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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

Michael Bierut

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The first monograph and manifesto by one of the world’s leading graphic designers

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Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


Logos, packages, signs, publications, websites: in the modern world we are surrounded by graphic design. Where does it come from? Why does it look that way? What is it supposed to do? This book is the first career monograph from graphic designer Michael Bierut.

Using examples from a portfolio spanning five decades, Bierut 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.

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'(An) insight into an illustrious career spanning every aspect of graphic design.'
Creative Review

'Stunning work throughout'

'[An] inspiring, highly readable monograph ... packed with insights into the creative process'
Creative Bloq

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Further Details


Format: Hardback

Size: 25.4 x 24.5 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Publication date: 28 September 2015

ISBN: 9780500518267

Contents List

Introduction • 32 projects: 1. How to destroy the world with graphic design • 2. How to be a graphic designer in the middle of nowhere • 3. How to think with your hands • 4. How to put a big sign on a glass building without blocking the view • 5. How to have fun with a brown cardboard box • 6. How to disorient an architect • 7. How to shut up and listen • 8. How to fit eleven pounds of type in a ten pound bag • 9. How to get where you want to be • 10. How to find out who you are • 11. How to write a picture book • 12. How to be fashionably timeless • 13. How to make a museum mad • 14. How to investigate a murder • 15. How to restore an organisation’s soul • 16. How to design two dozen logos at once • 17. How to set a table • 18. How to raise a billion dollars • 19. How to brand a fantasy • 20. How to win a football game • 21. How to cross cultures • 22. How to name the baby • 23. How to run a marathon • 24. How to transcend style • 25. How to make a mark • 26. How to avoid the obvious • 27. How to be grateful • 28. How to contemplate the infinite over scrambled eggs • 29. How to run your very own island • 30. How to officiate a marriage • 31. How to fly • 32. How to save the world with graphic design

About the Author

Michael Bierut’s career spans every genre of graphic design, from books and posters to packaging and signage, for a broad range of clients. He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Bierut is both a senior critic at Yale’s School of Art and a fellow of its School of Management.