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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2012
After 19 years as a Graphic Designer and Photographer for a management consultancy, I recently grabbed voluntary redundancy. Phew! For the last five or so years I had begun to wonder whether I really enjoyed design or despised it. It was difficult to distinguish whether the problem lay in design, or designing for THAT particular company. So I began reading design again. Adrian Shaughnessy's 'How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul' reminded me what a wonderfully exciting and interesting profession it is. He seems to give us a very honest and candid account of one designer's experiences grappling with and growing within the design world; and starting, running and ultimately leaving a design studio to go off on his own again.

The book goes way beyond graphic technique and the latest notions of 'cool' - to discuss things like retaining and promoting integrity in the design business, grappling with design BS (client BS as well as how much it might be necessary for you to dish out), some real-life insights into hiring and firing practice of graphic designers (and clients!). Shaughnessy spends some valiant time trying to get beneath the notion of creativity. Regarding design briefs, he offers some good suggestions: take up a role of scepticism and interrogation towards them, be wary of conventional wisdom, rely very much on common sense, and look for what is missing from the brief (which is often the key to unlocking really successful work). And - quite inspiring this - he gives us the green light to rely on our INTUITIONS, without apology. Nice.

If you want a book about GRAPHIC DESIGN AS LIFE, this is it.
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on 2 July 2012
Picked this up as I was kind of sick of graphic design books which merely provide examples and inspiration and wanted something, as a fledgling graphic designers, which I could read and use practically in the real world.

This book is excellent for that, it provides a huge amount of insight into being a graphic designer and how to cope with/avoid the common tropes graphic designers go through. The book is comprehensive in humanising the profession in a wide array of of areas.

The book has some humorous flair, but is at it's core a self-help book, and it's to be admired for being one. It's well worth picking up.
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on 30 January 2014
This book has been the best tool I've got in my path to being a Graphic Designer, I suggest any student about to get into this industry to read this book. Covers all the points other books with both sides of the story and suggestions on dealing with certain situations. In a way it does tell you much of what you already 'should know' but its good to get a confirmation that your thinking is on the right path. Have been suggesting this book to all other students on my course as its helped give me the push to achieve as much as possible.
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on 16 March 2014
This book is another essential to add to the list for any new or experienced designer. It has a lot of information relating to portfolios, presenting yourself, interviews, landing your first job. I haven't given it a full 5 stars as it is a bit long winded in some of it's explanations of things. This didn't stop me from reading it cover to cover though. I have referred back to it several times since finishing it too.
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on 4 November 2011
A friend of mine recommended for me this book.
From the tittle, looks like a "Utopic" vision of the Graphic Design market, written from a designer frustrated and imature designer.
Like my mother says.. never judge a book from the cover.

This book is an AMAZING start point for those who want to be a graphic designer freelancer, or want to open the own business.
I've never thought about do a Business Plan, for exemple, or some small things like how to keep a client, and the dynamics of opening your own studio.
It's really easy and fluid to read, and very didatic. From this book, you can start you research about more deep materials (just read the bibliography in the end of the book).

Love it, and recommend for everyone.

Arnaldo Boico
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on 28 July 2011
the book is full of extremely insightful and helpful tips and explanations of how the practical (work) world of graphic design operates.

it does speak a little about creativity and thought processes, but really concentrates on what some might call the common sense part of it. as a young (nieve) degree student i found it incredibly useful. a couple of reviews said the book was dry, but i believe those missed the point that it's trying to help you make use of your creative genius, not inspire it.
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on 30 April 2014
I am not a big reader in fact i pretty much hate reading, however i am a graphic designer an do like books. And this is a book that i am glad i put the effort in and read the first page because by the end of every page i wanted to read the next one and for me that is the sign of a well written book. it is full how grate ideas and ways of thinking and apart from the small out side margin (witch i wish was 5 mill bigger) is beautifully presented.
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on 9 November 2014
I received the book on time with extra shopping voucher as a gift...can't be more happy & satisfied ;)
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on 9 February 2016
I was not impressed, but it's okay. A little boring I think.
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on 9 August 2015
Don't know about the content as the book was a gift. Unfortunately when it arrived, the day before I needed it, it was slightly damaged on the front cover. Normally I would have returned it but as the moment would have passed by the time another had been received I kept it and explained the circumstances to the recipient. Hopefully she liked it (it has had many good reviews)
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