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Bierut: 79 Short Essays on Design Hardcover – 1 Sep 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (1 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568986998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568986999
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 483,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Bierut is the most perceptive and wittiest writer about design working today." -- Aaron Betsky, Architect magazine --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Michael Bierut is a partner at Pentagram and a 2006 AIGA medalist. He is a design critic for the online journal Design Observer, the Public Radio International program Studio 360, and the Yale School of Art.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ed on 10 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To give you some context I am a graphic designer and I bought this in the hopes that it would give me an insight into the mental process of a well respected figure in my industry. While it perhaps doesn't succeed in the way I expected it to I've enjoyed reading it a great deal.

When I ordered the book I thought it might pull back the curtain on some of the things that many designers want to know - Where does this guy find his inspiration? What is his mental check-list when putting together a project? What's his secret to choosing the right typeface for a project? This book doesn't really answer any of those questions... at least not directly.

Instead it gives a very clear view of the way Bierut's mind works in other ways - his trains of thought; the importance he sees in topics that aren't necessarily directly related to the industry; and the anecdotal stories that tell the reader more about the culture of design rather than about design itself.

One reviewer complained that the essays were too short and that they didn't go into enough depth to educate or inspire. I think that's a little unfair: this is simply a collection of Bierut's blog posts from Design Observer, and a number of the essays have planted seeds of something in my mind, which have led to much larger discussions with colleagues, so on that level I think it has had an inspiring effect.

In short, reading this book isn't necessarily going to improve your graphic design directly, but if you're lucky it might give you an insight into the sort of thoughts that go through the mind of a designer who really knows what he's doing, and I think that counts for rather a lot.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dex Diva on 2 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
I have to agree somewhat with a previous reviewer that a lot of the essays here my Bierut are smug and self congratulatory, disguised thinly as insights. However, I think a lot of the "old school" desgn world of which Beirut and Pentagram are a part operates like that - there is a bubble of design work in which the industry awards itself and conducts a lot of naval gazing.
I must add however, that the essays are thought provoking from time to time, although often held together with a tenuous concept. Enjoyable, affordable and interesting, but don't expect earth moving revelations.
[...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Must have book for designers! It was on our reading list at University, I didn't read it whilst studying! But have read it since, and it's a very enlightening and brilliantly written book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am satisfied with the book. It is a christmas-present for my son, and he is very happy to have received it.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BambooWand on 22 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed to discover a complete absence of academic rigour in any of the essays. It reads like series of printed blog posts. I was expecting to read something that would inspire me, or educate me. But nothing was properly researched. For example there isn't a bibliography, no substantive research. It is full of anecdotes and conjecture. I real disappointment.
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