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

4.5 out of 5 stars 120 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HOW Books; 3025th edition (November 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600617972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600617973
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is great for small exercises, and I imagine it would be an instant solutions for artist's block. However, I was drawn to the word "challenges". I wanted to see great work from skilled artists, not finished work that was thrown together specifically for the book. Even though I'm somewhat disappointed, I'm glad I bought this book and I think it'll be a great resource.
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