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The Design Method: A Philosophy and Process for Functional Visual Communication (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 13 Aug 2013
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“There are so many design books that are simply overblown portfolios. The Design Method presumes that designers know how to read and think. The book is dense, intelligent, and bravely opinionated. When designers are given nothing but frosting and pretty fluff, it is refreshing to see a book that challenges perceptions and informs us.”
About the Author
Eric Karjaluoto is creative director and a founding partner of the creative agency smashLAB. Since 2000, he has helped a broad range of clients including The Vancouver Aquarium, the University of Minnesota, and The Nature Conservancy with their strategic, design, and communication challenges. Eric wrote Speak Human (Outmarket the Big Guys by Getting Personal), and he writes regularly about design at erickarjaluoto.com.
Top customer reviews
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Much like the writing on Eric's blog: ideasonideas.com, his first two books have the same humour and creativity I have enjoyed as an over the pond long time subscriber to his posts. A thought provoking and personal writing style that uses straight forward language makes for easy reading.
A large part of the first first chapters can be summed up in the following statement
"Your value as a designer isn't limited to the designs you create; it's in facilitating a process that can lead your clients to fruitful, and profitable, insights." p44
Much of the book has strong ideas, strong statements and strong personal insights and this book is aimed at those looking to challenge personal mindsets on what a designer should be.
The word client appears on almost every page and Chapter ten is titles: Presenting work to Clients. The author's Design Method is a structured theory to help designers who, because they work in a studio, will probably tackle a whole range of design challenges from corporate identity to label design to Annual Reports to logos to company brochures over a year with the client always in the back of their minds. Each job is different and requires research and creative strategies which are not needed by designers who work in the arena of the creative jobs I described above.
This a book full of words about essentially a visual subject and it really would have helped to cut back on a lot of the text and used illustrations (with deep captions) to explain why some creative ideas work and others don't. There are a few images in the book but they mostly small and in mono.
Worth a read if you aspire to run a design studio with a lots of clients others can carry on designing as usual.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you want to grow as a designer, work better as a team and succeed in growing an agency, this book is perfect for you. Read it. A few times.
There are too many reasons to name. I am a graphic designer with 15 years of experience. I'm also an avid reader and really appreciate the fact that a fellow Designer put something out there for the betterment of the community instead of just serving up his ego and promoting his services. The book is filled with revelations and insights. But be aware! At times this read can be brutal for some designers, especially the ones who call themselves Artists.
Also, the design types who typically don't read, at the very least should smooth through the first chapter for one good reason. It'll make them experience a somewhat painful wake up call that hopefully will entice them reexamine their long standing yet often dysfunctional attitudes and beliefs. This first chapter is equally hilarious as it is merciless in destroying the creative myths, associated with our beloved yet often confused and misunderstood industry. As you read it, something deeply inside your psyche will have trouble agreeing with Erick's perspective. That's because it cuts a little too close to the heart. I felt it too at times, but eventually confessed to myself that I agreed with most of his analysis. The only author's aspect I happen to religiously disagree with is his stand on presenting a single design solution to the client. I think this approach holds true in many cases, but not in every case. Indeed, when the company offers up a product or service that we all as consumers understand due to the first hand knowledge, it's perfectly all right to offer one and only best solution. However, because we, as designers often times work with industries, whose products or services are a bit uncommon, it's dangerous to play "know-it-all" and offer one and only supreme answer.
As I was going through the rest of the book I've bookmarked many pages, some for immediate needs, and some for future reference. I only wish a book like this came out a little sooner. Say,15 years sooner! It would have saved many small and big design agencies from going under. It would also have benefited a copious army of students that sadly enter this field for the wrong reasons and then leave disgruntled, burnt out, and disillusioned. I strongly believe this book should be distributed at all design schools across America to help the young and the green get a more objective grip on reality of the design field and armor them with practical and generous strategic insights.
Should one read this book from cover to cover? I certainly did, but If you are a seasoned professional you may have already learned, perhaps the hard way, why certain things work and why others lead to failure. Those, however, who haven't made enough mistakes of their own and wish to avoid them in the future, should devour this little book in its entirety.
Read it. Reread it. Share.