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Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills Paperback – November 24, 2010

93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This book will help you connect the eye to the brain to the hand, so you won't have to search for inspiration the next time you generate a design."
--Michael Surtees, DesignNoted.com

"This book strikes me as a collection of exceedingly useful exercises; not just as a means for practice and exploration, but useful to developing designers in discovering processes that work best for them. In that regard and others, much of what is offered here will serve designers throughout their careers."
--Andy Rutledge, Principal and Chief Design Strategist at Unit Interactive

"Creativity really is mostly perspiration, but it still starts with inspiration, and with this energizing book David Sherwin provides plenty of ways to spark that next great idea. Creative Workshop gives you a toolbox of methods for everything from coming up with an idea to refining and executing it. Just like today's real world of design, the tools freely cross boundaries between graphic, product and interaction design. And because innovative ideas never happen in a vacuum, Sherwin gives each design challenge a clear goal, meaningful context, and some inspirational examples."
--Adam Richardson, Creative Director at frog design and author of Innovation X

About the Author

David Sherwin is an interaction designer and creative director with a depth of expertise in developing compelling solutions for challenging business problems. His first book was Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills (HOW Books).

David is currently an Interaction Design Director at frog, a global innovation firm, where he helps to guide the research, strategy and design of novel products and services for some of today's leading companies and nonprofit organizations. He is also a senior lecturer in the BFA in Interaction Design program at California College of the Arts. He has spoken and conducted workshops at events such as SxSW, Interaction 11, HOW Design Live, as well as at several design schools around the world. His writing has appeared in Smashing Magazine, TheAtlantic.com/Life, A List Apart, PSFK.com, HOW and many other periodicals.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, the poet and writer Mary Paynter Sherwin. In his free time, he maintains the blog ChangeOrder at changeorderblog.com.
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Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HOW Books (November 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600617972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600617973
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Sherwin is Director of User Experience, lynda.com at LinkedIn, where he leads a team of UX designers that are helping people around the world learn the skills they need to succeed and pursue their passions. He is also a Fellow at frog, a global product strategy and design firm. His books on design include Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills and Success by Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers.

David has spoken at events such as SxSW, Interaction, UX London, and HOW Design Live, as well as taught at California College of the Arts and Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. His writing has appeared in FastCoDesign, TheAtlantic.com, A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, HOW, and many other periodicals.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, the poet and writer Mary Paynter Sherwin. In his free time, he maintains the blog ChangeOrder at www.changeorderblog.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Scott Berkun on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been around for awhile, and have stacks of books claiming to spark design skills and creative thinking. Most end up in the back corner of the shelf, never living up to their promise. I'm impressed, and happy to say this book is a different breed.

1) It's a beautiful book. There is design love and care on every page.
2) It's designed for reading and use. It's not a coffee-table book or pretty play thing.
3) There's a free teacher's guide, [...] to help instructors and managers use the book.
4) The inspirations aren't just in the book's design (a common failing in design books), but the stories, and challenging exercises even experienced designers can benefit from. It's an easy book to use for team challenges, offsites and to teach old dogs some new things.
5) It includes exercises from a wide range of kinds of design, which is fun and challenging. Some are print based, others are interactive, or involve urban wayfinding, advertising, web apps, dishware, clothing, you name it. It fulfills the idea of forcing you to stretch your creative muscles.

Highly recommended for people who want to learn by making, and who have some design experience but want to grow and stretch their creative abilities.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jonellys on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book its simply amazing! It is well written and the instructions are clear for every workshop. It gives you examples to compare what you have done and to improve. It also let you choose what tools or materials to use for your designs, in my case I used Illustrator and Photoshop but the instructions are so simple you can even use paper and crayons!! And above all this, the challenges are actually fun to do! :D
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57 of 72 people found the following review helpful By MLD C on December 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
*I am only reviewing for its format, NOT CONTENT* This kindle version is not optimized for iPad version. Some exercises require you to read text on images but it was impossible to read any text without with low resolution images.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By BDouglas on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a graphic design student and I recently gave this as a gift to a friend of mine who is graduating. She almost didn't get it because I wanted to keep it for myself! Very cool book, lots of fun ways to get your creative juices flowing. I'd highly recommend it for other graphic designers.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Laura Cannings on August 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have found this book to be an inspiration both in terms of idea generation and design output. This book would be invaluable to a studio wishing to experiment with design ideas to showcase their clients. I intend to work through these challenges and am confident my design and thought process will improve beacuse of it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stas on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's an amazing book that doesn't teach but helps to start to think as designer. Every new challenge trains the brain to solve easy any new problem. Sort of 'must have' books!
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Neo158 on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Me and my friends purchase this books to improve our design skill and got together every sunday to practice and doing one exercise and setting a second one as homework. It's been GREAT. The experience, the exercises, the variety. Great book for both, beginners and experience designers :D
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By LosBrands on January 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's jam packed with exercises reminiscent of those college days only with more. The samples are interesting, the exercises concise and very clear. You take away what ever you put into this book and if you approach it that way, it's sure to reward you. Keep in mind that this is for a self disciplined person because it does you no good to "read-ahead" toward the next exercise. This book teaches you how to think faster and with restrictions ( what you encounter in the real world). The only suggestion to the author, include a chapter on how to specifically generate / concept ideas.
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