- File Size: 444 KB
- Print Length: 226 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1581156650
- Publisher: Allworth; 1 edition (February 16, 2010)
- Publication Date: February 16, 2010
- Sold by: Simon & Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0038OOTAM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,583,610 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$19.95|
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Designers Don't Read Kindle Edition
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Materials were well presented . I wish that the author showed some of his work , ads or scripts and shared his mistakes
As well . In summary , good book and enlighten .
I have been in the design profession for a long time (I am a Creative Director at a branding firm), and during my career I have definitely encountered a few too many designers that don't read nearly enough. At times I think that some don't read at all. Don't get me wrong they buy books, and subscribe to magazines...but all too often it's about the pretty pictures.
Well...Austin Howe's splendid little book does not have any pictures. What it does have is lots of well chosen words, strung together in sentences that are often funny...and also inspiring. It is a clever book that reminded me why I fell into my profession...and why I work countless hours - and love every second of it. Doing creative work requires people who are committed to ideas and know how to express them through words and images that make those ideas not only clear...but compelling, memorable, and inspiring.
Through anecdotes and quotes from a wide variety of books, Austin proves that he does quite a bit of reading himself....and in so doing I hope he will inspire young (as well as mature designers) to continue broadening their horizons...and feed their intellectual curiosity. Good design is intelligent...not just pretty.
I will buy many copies of this book...and have the folks at my agency read it. I know that it will help us be a better agency. I hope that many others will follow suit...if nothing else, the book makes for an entertaining read...and the chapters are short and sweet.
Chief Creative Officer
Given the lack of critical reviews of Austin Howe's "Designers Don't Read" on Amazon.com, I believe the title may be the most true thing about this book--that designers don't read, and read Howe's book thinking it's good and worthy of five stars.
As both a full-time graphic designer and hobbyist writer who reads voraciously, I feel a need to chime in. I read this book in a couple days and I have to say I've come to its other cover wondering what the hell I was supposed to have gotten out of it, and more, how did this dude get published with this material?
Austin Howe's writing is neither interesting or insightful. There is little to no message or wisdom in what he rattles on about in his supposed "essays," and one can only speculate why he thought this book would be of value to anyone, particularly designers since the title is quite inciting toward them.
Howe prides himself that he only works with graphic designers in his creative process, and the reasoning for this exaggerated respect can only be described as both unfounded and creepy. He is needlessly and obnoxiously vague about who his "favorite designers" are, and while I've never worked with the unimaginative advertising art directors he describes, he seems to put graphic designers on a pedestal while not explaining why.
Additionally, Howe is a bias modernist: the obligatory reference to Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead," his man-crushes on design celebrities Paul Rand, Massimo Vignelli, and Jay Chiat, while dancing on the proverbial graves of Zuzana Litko, Émigré, and David Carson do nothing to convince me he's an open-minded individual.
Stating that he is no graphic designer, Howe still feels nevertheless compelled to continue preaching about design and what commonplace names or facts his mind is sparsely furnished with (i.e. popular fine art and artists, the general names in graphic design history, etc.) in an effort to communicate to us oblivious designers, those who supposedly don't read, that he can articulate what design is and isn't, and that his points are valuable and notable.
Bemoaning the schism between design and advertising is the only real theme and theory throughout the book, but even this is deplorably scant. Expectedly, he calls for a revolution in typical modernist fashion that will fuse the two crafts together without prescribing much in how. The whole book comes across as lazy with no research attached to it, or even much in the way of informal personal findings that could persuade us to see things his way. There are also no examples on how advertising could affect graphic design, or vis-à-vis should they come together. Howe just seems to believe they are two missing halves and leaves it at that.
To me, Howe seems like a bit of a wannabe advertising big shot, and this is his wannabe manifesto: someone who gets off on name-dropping agencies like Wieden+Kennedy or TBWA\Chiat\Day and discussing their politics but having no relevance, commentary or anything to elaborate on. He plays about their surfaces, churning out pointless anecdotes with flat, confounding endings that lack the requisite punch and wit that could have made this book good.
While I'm sure Howe's happy doing what he does (whatever it is, being a "mediator"), he offers readers nothing in lines of how he's become successful. It's this point that leads me to believe someone owed him a favor at Allworth Press, and this, these pseudo-memoirs, are it: letting us know that he's arrived, somewhere, and that he's ferociously dedicated to clients, doing whatever it is he does for them.
Coming from a designer who does read, if you're looking for a book that will energize your creativity and provide you with techniques on how to become a better designer (which is presumably why you picked Austin Howe's book up), I suggest instead Paul Arden's succinct It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be: The World's Best Selling Book which is half the cost and size but a hundred times more entertaining and useful.
"Designers Don't Read" gets half a star for having no glaring spelling/grammatical errors, and another half for Fredrik Averin's striking jacket design. Pick it up and admire it at the store but take it from me, don't waste your time, money, or shelf space on this book.