The Medium is the Massage


I think it was 2016 that I went to two IT conferences/expos organised by M$. At each one, one of the presenters happened to mention "The Mediun is the Message" by Marshall McLuhan. Now I was aware of him and his book but had never read it. Six months later, looking round a second hand book stall, I find a copy and buy it. Bearing in mind that the paperback I brought was printed in 1965 (several years older than myself), I wasn't expecting much. However, I was wrong. What he had written so neatly summed up the state of the world (from a "media" perspective) that it might have been written last week. He saw issues with people, the media and technology that we ourselves are now only starting to see. Of course he was talking about a previous generation of technology. While its easy to think the worst of a world with the Internet and social media, people were thinking the same things about a world with telephone and the printed circuit board.

The book itself is soundbites from a longer paper he wrote called "Understanding Media". As there isn't a lot of text, each section was laid out by the graphic designer Quentin Fiore. It uses photography, typography and illustration in an imaginative way that complements the text.

While the book is good though, it is black and white and slightly dated in style. I thought it might be nice to add a splash of colour and bring it up to date. To this end, I got the text of it from the Internet (it is what he would have wanted) and changed the illustration for each page. I have tried to make it more reflect contemporary issues. The text is exactly as he wrote it.