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karlssonwilker inc.'s tellmewhy: The First 24 Months of a New York Design Company Turtleback – September 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Turtleback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568984162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568984162
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,358,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...by the time you get to the firm's album covers for the Vines, you'll be a jaded industry expert. -- Washington Post

A disarmingly honest account...A surprisingly engaging book that raised a smile. -- Grafik: Journal of the Best in International Design

It takes guts to publish a book showcasing your failures, doodles, and unrealized projects as well as your successes. -- STEP Inside Design

The good, the bad, and the hungry tale of two young European designers setting up shop in New York. -- ReadyMade

a gift to anyone starting their own design office. -- Susan Yelavich, I.D. The International Design Magazine

More About the Author

Clare Jacobson is a Shanghai-based design writer, editor, and curator. She is the author of the book New Museums in China and co-author of Karlssonwilker Inc.'s Tell Me Why: The First 24 Months of a New York Design Company. She is a contributing editor to Architectural Record, and her articles have also appeared in Engineering News Record, Randian, Architectural Review Asia Pacific, Azure, Landscape Architecture, and other magazines. As editor and editorial director at Princeton Architectural Press for 21 years, she originated, acquired, and developed more than 120 books on architecture, graphic design, landscape architecture, photography, and visual culture.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brian Brooks on October 10, 2003
Format: Turtleback
At work I often times like to check out what's hot on the graphic design book circuit at Amazon.... This past Monday was no exception.... as I was browsing I came upon karlssonwilker's "tellmywhy" .... I was already a fan of Hjalti Karlsson's work from his hay days with Stefan "el capitan de designo" Sagmeister.... and thought it would be great to read up on how life was after "style=fart" .....I hit the add to cart button.... received the book in the mail 2 days later.... and couldn't put it down till I was done consuming all of its goodness.....
If there were a survey that came along with this book it would look like this:
Did you like this book? YES
Is this book enjoyable? YES
Did you find the book funny/smart/genius/interesting/sexy? YES
Would you recommended it to your friends? YES
If this book were a music album, would you buy it in all of its different formats? YES
well played karlssonwilker!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kris McCaddon on October 2, 2003
Format: Turtleback
"Tellmewhy" is essential for any graphic designer, chock full of beautifully designed pieces the small studio did in their first 24 months of opening. Karlssonwilker tell us everything, from the most used words in the office to the studio's favorite lunch time drinks - complete with detailed graphs and charts. It's refreshing to see all the humor included, a much needed and appreciated change for a design monograph. Buy this book, you'll thank yourself later.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Kjartansson on October 11, 2003
Format: Turtleback
I haven't been able to put this book down all day. I brushed my teeth with it, took a shower with it, spilled my morning coffee on it, almost passed a red light while reading it. "Tellmewhy" captures the true spirit of creativity and the struggles of two people to stay original in a society that endorses "safe" graphic design. I highly recommend this book... oh, and say hi to Hjalti's mom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Han on February 23, 2006
Format: Turtleback
Quite possible one of the most honest and funny books on design, I kid you not. Truly entertaining and thoughtful for designers of any field, not just graphic design. It works both as a story and an inspirational monograph of their quirky and smart work.

I purchased several copies for many friends in design and plan on purchasing several more. No doubt this would make a great stocking stuffer for the designer in your life and with Amazon's discounted rate with Super Saver Shipping it seems ridiculous to only buy just one copy.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Freemire on December 10, 2004
Format: Turtleback
First off, this is not a self help book for designers looking to open their own firm. I'm not sure why the person below me thought that. However, the side effect of wanting to start a firm does sink in after reading this. I read the book cover to cover in a few hours, as I had a hard time putting it down. They could have titled this book, "The Advertising Adventures of Hjalti and Jan". Point is, there is something every designer here can relate to: dealing with clients. The ones you hope to get, and the ones you hope don't call back. What i find particularly inspiring is how this book has not changed them. if you go to their site: [...] they are still rockin the same website. Then again, maybe they haven't had time to change it once all the jobs poured in from this book's success. Or perhaps, they are just like you and I, working from a loft trying to make a dent in the design world, and hoping to be published in the design annual. That's what sets this book apart from most monographs, is that they don't achive ultimate success in the end. They are still bidding for clients and that keeps them humble. There is no secret behind their method of design, other than natural talent for creativity. Sometimes we can lose sight of why we chose this profession. Sometimes we take jobs purely for the money. Stay inspired and buy this book. You will contribute 58¢ to their beer fund. Thank you karllsonwilker!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Moonlighting Designer on August 29, 2008
Format: Turtleback
There needs to be more books like this. God knows, how many of us have gone to the store, flipped through these books, and moved onto the next part of the shelf. As a guy who own three years of Computer Arts, another two of Computer Projects, and collected over twenty books on design in the past two years, I think my review will help the curious. It's true there are a lot of photos in the book, however they are pertinent to the story and keep you from moving onto the next book on the shelf. Like the other readers, I have enjoyed reading this crazy story and applaud them for showing all the work and not just highlights. I agree with W.Han's review. It's inspirational. Not in the sense that you'll see something they've done that will inspire your next work but their crazy tale of how they've survived and how you can learn from their mistakes.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Erik Cox on October 2, 2003
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
This book belongs between TIBOR and MADE YOU LOOK. One on the funniest and smartest books on design there is. Period.
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