Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: A Smile in the Mind
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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on August 19, 2000
If graphic design to you is pretty decoration and the latest cool font then this book is not for you...
However, if you want to gain the ability to apply witty and conceptual thinking to create communicative and memorable graphic images, then buy this book!
Concept and wit (two forgotten tools in the "computer first" design education in today's schools) can aid the designer in creating work that provokes the viewer to solve clues in his/her mind, sometimes resulting in a smile or "aha!" When this happens the graphic image leaves a lasting impression because the viewer has participated in it's closure.
Some may consider the contents of the book "old school." But good examples of wit and ideas are two things that will never go out of style!
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on December 23, 2003
I've been doing (and reviewing) graphic design for three decades now, and this is the one book that I recommend every designer have on his or her shelf. Why? Because it not only contains some of the wittiest design from the last couple of decades, but it takes a good stab at explaining what made it witty in the first place. Interestingly, you quickly learn that what makes design witty is pretty much the same thing that makes it innovative. If you're intent on mastering the art of graphic design, or if, like Paul Rand, you just want to know what you're doing, this is your book. Personally, if I were stuck on a desert island and could only have one book, this would be it. A delight from start to finish.
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on August 7, 2000
"Smile in the Mind" is the probably the best design book that I own. It goes beyond grids and "pretty pictures" to show you design that thinks and involves the viewer. It's informative and inspiring. Also, the text is as interesting as the many examples displayed, a rarity for design books.
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on September 22, 2003
this book has an awesome collection of works by hot shot designers plus the 'receipe' for their displayed idea. this adds significant amounts of life and meaning and fun into this book. however, i cite it as a reference because most of the designed works in it are frozen in the past and will most likely need a rejuvenation process before long. the only timeless part in that book is the 'wit' section. this is something a designer must have to stay afloat in a continuously steeper competition. my rating goes for this only. again, 90% of the featured designs are the now dusty images of pentagram, the partners and the like. actual design doesnt look like this anymore. if that's what you're looking for, check out books by Metadesign, or Bruce Mau.
do i advice you to get this book? if you're a designer, YES because our past is a rough draft for a better future and there's no use denying it. amateurs and computer-only freaks will not find this book helpful at all.
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on October 11, 2004
This is a big nice books with tons of witty graphics. If you love humor and grahic you will love this one, but if you are a serious designer and wit is not your cup of tea, then you should skip this. The explanation is clear and it gives you the idea behind the graphics. I love creativity books, and i do creativity seminars, I also run a graphic/multimedia design company, so i might be a bit bias, but i highly recommend people who like to smile and laugh a lot, AND love enjoyable graphics to buy this book. This is a bit out dated, but still very fresh to those who has never seen it. 5 Parts in all: The case of With explaining the concept of WIT, different type of wit, items that use wit, business application, witty designers. A nice sunbath in the beach of Bali, a cup of fresh coconut drink and a book like this would make life worth living ;-).
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on January 2, 1998
This book goes beyond just a collection of pretty graphics. It brings you into the process of creativity. That is unusual and commenable.
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on November 4, 1998
In an era when "graphic design" is reduced to savvy computer skills, it's nice to see a celebration of our most powerful creative tool - the MIND. A must for any designer who wants to think outside the box and inspire others to do the same.
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on April 26, 2015
I bought this on recommendation from a peer who thought it would help me push through a stagnate creative period I was having. It was a great insight into what is the missing link in some of today's advertising. Wit. It certainly made me reassess my designs, define what they lacked, and understand why they missed the mark. I'm really looking forward to utilising the new found knowledge - which is old school knowledge.
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on November 26, 2001
I have had this book for several years now, and my copy is getting rather ragged and dog-eared from frequent reading. This is not simply a picture book of interesting designs but an analysis of what makes witty, effective and memorable designs. Should be required reading for all design students.
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on June 12, 2000
Although I think this book is an excellent source for creative encouragement, I wonder if the book is trying too hard to quantify something as intagible as creativity. Creativity is a boundless entity that resists any kind of logical or mathematical scrutiny. However, this book seems to try exceedingly hard to pull apart such a magical force in design and break it down into its simple components. I'm not saying that this attempt is "BAD"...I'm just saying its futile. After closing the book I didn't feel as if I gained any more enlightenment about creativity then before. What I did gain was the great joy of seeing so many incredible examples of how designers have taken seemingly impossible design problems and turning them into clever solutions THAT WORK! But Again, in spite of all the analytical chapters that preceed the example pages, you still look at many of the sample works shown and ask the inevitable question of "How did they think of that?" I don't believe there is a way to study, analyze or answer that question. The best thing to do is enjoy the work and stay inspired. BTW, at the end they have interviews with some of the greats such as Paul Rand and Micheal Beirut. I think many of the readers will enjoy their insight.
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