theMET Book Review: Graphic Design and Green Living


Princeton Architectural Press gave us three new books to share with you all! This time the subjects are varied but are all relevant to this site; they're about graphic design, green living and architecture. We've looked through them all and the one that I recommend the most is How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul.

The book gives you practical advice on how to find work as a graphic designer. They'll even tell you what to charge and how to manage your creative process. Written by designers for designers, it includes amazing interviews from today's leading designers and is a great read for anyone who wants to turn their passion into a business.

Here was my two favorite passages. They're applicable to anyone (even if you don't want to become a graphic designer).

What is creativity? Creativity is about risk-taking, it's about the rejection of comfort, and it's about sweat – not the sweat of fear but the sweat of hard work. I'll allow that there is a place for sudden inspiration, too – but inspiration only occurs when risk, discomfort, and graft are also involved.

The biggest problem designers face is fear: fear of clients, fear of failure, fear of ideas. Our ability to overcome fear is perhaps the greatest skill we can acquire. Most bad design, most mediocre design, is a consequence of fear. Clients are frightened; designers are frightened; audiences are frightened. The modern world of commerce runs on fear: a marketplace terror that makes us timid and risk-averse. Most of us deal with fear by falling back on the familiar and the safe. But if we do this, we are no allowed to turn round and say our lives are dull. If we are going to avoid losing our souls, we have to overcome the fear.

How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul, new edition by Adrian Shaughnessy

Published to instant acclaim in 2005, How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul has become a trusted resource for graphic designers around the world, combining practical advice with philosophical guidance to help young professionals embark on their careers. This new, expanded edition brings this essential text up to date with new chapters on professional skills, the creative process, and global trends that include social responsibility, ethics, and the rise of digital culture. [buy here]

Small Scale: Creative Solutions for Better City Living by Keith Moskow, Robert Linn

Think big, design small. This is the rallying cry of a new generation of architects and artists who aim to improve the lives of city-dwellers through small-scale public design projects. Using the city as an open-source platform for ideas, these visionaries create “urban interventions” to address problems specific to urban life. Small Scale presents fifty ingenious yet simple projects ranging from the purely conceptual to the fully realized. From a bridge that curls up into itself when not in use, to a stacked rental car dispenser, to a bus-stop like shelter that uses bright lights to treat seasonal affective disorder in the winter, these projects energize our cities' leftover spaces and help us imagine the future of our urban infrastructure. [buy here]

Narrow Houses: New Directions in Efficient Design by Avi Friedman

Narrow Houses presents a thorough overview of the practical considerations of designing a narrow-front home, including siting, floor arrangements, footprint, and interior and exterior finishing. The book documents twenty-eight innovative examples of narrow houses from around the world designed by today's foremost architects. Project data including floor plans and extensive interior and exterior photography demonstrate the inherent flexibility of this housing model and the many possibilities for adapting these homes to the constraints of site, climate, budget, family size, and other needs. [buy here]

Pick up these books and more at Princeton Architectural Digest. They have a great selection of art, architecture and design books for the passionate reader.

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