Designers Don’t Read

I wanted to read Austin Howe’s Designers Don’t Read just to be contrary. I read a great deal, as you might imagine writing these reviews. Indeed, one of the main reasons for starting The Designer’s Review of Books was a complaint about the paucity of writing in many design books. Howe is a Creative Director and “design advocate”, but most importantly he is a writer. So, I had high hopes for the book, not all of which were dashed, but a few worries about the title...

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Design Disasters

Disasters. We’ve all had them. The wonderful Fail Blog is a daily source of distraction and cautionary tales of idiocy. The #fail Twitter tag turns up a treasure trove of frustrations, usually with bad design or decisions. I once made a phone number typos on a 20,000 flyer run that went through the letterboxes of everyone in my neighbourhood. And whilst I didn’t kill anybody, the old lady whose number I had inadvertently used was not amused despite the bouquet of apology...

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Naïve – Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design

Naïve – Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design (Amazon: US|CA|UK|DE) is a recent release from Gestalten, edited by Robert Klanten and Hendrik Hellige. It explores the “extraordinary renaissance of Classic Modernism, from the 1940s to 1960s, in contemporary graphic design” and collects together the work of many of the contemporary designers working in this style today. So far so good. Ever since a childhood filled with early Disney and Tex Avery cartoons I...

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Art of the Modern Movie Poster & Translating Hollywood

(Guest review by Daniel Gray) As commercial art produced to sell another form of commercial art, film posters can often be crass, repetitive, disposable. They’re just adverts to convince you to sit in a dark room for a couple of hours, right? They’re all about big floating heads, questionable quotes from reviewers, mugging comedians accompanied by bold red text on white backgrounds, right? Well mostly, yes. But, as with the films themselves, amidst all the dreck you’ll find...

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The Design Entrepreneur: Turning Graphic Design into Goods that Sell

Guest review by Colin Ford Clients blow. Designers the world over know this to be the unfortunate truth. Clients come to you for your artistic vision and then try to drag your design back into mediocrity by insisting that 12-point Times New Roman be used for all body copy, or that their second cousin thinks chartreuse would be a better color for the packaging. With their new book, Steven Heller and Lita Talarico tell you to say to hell with clients and their second cousins – you should be...

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Indexed

Before we begin, I should admit that I think Jessica Hagy is pretty cool and her blog Indexed is not only a regular read, but also one of the things on my far-too-long a list of “things I wish I had thought of”. It is no surprise that Time magazine listed Indexed in their pick of the top blogs. Time also billed it as a “one-trick pony with legs”, which is a fair description except that I thought all ponies had legs, even the trickless kind.

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Three Books on Colour – Part One: Kelvin: Colour Today

Books on colour must be the new black. We were sent two in a row recently – Kelvin: Colour Today and An Eye for Color. We decided to do a series over the next month or two and include Victoria Finlay’s Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Part One starts with Kelvin: Colour Today. Every designer and artist knows that if you mix every colour in the rainbow together you get white with light and black or muddy brown with paint. So it is with Kelvin: Colour Today, edited by Robert...

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