How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer won’t teach you how to create an award-winning ad campaign. It won’t teach you how to lay out the best website, or even how to properly use the pen tool. What you will learn is much more valuable. You will learn the ins and outs, the idiosyncrasies and secrets, from some of the top designers in the business. And knowing why Michael Bierut does something is far more fascinating than how he does it.
Each interview is a delight to read. Debbie Millman, who wrote the book and led the interviews, has a natural way of cutting to the point and allowing the interviewees to really get down to the bones of their message. There are some really touching moments in each interview that reflect the designer’s internal thoughts and feelings so much so that by the end you really feel you have met each one yourself.
As you read, it becomes very interesting to compare and contrast these people to one another, and you pick up on just how different the philosophies of each designer are. Yet, despite some feeling the need to obsessively collect notebooks or limit their palates to nothing but black and red, each one finds themselves celebrated in their field. If anything, it really leaves you with a wonderful feeling that there is no magic formula to great design other than love of the craft. And isn’t that why we’re all here in the first place?