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Problem Solved Hardcover – 3 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; 2nd Edition edition (3 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714864730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714864730
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 3.2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Praise for the first edition: 'Students and professionals alike will enjoy this primer for its engaging text and the wealth of imagery used to illustrate points.' (Artichoke, Australia) 'For once we have a graphics book that isn't just a parade of stunning imagery - impressive though its visual content is. A challenging theory underpins each wittily titled chapter, promoting brave and contentious ideas. It also pushes the importance of words in communication - a rare treat from a serious graphics tome.' (Design Week) 'A real tour de force. It covers an amazing amount of projects (and problems) and Johnson tackles them in an unpretentious and erudite way.' 'filled with excellent examples and presented in an attractive and thoughtful way' (Grafik) 'In these days of graphics gurus and superstar admen, Michael Johnson provides a welcome reminder that the lifeblood of design and advertising remains solving some else's communication problem, and doing so elegantly and effectively. An entertaining and through primer which should find favour with students and established practitioners alike. (Creative Review) 'For once we have a graphics book that isn't just a parade of stunning imagery - impressive though its visual content is. A challenging theory underpins each wittily titled chapter, promoting brave and contentious ideas. It also pushes the importance of words in communication - a rare treat from a serious graphics tome.' (Design Week) 'Not just an important textbook, but an ode to creative intelligence.' (Magma) 'Problem Solved articulates 18 design problems, many of which communicators typically will encounter of the course of their careers. In each category, visual examples demonstrate how some of the greatest graphic designers and advertising art directors of the 20th century addressed them….As a survey of outstanding 20th-century communications, this book is very successful.' (Azure) 'Problem Solved is 288 pages of visual history and erudite commentary that, for working designers and visual aesthetes alike, will be an enlightening exploration of design’s central quandaries….Johnson examines his examples in a manner that is fresh and illuminating. He does a lovely job of tying together design, history, and aesthetic concerns into one neat bundle.' (Print)

About the Author

Michael Johnson is the award-winning creative director and founder of johnson banks, a London-based design consultancy recognised as one of the most innovative design companies in the world and whose clients include Virgin Atlantic, the British Government, the V&A, the Design council and Proctor & Gamble. He writes and lectures worldwide on design theory and practice.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G Marwaha on 14 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To start, a note for anyone that bought the first edition of the book (Problem Solved: A Primer in Design and Communications), my review won't make any comparisons with the two editions as I have never seen the original.

This second edition of Problem Solved is published by Phaidon, who seem to be the only publishers producing consistently decent books on design/advertising/communications (call it what you will). Books covering this genre traditionally tend to be more about the visuals than the text - they're usually aimed at 'providing a source of inspiration' and offer very little detail about campaigns (the text is usually an obsequious pat on the back for the author's mates). Problem Solved turns this on its head by looking at 19 recurring problems faced in design, branding and communication (i.e. the challenges faced by companies in trying to communicate with their target audience), and then explores how those problems can be (and have been) successfully solved. It's actually a clever piece of marketing as the premise of the book is that 'creative people' are looking to solve problems (be it the crap brief and/or their clients' problems).

Without boring you with the entire list of problems the book looks to solve, it does include: older brands that face possible extinction; creating illusions; when price is the key message; using shock tactics; brand evolution; information rejection; over-designed communications; and appealing to younger generations. I've simplified the chapter titles here - the author uses more witty titles.
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By Genie B on 15 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As expected. Thanks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Or Not 7 Sept. 2013
By J. Rothstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book falls well short of the promise of the title, which to my reading suggests new insight into thinking about distinct categories of design problems and structures for approaching them. Instead, it uses fuzzy titles like "THE FUNNY!!!!!!! BOO HOO PROBLEM" to loosely organize collections of work around the "theme," dubious though it often is. The printed examples are most often too small to be of much use, although that's not too big an issue as designers who have taken the smallest interest in their field will have seen many if not most of them before. The writing, despite the relative brevity (and huge print size to make up for that) nevertheless manages to be meandering and bloated and does little more than describe the image shown. There are a lot of much better written and researched books that take the same look-at-the past-for-inspiration-for-the-future approach as this one, Heller's "Design Literacy" and "Genius Moves" books come to mind.
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