1941-1979)
Creative Review (UK, 1981-1986)
Decorative Art (UK/USA, 1926-1961)


Decorative Art and Modern Interiors (UK/USA, 1962-1973)
Decorative Art in Modern Interiors (UK/USA, 1974-1980)

Decoration (UK, 1934-1939)
Decoration: Beauty in the Home (UK, 1931-1934)
Design (UK, 1949-1986)
Design and Paper (USA, 1936-1950)
Design for Industry (UK/USA, 1959)
Design for Living (UK, 1935-1938))
Design for Today (UK, 1933-1936)
Design Quarterly (USA, 1954-1965)
Designer (UK, 1966-1986)
Designers in Britain (UK, 1947-1971)
Everyday Art Quarterly (USA, 1946-1953)
Form (Sweden, 1962-1986)
Gebrauchsgraphik (Germany, 1924-1971)
Graphic Design (Japan, 1969-1986)

Graphik (Germany, 1949-1963)
Graphis (Switzerland, 1944-1986)
Graphis Annual (Switzerland, 1953-1986)
Graphis Posters (Switzerland, 1973-1986
Graphis Packaging (Switzerland, 1959-1986)
ID (USA, 1983-1986)
Idea: International Design Annual (Switzerland (1953-1955)
Illustrators (UK, 1974-1986)
Image (UK, 1949-1952)
Industrial Arts (UK, 1936)
Industrial Design (USA, 1954-1988)

International Design Yearbook (UK, 1985-1987)
Intermational Poster Annual (Switzerland, 1948-1973)
The Journal of the William Morris Society (UK, 1961-1988)
Metropolis (USA, 1981-1986)
Modern Publicity (UK/USA, 1930-1985)
Motif (UK, 1958-1967)
Neue Grafik (Switzerland, 1958-1965)
Novum Gegrauchsgraphik (Germany, 1972-1986)
PM (USA, 1934-1940)
The Poster (UK, 1898-1900)
Posters and Publicity (UK, 1926)
Posters and Their Designers (UK, 1924)

Print (USA, 1940-1986)
Society of Industrial Arts Journal/SIA Journal (UK, 1948-1966)



Stile Industria (Italy, 1954-1963)
The Studio Yearbook of Decorative Art (UK/USA, 1906-1920, 1922-1926)
The Studio Yearbook of Applied Art (UK/USA, 1921)
Trend in Design (UK, 1936)

Typographica (UK, 1949-1967)
Typography (UK, 1936-1939)
Typos (UK, 1980-1986)
Upper & lower case (USA, 1974-1986)
World Advertising Review (UK, 1985-1986)