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Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design [Kindle Edition]

Debbie Millman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Look Both Ways, respected branding consultant and design community leader Debbie Millman has constructed a series of essays that examine the close relationship between design and everyday life. You'll find inspiration on every page as you meander through illuminating observations that are both personal and universal. Each beautifully illustrated essay reveals the magic - and wonder - of the often unseen world around us.

Excerpt from "Look Both Ways"
It occurred to me, as I stood there, that I could simultaneously, vividly look both ways - backward and forward, in time - at once. I remembered longing to know what was coming, who I would become and how. And I suddenly saw it all over again in front of me. The light was exactly the same, and as the sun fell and the summer shadows slivered against the elegant, lean, concrete towers in the distance, I recognized the smell of the warm air, the precise pink and grey of the coming dusk and the mysterious melancholy and joy of both knowing and not-knowing, and the continuity that occurs when both collide.—Debbie Millman

Editorial Reviews


The thought-provoking personal essays she wrote in Look Both Ways will convince you--through desire, envy, optimism, embarrassment, and love, why design is the answer to the question of what it is that makes people buy. --SACRAMENTO BOOK REVIEW

The essays are presented in various methods of typographic expression, with twists and turns which illuminate and magnify the words into something more than a mere piece of prose. It's a beautiful little gem of a book. --PAGING A LIFE IN BOOKS

"Typographic poetry" --COOL HUNTING

Look Both Ways is a treat...Millman turns out a collection of musings presented in a range of type treatments, fonts and stylings....it's a charming retell of a well-explored life. --GOTHAM MAGAZINE

"One of the Best Design Books of 2009" --FAST COMPANY

About the Author

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for 25 years. She is a partner and president of the design division at Sterling Brands, one of the country's leading brand identity firms. She has been there for twelve years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Gillette, Unilever, Colgate, Kimberly Clark, Nestle and Campbell's. Debbie is currently on the National Board of the AIGA. She is an author on the design blog Speak Up, a regular contributor to Print Magazine and she teaches at the School of Visual Arts and Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2005 she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled Design Matters with Debbie Millman and it is featured on the Voice America Business Network. The show currently has over 100,000 listeners a month.

Product Details

  • File Size: 16668 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HOW Books (September 11, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,961 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read October 12, 2010
There are so many different ways to enjoy this book, I don't even know where to begin....the stories are whimsical, meaningful, nostalgic, enjoyable, at times heart-wrenching and at other times pure joy....all the qualities I long for in a good read. But on top of that, this book is gorgeous to look at! I love the variety of visual styles in the essays, personally preferring the swirly colorful ones but have a deep appreciation for the intricacies of all the typography styles. And the cross stitch essay...incredible! It all feels like a secret peek which is a rare treat in the world of dragon tattoos.
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36 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so great... October 11, 2010
By B. Gray
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have to put a review up after reading the other glowing reviews that led me to actually buy this book. I couldn't stand this book. The format: a series of boring stories written in a variety of illegible ways, most starting with "When I was a little girl..." or "as long as I can remember" conceit. Self-indulgent, vanity publishing project without any real insight into design, or the relationship between life and design as per the title. If your idea of a great book is page after page of someone droning on about their uninteresting childhood memories written on a coffee shop chalkboard, or in swoopy marker, or on 3x5 index cards (neatly like an architect), the definitely buy this book. If you like layouts that are like a puzzle that you have to work through to figure out, use random font sizing, or type with overprinted CMYK letters (so artsy!) you might find something appealing in this book. If your idea of "illustrated essays" means words drawn out and photographed *not actual illustrations* - this book has that. Otherwise, I would pass.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting! June 20, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The only reason this book didn't get all five stars is, strangely enough, the reason I bought it in the first place! I like very much the hand written text for artistic reasons. Unfortunately, it also makes it rather difficult to read because the need to "decode" as one goes, slows one down. I love it anyway. It makes up in graphic interest, almost, for what it lacks in legibility. There is so much useful information involved which takes time to decode, one becomes impatient and a bit irritable in the process! This would be a wonderful form for a book of poetry where the sense of the words—which is in a sort of linguistic code to begin with—is slower and therefore would be more compatible with the physical design of this sort of print on the page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review:Look Both Ways April 6, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
...like the sculptor who looks at a stone and realizes what it could be, Debbie Millman has transformed the book form into her own creation. It has become, in addition to it's message, an Object.

While reading the book Look Both Ways, by Debbie Millman, an enriching experience takes place. The cover is conventional, yet the palette and overlapping comma symbol on it's front take on greater significance as the 'story' unfolds. Opening the book, you first find a series of pages that resemble the chalkboards of childhood. As you begin to read, you are drawn, literally, into the text by the casual conversational way it is written. You might be reading someone's notes in their lined hard cover black and white composition book. Or perhaps, it could be a diary. But soon enough, easyness in reading starts to give way to weaving eye movement as you are forced to follow the type's gradual uneven changes. Along the way, you encounter some cross-outs and smudges which speak of first drafts, or suggest the spontaneity of only one draft, or the innocence of a child's first efforts. Periferally, you sense something more. The blackness of the chalkboard appears painted on. And toward the edges, color, quite pleasant, peeks through. This 'underpainting' or layering suggests the artist's hand, or brush as it were. And the white chalk-like script is immediate, and familiar, and common. So, there is a lot to see, and read, and think about on each of the pages. Sensitized now, you notice as you read, that the pages appear to take on an ever increasing sophistication as the 'child' grows up, moves to the city, begins a career. This build-up increases in a gradual curve, almost imperceptible until you realize what is happening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome simple read October 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Love the styling for each of the chapter designs and the way the book has been written with simple messages that conveyed through beautiful life stories
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A balcony view of a design mind January 13, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a delightful stroll through a great mind for design. It's a walk through musings, reflections and personal experience about a life lived with design at the center. LOVED IT and it will occupy a permanent home in my design library. A great book for anyone who wants to see what passion for a domain looks like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Inside, look around you. July 19, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I never allowed brands to be big in my life and now I understand why. This book is incredible. A must read to understand our society. I've never read or seen anything like it. A must for all of your creative friends and for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique point-of-view October 31, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Millman's POV is unique, but paradoxically, universal. Well written and thought-provoking. I have quoted "Fail Safe" many times since I read it.
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