How to Use Graphic Design

How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world

  1. Michael Bierut
  • ISBN 9780500518267
  • 25.40 x 24.50 cm
  • Hardback
  • 320pp
  • With 592 illustrations in colour and black and white
  • First published 2015
‘Stunning work throughout’ – Typetoken

Logos, packages, signs, publications, websites:
we are surrounded by graphic design

Where does it come from?
Why does it look that way?
What is it supposed to do?

This is the first career monograph from graphic designer Michael Bierut. Using examples from a portfolio spanning five decades, he provides the answers, describing three dozen projects from start to finish, with insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the challenges that any creative person faces in bringing innovative work into the world today.

How to be a graphic designer in the middle of nowhere. How to think with your hands. How to destroy the world with graphic design. How to have an idea. How to transcend style. How to create identity without a logo. How to invent a town that was always there. How to work for free. How to raise a billion dollars. How to win a close game. How to be good. How to run a marathon. How to avoid the obvious. How to avoid doomsday. How to be fashionably timeless. How to cross cultures. How to behave in church. How to disorient an architect. How to put a big sign on a glass building without blocking the view. How to make a museum mad. How to judge a book. How to make a mark. How to squash a vote. How to travel through time. How to pack for a long flight. How to have fun witha brown cardboard box. How to shut up and listen. How to top the charts. How to convince people. How to get where you want to be. How to investigate a murder. How to be who you are. How to get the passion back. How to make news. How to set a table. How to survive on an island. How to design two dozen logos at once. How to save the world with graphic design.

Michael Bierut is a partner in the New York office of the international design consultancy Pentagram. Bierut began his career with the legendary designer Massimo Vignelli. In over 35 years of practice, he has worked for every kind of client imaginable, from professional football teams to academic research laboratories. He was elected to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 2003 and was awarded the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in 2006. Two years later, he was named winner in the Design Mind category of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards. A teacher at the Yale School of Art and a co-founder of the Design Observer website, Bierut is the author of Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design and the co-editor of the five-volume series Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic Design.


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