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How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul (New Expanded Edition) Paperback – September 22, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adrian Shaughnessy is a self-taught graphic designer, writer, and editor. Until recently he was creative director of Intro, the London-based music design company he co-founded in 1989. He left Intro in 2004 to pursue an interest in writing and consultancy. His previous books include the Sampler series; How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul; and Look at This: Contemporary Brochures, Catalogues & Documents (all Laurence King).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; New edition (September 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568989830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568989839
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book with high hopes, since it came highly recommended by authors that I respect and love, as well as the Amazon community of reviewers. Also I can relate to the title ;) Unfortunately, I felt this book was only so-so; a few good points and insider chuckles, but overall, the author was very vague and drawn-out in his advice.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book for class and I'm so glad I did. Definitely get the new version! (Most of the old one is available on google books for free anyway...) The edits are relavant to what's going on in graphic design now. As a student, I feel like this book contains a lot of helpful information not always taught in design programs. Get reading!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I usually hate "business" books and those that deal with particular industries, as I often find them too vague and long-winded.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book and I think it gives young designers a really good lay of the land as far as career direction and the job market. I found a lot of her advice a little bit advanced for me. I am a junior designer and much of the book seems geared toward designers who are mid-level. For example there is a lot of advice on starting your own business, on freelancing full-time, etc. However the parts of the book on resumes, looking for jobs, specializing, and interviewing were extremely helpful.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book a good enough read for people who are intrigued by the title, but don't expect any personal revelations after reading this book

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).
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Format: Paperback
This book answers every question a young designer has burning in their mind. Everything design school didn't teach you about the real world of design and how the business works is in here. It contains a wealth of knowledge about the ins and outs of the graphic design world, agencies, getting a job, freelancing, and more written in an easy to navigate and easy to digest form. Reading this book getting out of design school eased my mind it was like having an experience professional mentor in a book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book! The only thing I would have liked to see was maybe some sample invoices, SOWs or other documents. Shaughnessy describes in depth how your decision should be informed, but it would have been nice to see some real examples. I'm sure there are other books out there that go more in depth in this regard, so I don't really have any complaints. I would highly recommend.
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