How to Be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul Paperback – 2005
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The printing is inconsistent. Headings and notes are printed in a light blue, which on some pages are so light that they are difficult to read.
The text (from what I read) contains spelling/grammatical errors such as:
- Bean counting is a MAYOR key to success of...
- ...interviews... AS AN OPPORTUNITIES to study the...
- ...IT people, bank MANGERS, tax officials...
For a book published in the English-speaking world, I expect better English than that!
If you can overlook the above-mentioned shortfalls, I think this is a very useful book. It covers most everything a budding designer needs to know (though not in great detail), and has a LOT of useful information for someone starting out as a designer.
(Being a freelancer just starting out on my career, I would have liked some information on how to bill clients, which this book does not contain. But then, I guess I can't expect a single book to contain EVERYTHING I need to know!)
I love the design of the book. It has enough whitespace and variation that one can read it through without finding the layout monotonous and it is constructed so one can read a chapter or a section of a chapter, piece by piece, whenever you have a free moment.
Shaughnessy honestly covers the complications of working for a studio or going freelance and includes a number of voices of famous, working designers, many of which have their own take on each issue. Some fall wholeheartedly in the camp that every designer needs to spend a few years at a show working with other designers before going freelance. Others talk about how they never trained formally in school or worked for a design shop. They simply followed their passion and learned through experience, creating an impressive body of work on their own.
I was repeatedly struck with the clear, honest tone that the book is written in. I have to ask around through a range of contacts to get a clear idea of how to calculate rates, or to ask what sort of things I should have in mind before I take the step of renting office space, or even how potential clients tend to view promotional work versus work done for a paying client. No-one gives answers that are as well reasoned and understandable as the author.
I really do not know how to describe this book other than to say that everyone who works in or is thinking about working in graphic design should read this book. It combines real-life experiences, with inspiration and a practical business how-to reference for the graphic design professional. Get a copy today.