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A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design Paperback – 13 Aug 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; New Ed edition (13 Aug 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714838128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714838120
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 2.2 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

'Beautifully edited, lovingly and carefully compiled ... both intellectually and aesthetically stimulating. Oh, and it's funny too.' (Graphics International)

'This book keeps the fun coming. There are so many wonderful (and superbly reproduced) examples of sharp, deftly done pieces that the reader becomes greedy, devouring hit after hit.' (Print)

From the Author

Best examples of graphic wit over the past 30 years.
A Smile in the Mind: Witty thinking in graphic design by Beryl McAlhone, a writer with a special interest in design, and David Stuart, a founder member of The Partners. A Smile in the Mind focuses on the graphics which give the most pleasure - the ideas that prompt a smile. These are the jobs that people remember, the projects that make designers famous. The book selects the cream of witty work from designers across the world. It comprises the most comprehensive collection of graphic wit ever published. Humour is fragile under analysis, and this is not a heavy read that wipes the smile off your face. It has a light touch, even when explaining in business terms why wit works. The authors break new ground in analyzing the kinds of thinking behind the images, in showing the 21 different ways of being witty and making the case for witty solutions. The book includes hundreds of examples for all kinds of graphics, covering the main business sectors including work from over 300 designers in the USA, Britain, Europe and Japan. Its most intriguing feature is the collection of interviews with the world's top designers which reveal the secret of secrets, how to get ideas. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By antom TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug 2000
Format: Paperback
Packed with witty graphic designs from the past three decades. Spares the reader from lengthy analyses; the illustrations speak for themselves. Good source book and a trigger for ideas.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "katiethomas" on 3 Oct 2003
Format: Paperback
This book helped me out a great deal when completeing my Graphic Design degree. It displays a variety of different types of wit, and so many things that are so simple and obviously so effective. It opened my mind to a new world of ideas in design and is a great source of inspiration. It is great to have a flick through when you feel as though you have hit a brick wall! Definitely a must for any design student.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Nov 1998
Format: Hardcover
In an era when "graphic design" is reduced to savvy computer skills, it's nice to see a celebration of our most powerful creative tool - the MIND. A must for any designer who wants to think outside the box and inspire others to do the same.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Thompson on 3 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is an absolute belter. It just had to be written someday and congratulations to Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart for having the balls to take on this daunting task.

Put simply, it's a book about 'ideas'. As such, it should be compulsory reading for any creative (or anyone else, come to think of it) who's considering entering design or advertising. It really is that important.

I could have done with it forty-odd years ago when I was about to go off to art school and my mum asked "what's graphic design?" It would have answered her question without any need for garbled explanation. Also, I could have used it to wallop the heads of my various dimwitted, Philistine, design tutors who were too stupid and set in their ways to appreciate the emerging relevance, and joy, of 'ideas'.

However, there was one tutor who I wouldn't have needed to wallop: the great Bob Gill. At the time, both he and Robert Brownjohn were (almost) alone in blazing the ideas trail. This book is testimony to the fact that they were on the right track, opening doors for others to follow. Opening this book is like opening those doors. It's a breath of fresh air.

I do have one minor criticism though. While the book features relevant work by people who undeniably deserve recognition, it unnecessarily includes a few design stylist 'luvvies' whose trendy offerings clearly don't fit the categories of 'witty' or 'ideas'.

Apart from that it's a darned good read. And it will make you smile.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A customer on 21 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
There are hundreds of books at the moment claiming to be the experts on Graphic Design.
Too many either take themselves much too seriously or fall back on the picture book format where
thousands of images lack structure and editing resulting in visual wallpaper.
The classic `Smile in The Mind` however, does neither and has the perfect balance of information and inspiration.
Its no wonder then, it is on the `essential reading' list of any graphic design course worth its salt.
(It could however, be revised to include a few more recent examples)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GOTTON on 10 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback
I couldn't agree with the subject matter of this book more. Wit and humour are without a doubt some of the most important things you can possibly put into your work as a designer. As they rightfully point out it helps to engage your audience, it makes them want to interact with your work and it provides them with rewards that make them feel good.

Why then has this book lost two stars in the rating?

Simply because the authors have not heard their own message. The writing in this book was about as engaging as a school textbook. Everything was analysed and broken apart well but it lacked the wit and humour that helps greatly in more than just design but in all aspects of learning as well. If the content of this book had a bit more of what they were discussing built into it then this would have been a five star book. As it was it ended up being a long winded book that, as with all overly analytical books, started to kill its subject matter through boredom.

Overall not a bad book and an interesting topic but it could have been covered better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By THOMAS-PETER WALKER on 12 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was bought as a gift for my great-niece who is now in her final year studying graphic design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, Scotland.
She was delighted with her gift. Apparently it is a book highly recommended by all her tutors. Unfortunately, there is only one copy in the college library and the demand on that is high, hence her delight in having a copy of her own.
I think the fact that this book is so highly recommended by experienced graphic tutors and lecturers speaks for itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book goes beyond just a collection of pretty graphics. It brings you into the process of creativity. That is unusual and commenable.
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