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Becoming a Graphic and Digital Designer: A…

Becoming a Graphic and Digital Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design

by Steven Heller

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[Graphic d]esign is not decoration but, rather, the intelligent solution of conceptual problems; it is the manipulation of type, image, and, most of all, the presentation of ideas that convey a message.

It was from IDEO CEO Tim Brown that I first heard stressed that design is not a tweak, made near the end of a process to fine-tune or make pretty, but rather is a substantive, beginning-to-end way of thinking. It discourages me to see that designers still have to fight that characterization. But this book encourages me, with its collection of Q&As with ~80 designers, and hundreds of full-color examples of their work, that showcase the substantive contributions of graphic design.

The subtitle says it’s “A Guide to Careers in Design,” but I think it’s closer to “An Exposure to Careers in Design,” specifically graphic design. It’s not a mind-focusing, how-to book; it’s a mind-blowing primer on possibilities. It exposes the potential design student to a wide variety of content such as design genres and sub-genres, both print and digital, from fonts to images to layouts and entire installations. It touches on design markets like publishing, packaging, commerce and advertising. It also considers the workplace experience as an employee vs. independent vs. with partner, and how to stay inspired and motivated.

As a reader and writer, I enjoy author interviews for their behind-the-curtain peeks at other creatives at work. So it was for me with this book, too, where the designers’ curiosity and creativity inspired more of my own.

(Review based on a copy of the book provided by the publisher.) ( )
  DetailMuse | Jun 4, 2015 |
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