Book review #3

Some inspiring highlights:

-seeing comes before words
-design is still something you do with the hand, eye & brain
-there is no such thing as an un-designed graphic object anymore
-graphic design has a cultural and aesthetic value beyond the mere trumpeting of commercial messages
-graphic design is best when the designer's voice is allowed to register
-designers must acquire levels of entrepreneurial determination
-designers must have a cultural awareness / curiosity beyond graphic design - treat life as research
-designers must be able to talk about their work in a coherent, convincing and objective way - the ability to use words clearly, pointedly and persuasively is at all times relevant to design work
-although designers constantly demand freedom, they really crave constraint

Author's advice
-there are no wrong jobs
-"in a world with no principles, people often respect those who have some"
-everyone who tells the truth is interesting
-when talking to clients, demonstrate understanding, openness, receptivity
-know how to say "no"
-if you're not happy with what you do, change how you do it, or change what you do
-do what comes easy; do what gives you pleasure; do it as much as you can
-if you want to be famous, the first thing you have to do is stop wanting to be famous
-find your design "voice" through your creative convictions, your personality and your awareness
-handwrite addresses on envelopes
-always take time to think

Jessica Hefland on graphic design:
"Graphic design is the visual language uniting harmony & balance, colour & light, scale & tension, form & content. It is the language of cues, puns, symbols & allusions of cultural references and perceptual inferences that challenge both the intellect and the eye."
Bruce Mau on the creative process:
"Ask the right questions, understand the problem, and explore lots of possible solutions."
John Warwick on graphic design:
"There's no such thing as graphic design, only lots of books on it and an assumption that it exists."
Steven Heller on talent:
"Talented designers are predisposed to create good-looking work. We are taught to marry type and image into pleasing and effective compositions that attract the eye and excite the senses. Do this well, we're told, and good jobs are plentiful; do it poorly and we'll produce junk mail for the rest of our lives ... As [Milton] Glaser notes, the key is to ask questions, for the answers will result in responsible decisions. Without responsibility, talent is too easily wasted on waste."
Corey Holms' advice to young designers:
"Pay attention ... Stop talking and start watching and listening."
Ian Anderson on the creative process:
"Looking at something in a different way requires the discipline of giving up what you already have."
Author's final remarks:
"The biggest problem designers face is fear: fear of clients, fear of failure, fear of ideas. Our ability to overcome fear is perhaps the greatest skill we can acquire. Most bad design, most mediocre design, is a consequence of fear. Clients are frightened; designers are frightened; audiences are frightened. The modern world of commerce runs on fear: a marketplace of terror that makes us timid and risk-averse. Most of us deal with fear by falling back on the familiar and the safe. But if we do this, we are not allowed to turn around and say our lives are dull. If we are going to avoid losing our souls, we have to overcome the fear."
(also mentioned previously)