How to Be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul

Type: Graphic Design
# of pages: 176
Price: $16.47 - $24.95 Buy This Book Now

You know how a person can take a Spanish class for a couple years but still not be fluent enough in the language to carry on a conversation? Some things just can’t be taught in the classroom. That is the kind of book, How to Be a Graphic Designer, without Losing Your Soul (2nd edition) by Adrian Shaughnessy is……a trusted resource of information that college didn’t teach you. It is a book about how designers should behave, not about contracts, bid sheets and proofs. It shows no nonsense strategies for setting up, running and promoting a business while staying true to your character. Shaugnessy teaches you the philosophy of the business. He does an excellent job of answering questions in a well reasoned and understandable manner.

The book is a very easy read; one you can take piece by piece, chapter by chapter. Easy to start and stop. It is written from a mentor’s point of view. Like someone guiding an individual just starting out. The writing is direct, practical and thought provoking. The 2nd edition has all new chapters covering professional skills, design thinking, and global trends including “green” issues and ethics. How to Be a Graphic Designer, without Losing Your Soul is a career manual of sorts to guide new professionals through the steps of starting in the field. The author does a good job of touching on every major aspect of the design business world. The book is like a “how to” for getting your first job or starting your own studio. You will come away with tips for both running a studio (being your own boss) and those simply going into the salaried job market of graphic design. It will help you to become an effective and self reliant Graphic Designer.

The chapter on clients is especially interesting. Shaughnessy goes into detail on how to handle messy matters with dignity. From clients refusing 3 weeks worth of work or not paying a bill, you will learn appropriate ways to deal with the business end of the field. Many examples are listed of true to life scenarios that could play out in your business. The book gives you tools for tackling many problems. The advice is especially profound for “newbies” looking for jobs, but are confused about the process of dealing with clients. Through every chapter, from clients to setting up and running a studio, to self promotion the basic theme of the book, keeping your soul is prevalent.

Along with all of the moral and professional advice and the multitude of questions answered there is also a number of interviews with today’s leading designers including Jonathan Barnbrook, Sara De Bondt, Stephen Doyle, Ben Drury, Paul Sahre, Dmitri Siegel, Sophie Thomas, and Magnus Vol Mathiassen. The interviews are complete with all new imagery and each focuses on a specific issue of importance. You will be inundated with advice from wisdom learned in the field. Have a highlighter or two ready, you will need it!

Some say considering Adrian Shaughnessy is a graphic designer by trade it is surprising that the layout of the book isn’t a little better. The blue type on white paper is at times hard to read. If you can get past that though the content is undeniably priceless; obviously so since it has sold over 70,000 copies to date. Along with being a book author and graphic designer, Shaughnessy also co-founded the design company Intro in 1989. Today he runs ShaughnessyWorks, a consultancy combining design and editorial direction. He also hosts a radio show called Graphic Design on the Radio on Resonance FM. Luckily for all the young professionals embarking on their careers he also found the time to write a tried and true resource for the field of graphic design.