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Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America's Master Communicator, George Lois Mass Market Paperback – March 12, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"George Lois doesn't need advice. But the designer for whom legendary ad man is practically a Homeric epithet has loads to share in Damn Good Advice (for people with talent!), a slim, fast-paced collection. . ." - Print Magazine

"George Lois' brain is an interesting place. . .Get inspired gentlemen. . ." - Urban Daddy Kempt

"Put Damn Good Advice on your coffee table and thumb through it daily for some insight on how to make your work and world better." - Selectism.com

"It's an entertaining read, even for people outside the creative business." - The New York Times 6th Floor blog

"In the meantime, my best (damn) advice to all you creative people out there (and if you're livin' this means you) is to pick up your very own copy of Georges' Damn Good Advice -- a bargain at thrice the price -- and read it (and re-read it) to tatters. We all need our heros." - GQ

"This ad man is Mad man." - New York Post

"An Innovation Bible. . .a must-have spine stiffener for artists and entrepreneurs alike." - The Huffington Post

"George Lois offers indispensable lessons, practical advice, facts, anecdotes, and inspiration for all those looking to succeed in life, business, and creativity." - NPR's Morning Edition

"An irreverent, playful, genuinely useful set of rules to live by for aspiring creatives." -Details

About the Author

George Lois is one of America's most creative, prolific and celebrated advertising communicators. Since his twenties, he has been a pioneer in developing the Creative Revolution in contemporary culture, transforming brands such as MTV, Tommy Hilfiger and USA Today. He is the only person ever to be inducted into The Art Directors Hall of Fame, The One Club Creative Hall of Fame, have Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, as well as being a subject of the Masters Series at the School of Visual Arts. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (March 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714863483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714863481
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've recently been re-reading the books that have been influential to my work and writing, so after giving away a few copies of Paul Arden's Phaidon books (Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite; It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be), I ended up buying them again from the local bookstore and grabbing this one at the same time. I didn't know it had been recently published but am pleased I get to write one of the first reviews for it.

I didn't know anything about George Lois when I read this book. Previous reviews were full of discussions of his egomania and self-aggrandizement but that doesn't matter to me. All that matters is whether this book does, in fact, contain Damn Good Advice. Well, it does.

This book isn't perfect, but if you're up to short books that give you a certain feeling rather than information, this could be the one. It's ten bucks, and for that price I can either get an expensive drink at a horrible bar, or I can spend a Sunday morning reading about someone's exploits and what they've learned. I did the latter, and you should too.

Reading Damn Good Advice reminded me of a lot of things that everyone needs to be reminded of: to stand up for what you believe in, to have faith in yourself even against the odds, and lots of things we tend to forget when we get caught in the tedium of our daily life.

It'll probably end up being one of those books I end up reading once a year, to get that feeling again. Maybe you should too.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
...that the man who goes on and on about the Big Idea, the self-proclaimed master of originality, has gone and written a book that is basically just a poor copy of the very successful Paul Arden books.
Note of caution: don't be fooled by this poor imitation. George Lois has written what is basically one big congratulatory pat on the back. Sure, he obviously did some pretty great stuff way back in the days when there wasn't much in the world of advertising to compete with but the way he puts that across just makes him sound like a candidate for 'the person you'd least like to invite to a dinner party'. The anecdotes mostly go something like this: "So we were in the room, and this guy says something SO stupid and I say *insert self-important quip that only George Lois finds amusing*". That's pretty much it. Buy the Paul Arden book with the money I just saved you and read something that is informative, witty and interesting instead.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If I were to rename this book, it would probably be "Damn Bad Advice (that is, in large part, based on nonsensical conjecture)". While George Lois is certainly a talented advertiser and author (the book is, if nothing else, entertaining) much of the advice offered in this book is nonsensical, and in some cases not even advice at all. I'm not sure there's a piece of advice in here that isn't already immediately apparent to anyone with any semblance of critical thinking skills. Of the 120 points included in the text, a good portion of them are self-congratulatory accounts of Lois's greatest successes. While, I suppose, it could be argued that these stories each contain an underlying principle that should be followed on the road to success; I think it's tough to discern any meaningful advice from Lois's tirade against Mad Men in point 92. While there's certainly a few decent nuggets of insight for graphic designers and aspiring advertisers, even when read by its intended audience I could only suggest this book is passable. I think the best advice would probably be to not read this turd and ignore these contradictory and masturbatory ramblings.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Forget George Lois. This book isn't about him. It's about you. He just offers himself as an example of what you can do - if you think correctly and go hell-for-leather. Sure he's got ego but it's as big as his gratitude for those he has learnt from. And you won't find better stories and adventures even from a naked Della Femina. I found George's book to be inspiring in a practical way. So much so, it actually made me grow a pair. Within one hour of finishing his book (and rereading the bravery chapter three times), my friends and I started a street campaign to help my mate's band become famous. Fuelled by his Hilfiger story of just acting big (and why not), we have launched a band in Ireland from nobodies to being interviewed in the newspapers, radio and tv in less than two weeks. We're hoping to be on Oprah in less than 4 weeks. Thanks George, you are a brave man and a damn good one. I hope our site [statuesofus.org] is a good compliment and proof that your book works. As I said after reading your book, `Yeah screw it, let's do it.'
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was unfortunate enough to receive this book as a present, I think the person just had a quick look at the cover and figured it might provide some helpful creative ideas. A shame they didn't even flip through the first few pages, because they would have immediately seen what an unlikeable person George Lois is and how his writing is not only arrogant, but just plain ignorant too.

The book is basically a list of 120 numbered pieces of 'advice' which are actually mostly just stories of how amazing George Lois thinks he is - yes you can do it too, you just have to be as full of yourself as George Lois. At the top of each piece is a supposedly cute or profound little catchphrase such as 'Follow your bliss' or 'Always go for The Big Idea' which sums up the following text. Unfortunately rather than being cute or profound they are either blatantly obvious, incredibly cliched, or sometimes just plain nonsensical.

Not to mention that many of these ideas contradict each other. I imagine that Lois just threw together the book to make a quick buck and it didn't really matter if one idea was compatible with the next. Probably the piece de resistance is #103, after repeatedly patting himself on the back in the previous 102 items, he writes 'Never act cocky'!!! He tries to excuse his own cockiness by saying he's not cocky, he's 'cocksure', obviously not realising that the two words are synonyms.

When I got to the one about forcing yourself to sleep less, I thought that maybe I had got it wrong and I was actually reading a parody! But sadly no, this guy is simply a lunatic.

Strangely enough, my copy of the book actually has a sickening smell! Coincidence? In any case, this gives me another reason not to read it, if I needed one...
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