Don’t let the name fool you, “How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer” by noted brand designer, Debbie Millman is not a typical “how to” book. In Millman’s introduction she clearly sates, “the book is a glimpse into the minds of reverend masters in order to understand the way they think and why”. You won’t find chapters full of checklists for becoming a graphic designer; rather it is a very honest presentation of how giants of the industry actually think and how they connect to others. The pages are filled with interviews from 19 well known names in the field such as, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Beirut, David Carson, Peter Saville and Milton Glaser to name a few. The book is a very easy read with a friendly question and answer format. At times it will seem as the designers are contradicting each other but all of their engaging personalities will draw you in wanting to read on to the next interview. You will get a sense of the individual personas, learn how these great artists think, view the world, and how they use their attributes to better their design
In this who’s who of graphic design you will learn of success stories, jewels of wisdom, failures and short comings; so many unguarded moments that make the Design Gurus more human. The book is both funny and philosophical and shows there is not just one formula for every designer. It gives an honest presentation of what the industry is like, what relationship it has to fine art and how it has been changing over the years. Designers reveal how their designs have influenced their lives and gave them an even greater passion for producing design at higher levels. Reading these interviews is a kin to being a fly on the wall or better yet, actually in the minds of these great 19 industry Gods. It is also refreshing to learn new and interesting facts about such creative people that you idolize. After each interview the reader is left not only feeling like they know the designer personally but craving even more interaction with them. Not only does the book have a way of giving you a glimpse of the inner workings of the minds of these world famous graphic designers but it also does an astounding job of showing the forecast of the field years down the line and proving the craft is obviously here to stay. How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer is highly recommended for students, professors, designers and design enthusiasts. This book is a must have for any graphic designer’s library!
This great resource for how a designer’s mind ticks is brought to us by Debbie Millman who has over 25 years experience in the design business. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She is a writer, educator, artist, brand consultant, and host of the radio show, “Design Matters.” Her way of conducting interviews is more like a free form conversation. She always does her homework before an interview and has a knack for getting her subjects to open up and proceed candidly through the interview. She allows each designer to speak, to answer the question, while never giving too little or too much information.
After reading, How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, not only will you come away feeling just a little closer to these 19 world famous artists but you will also have a true understanding of the mind of these very talented individuals. Just as Emily Oberman said, “I love that with every new project we undertake, we learn something new. We learn something new every day. How lucky is that?”.