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Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design Paperback – 1 Mar 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; Reprint edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616890614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616890612
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Bierut is the most perceptive and wittiest writer about design working today." -- Aaron Betsky, Architect magazine

About the Author

Michael Bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnatiris College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Prior to joining Pentagram as a partner in 1990, he was vice president of graphic design at Vignelli Associates in the U.S.A.


Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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
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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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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