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How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul (New Expanded Edition) Paperback – September 22, 2010
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And quite honestly, I disagreed with much of what he was encouraging others to do, especially if the point was NOT to lose your soul!
For example, he makes the case of making your clients happy even if what they want is horrible design--at least that's how I took it. Granted, there's a fine line between satisfying your clients and being a commodity. I personally am trying to side more with David Airey's (Logo Design Love, excellent book!) philosophy--you're the expert, don't sell your soul and be a doormat. Which, in my opinion, this book was more or less failed to do, despite the title.
This book is neither of those things - the complete opposite in fact. Shaughnessy writes so clearly and with such honesty that I found it hard to put the book down. Every page has nuggets of wisdom, some practical and common sense ("when to hire an accountant", "interview dos and don'ts"), others more philosophical ("hire someone knowing they will your want to start their own studio", "how to work ethically"). The interviews at the end were also pretty great as it's always fascinating to take a peek at how others work.
A must-read for designers and those curious of what it takes to love and succeed in graphic design.
Overall I think this is a great book. What I think it lacks is a lot of actionable advice. The author definitely leaves much of her observation open-ended. Despite that small downside and the fact that much of the book's topics are a little too advanced for someone like me, I think it is a book that all designers should have in their design library.
Things I liked:
- shared personal experiences from the author
- easy book to read (no complex vocabulary)
- gives advice to young designers/students
Things I don't like about the book:
- the typesetting (I feel that the words are kerned way too close together, to a point where I find it distracting)
- author keeps name-dropping people/places he knows
- doesn't go indepth with some of the topics he present. The book claims to talk about the stuff that you don't learn in school, yet I feel that the author does not say anything that an astute student wouldn't already have figured out by themselves.
- Interviews at the back of the book not really that helpful for students
Personally, I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars, but I rounded up since I found the book interesting enough to read.
I would assume that I'm the target audience (young graphic designer right out of school), but I didn't really find any thing that I haven't already touched upon in my life. I do feel that the book had some good tips and personal examples.
conclusion: read it if you are interested with the title. Don't read it if your already deep into the graphic design world (though there are a few chapters about starting your own studio).