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D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (Design Handbooks) Paperback – January 1, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...this book offers constructive and elegant projects that are easy to understand for a range of abilities. -- Bust, Feb/Mar 2006

A crash course in promotion and visual design, D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself is the perfect book for anyone looking to pimp their brand, their band, their blog or just their Christmas card list. -- Penascola Independent News, November 29, 2007

Lupton wants the objects to go out into the world, as emissaries of individual creativity. Inspiration begets inspiration. -- Syndicated-Washington Post, Philadelphia Enquirer, etc., March 2006

Dispense With Designers, She Says - Create It Yourself

"D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself is probably the only home-crafts book out there that shows you how to apply a screen print to a throw pillow on one page and extensively quotes the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci on another." -- Jeff Turrentine --The Philadelphia Inquirer, March, 2006

"This book is more than a handbook--it's an empowerment tool. There's something here to bring out the designer in everyone . . . So if you're getting tired of ubiquitous corporate brands, pick up this book and get started on a more personal and meaningful alternative." --Baltimore Magazine, May 2006

"Ellen Lupton believes that you - yes, you - are a brilliant designer.

It does'nt matter if you are colorblind, or if you can't draw., or if you have never been sure whether shagreen is something wallets are made of or something that goes in salads at fancy restaurants. " -- Jeff Turrentine --Staten Island Advance, March, 2006

"Her goals are revolutionary, and her manifesto goes something like this: Each one of us has a unique way of looking at, and dealing with, the everyday world. So why shouldn't the basic units of that world - coffee cups, envelopes, business cards, tote bags - bear our individual stamp? Multinational corporations put their brand on everything they make. Why can't you and I have our own brands too?" --Courier, March, 2006

"I love the aesthetic of the book. It has a really young, contemporary feel, rather than that grandmotherly style found in a lot of craft books. I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time with D.I.Y." --Gwinnett Daily Post, June 18, 2006

"What separates DIY from other craft books is that Lupton is hoping the projects inspired by it will not just end up on somebody's bedroom shelf. She and her students want the objects to go out into the world, as tangible emissaries of individual creativity. Inspiration begets inspiration." --Washington Post, April 2006

"With technological advances, everyone can be a graphic designer if only to create a personal Web presence, video, CD label, photo book, personal papers, newsletter, T-shirt, greeting card." -- DK Holland --Communication Arts

"Todays D.I.Y. ethic emphasizes customization over craft. The point is not to perfect an underlying skill, but to produce something thats yours alone." --Print

"If Martha Stewart transmogrified into a passel of inventive 20- and 30-somethings, she might have come up with this design handbook about everyday art, which has chapters on everything from books and blogs to invitations, newsletters, posters, stationary, fliers, press packets and t-shirts." --Baltimore Sun

"Whether youre truely artistically inclined or just aspire to be, thi sbook will make you feel like Michelangelo sculpting away at the David.Corporate America should be worried..." -- Joanna Munoz --URB Magazine

"...Its not so much no brand as just be your own brand" -- Jason Tinney --UbaniteBaltimore.com:

"Whatever your aim, you'll find clever ideas, intriguing examples and inspirational starting points." --Computer Arts

"...she wasnt saying, Lets teach everybody to do what we do, but rather, Let them do what we used to do - create ephemeral artifacts. Well learn to use our talents for a higher purpose, to make significant ideas public." -- Ellen Shapiro --Print

"A fun-filled, project-based primer in visual literacy that encourages the aesthetically inclined to get intimate with the design process and become a DIY digital cowboy." --Utne

"Lupton is determined to bring basic design skills to the masses." --House and Garden

"Finally - good design for the masses! This fabulously designed (of course) book was produced collaboratively by the self-described bastard children of the fine arts: MICA graphic design students and faculty....Each page is an open invitation to reinvent your world, as well as yourself." -- Goli Mohammadi --Make: Technology on Your Time:

"Design is a way of thinking and creating that is accessible to everyone." --Coral Gables Living

"On the offing are inspired suggestions for how to customize business cards, clothing, press kits, and zines. If you've got creative juice, D.I.Y. will get it flowing." --ReadyMade

"It's a book. No, it's a web site. Wait! It's both. The book shows you how to create business cards, flyers, invitations . . . and lots more, all packaged in a sophisticated design for non-designers. If you visit the web site, you can pick a project and find design guides to download and a list of fabulous resources to take you farther." --Skirt!

"a hip head-on dive into the world of creative arts...The book offers practical tips on everything from bogging and web site design to how to make a more personal statement with business cards and party invitations." -- Jordan Bartel --Carrol County Times

Simple ideas and concepts are repackaged into sophisticated design solutions for all lifestyles. This book beautifully shows that there are creative uses for anything, from bags, to stagionary, T-shirts, coasters, logos,.. you name it. You Can Do It Too :)- Elke Gasselseder from Baltimore --Just Do It... Yourself (rating 5 out of 5)

"Lupton, a designer/writer/curator/educator who has written the book on D.I.Y. (D.I.Y. Design It Yourself, from Princeton Architectural Press) has had a lot to do with bringing a variety of design disciplines to public consciousness." --Design Arts Daily

Review

Putting Your Stamp On Everyday Items

"(D.I.Y.) aims to show readers who long to put their personal imprints on everyday items and products how to do just that."

"(D.I.Y.) fills the gap between a designer's knowledge and an average person's vision, showing how to create everything from web blogs and business cards to unique gifts, eye-catching flyers and newsletters, stickers, t-shirts and more." -- James A. Cox

"a newbie's look at the world of graphic design that should appeal to even the most jaded Quark jockey.

Perhaps more importantly, the book is a document of our modern world, where blogging, customized clothing, and handmade posters are the norm." -- J. Bowers

"I love the aesthetic of the book. It has a really young, contemporary feel, rather than that grandmotherly style found in a lot of craft books. I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time with D.I.Y."

"Design ideas and tips for anyone who enjoys publishing and photography and design on paper, T-shirts or the web."

"Blending just the right amount of theory and technique, this book offers constructive and elegant projects that are easy to understand for a range of abilities."

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Product Details

  • Series: Design Handbooks
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568985525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568985527
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I know a little about Lupton's career -- teaching, writing, and curating shows. She seems very intelligent, but I don't understand who this book is really for. Beginning or advanced people? Crafters or designers? Some of the ideas in this book (wrapping paper) are so obvious that I think anyone with an ounce of creativity has already figured them out. Some things (commercial embroidery) seem very advanced and specialized, and not useful to most people. The layout of the book is nice, but the content is very inconsistent. Was this really a student project, as someone mentioned? If so, I think Lupton should have made more of an effort to make sure that everything came together and made for a coherent whole. I think there are better DIY books out there.
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This is a terrific book for ideas all across the board! I bought this book after flipping through it at a friends and was excited to see so many hip and unique ideas. I modeled my wedding invitations after an example from the book and have gotten compliments from all of the invitees! This is an amazing "get you thinking" book. The only drawback, there are no instructions or tips for carrying out the projects, so... you should have some crafting/design knowledge before picking this book up. I would highly recommend it for adventurous souls who want to create something out of the ordinary, or for anyone looking for fresh, new ideas. I've even purchased another copy to give as a gift to a design-oriented friend!
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Format: Paperback
I'd had the impression that I would learn some techniques on creating my own stuff: business cards, websites, t-shirts, stationary, etc. They touch on all these subjects, and more, in the book. But I was disappointed that it is really more just a collection of ideas and work that MFA and graphic arts students have created, with very little technical detail of how to create designs for yourself. I was looking for a how-to, not a see-what-we've-done.
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Format: Paperback
It's a good book for a good price, nothing too special. There is not too much of a good text in it. This book reminds me a British design magazine "Computer Arts", especially its tutorial section, with a lot of pictures and very few words describing it. This book will be a good source for a beginner designer. But for intermediate and pro designers it will probably won't be useful at all, in my opinion it would be much better to buy one of "Communication Arts" Annuals. But as I said before, for starting-out designers it will be a great book.
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Format: Paperback
This inspirational book was born and bred at Baltimore's Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), under the direction of its graphic design director. There's no doubt that DIY design has been on the rise over the last twenty years, and this handbook does an excellent job of introducing the concept to the uninitiated. It starts with two sections, "Why DIY?" and "DIY Theory" which serve to set things up nicely without being overly dense. The excellent design and outstanding photography showcases tons of nice examples in 28 categories across a range of media, from blogs to zines. This is definitely not a step-by-step guide that holds one's hand through processes -- but it will help anyone understand how to start seeing the world as a designer. It's not perfect by any means, and experts in particular fields will find small details to quibble with. For example, the embroidery section doesn't provide complete DIY details, instead directing the reader to outsource it to commercial embroidery firms. Another example is in the web site section, which advocates the use of nested tables, a technique long out of favor in the web development community. But these are very minor quibbles about an excellent book that belongs in the hands of anyone (especially kids and teens) with the slightest interest in self-expression.
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Format: Paperback
DIY is probably my favorite do-it-yourself book I've ever bought! When I first got it I was like, "oh, great some expensive, useless, technical stuff to read about. What a waste of money."

But, once I started reading it, I realized how great this really was. having my own clothing brand was something that I've always dreamed of, but it seemed so far away from me. But, DIY made it look so easy and inexpensive.

I've tried lots of the projects and there are so many awesome ideas in this book. I love the ideas for postcards, books and t-shirts.

Though most of the projects are for the more technically inclined, I loved this book and I am using some of the ideas for hangtags, business cards, and logos for my own brand, These Days.

I ended up finding something I wasn't even really looking for: The greatest design handbook ever!!!
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Format: Paperback
That's the line at the top of the first page you open in the book. I like that. Many artistic types describe this book accurately in their reviews and also other bystanders like me who might not leap into suddenly designing stuff based on this book. What I like about it, though, is that it is very interesting and gets me wondering: what can I design? I saw the subjects on the front cover and I'm thinking about designing my own needlework, a web page and a newsletter I write. So, hey, what can I learn here? First, I found the reviewer talking about Marxism, flies and fetuses a little over-the-top. I had to page through the whole book to find those pillows on page 93 and while it holds no interest for me, it's not any political statement about pro-life or pro-choice or socialism; rather the "fetuses" are like cave-drawings and they plus the flies are supposed to represent the circle of life. Ho hum. Move along. Nothing to see here, folks.

Anyway, there are tons of projects that are about happy babies and families and just business-y or homey type things you might want to try your hand at.

Page 28 caught my eye. It looks like a pillow cover, a square of white completely covered with blue squiggles. Turns out it's like one of those eye tests to see if you're colorblind: if you squint, you can make out the words embedded:

"THE GENIUS OF SEEING THAT WHICH IS SO EVIDENT AS TO BE UNSEEABLE."

I like that too. This books gets my creative juices going and is just fun to page through. I don't like all the images but some are charming.
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