Dieter Rams Double Review – Less and More & As Little Design As Possible

Double review of Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams and Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible Review by Carolina de Bartolo “To design is to think.” —Dieter Rams, Industrial Designer (b. 1932–, Weisbaden, Germany) What can I tell you about Dieter Rams that you don’t already know? Since one of his many famed mottoes regarding good design is “less but better,” if I was to tell you too much or to tell you something about him you already know...

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Designers Don’t Have Influences by Austin Howe

I had better start by owning up to not having read Designers Don’t Read by Howe – I had seen lots of press for it but never got round to picking up a copy. So I have come to his second book without reading the first, but Designers Don’t Have Influences (Amazon US|CA|UK|DE) is stand-alone and can be picked up without any prior knowledge of Howe or his writing. Designers Don’t Have Influences is a collection of short essays on people that have influenced Howe throughout his...

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Studio Culture: The Secret Life of the Graphic Design Studio

What the public eye sees most often is the finished design work – beautifully printed posters, books, websites, packaging, and signage. But little is known or said about the studios that labor day and night to deliver something creative and coherent, beautiful yet functional, all while earning enough money to survive. Studio Culture: The Secret Life of the Graphic Design Studio by Adrian Shaughnessy and Tony Brook is the first book released by Unit Editions, and offers to shed light on this...

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Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig

Having only recently been exposed to the work of Alvin Lustig I was very excited to learn of the publication of the monograph Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig chronicling his life as a designer, teacher and author. I was only aware of some of his earlier experimentations with printers’ ornaments, but I was already extremely interested. I had high hopes of learning much more about the work, the man behind it, and the environment in which it was created. The book did not...

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Interaction of Color by Josef Albers

Review by Carolina de Bartolo I’ve long thought of Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color as the one and only book you’ll ever need to understand how to use color as a designer. Originally published in 1963, Yale University Press published a lovely revised and expanded edition in 2006, which is 3.25 cm (1.25 in) taller and includes a number of additional color plates. (Click to enlarge) Designers tend to think of Josef Albers (1888–1976) only as a color theorist because Interaction of...

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Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss?

James Victore has never been one to mince words or images in his goal to communicate, and this book is no different. He starts by telling us that this book is not about graphic design, it is about ideas and opinions, more specifically, his ideas and his opinions. For better or for worse. “At a lecture I gave, a designer plaintively explained to me that while he wanted to do creative work, he had rent to pay. “Fuck rent!” was my loud response. To give a damn is a personal...

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Talent is Not Enough: Business Secrets for Designers

“Long term success requires both creative ability and business acumen.” In one succinct sentence, Shel Perkins gets to the point. Author of Talent is Not Enough: Business Secrets for Designers, Perkins is a design educator, chairman of the AIGA Center for Practice Management, and has more than twenty years of experience managing the operations of creative firms in the U.S. and U.K. Perkins understands this business. Practical and approachable, there is a reason the book is currently in its...

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Graphic Design: A User’s Manual

Graphic Design: A User’s Manual is a book I wish I had when I started out as a designer. In the follow-up to his previous work, How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul, Adrian Shaughnessy focuses less on the nuts and bolts of the studio and is more contemplative, drawing upon his significant experience as a working designer to offer equal parts direction and discussion. The book is visually striking, set in a monospaced typeface and very deliberately accented with one...

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Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators & Creatives

Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators and Creatives Review by Jennifer New Repository, Incubator, Laboratory, Sketchbook I had to chuckle when I read DRoB Editor Andy Polaine’s recent take on the creative process his review of Designers Don’t Read: “Over my own years of writing, I have learned a great deal more about the creative process as a designer than I have through designing.” The statement seems to hold a truism since as I writer I can invert it and...

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Design is the Problem

Review by David Sherwin “Would you like a paper or plastic bag for your groceries?” Seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? Paper should be a better choice, because it will biodegrade. Plastic will go on forever in landfills and choke our oceans. Well, my answer isn’t very well informed. There are major trade-offs in the consumption, production (and related pollution), and recycling opportunities for every seemingly simple decision that we make throughout our...

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