Book It! Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming by Ellen Lupton

Welcome to our new book review series – Get Booked!
We’ll be asking local professionals for their book recommendations to share with our design community. We’re kicking of this series with a review from Ron Baker, Principal and founder of Rizen Creative. Take a look and get inspired!

The difference between mediocre graphic design and brilliant graphic design can more often that not be attributed to the use of a process or not. Before you can craft, you must understand the branding and/or design problem. Then, solving the problem before you ever allow your fingers to touch the mouse.

Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming helps engage, remind and educate about the creative process, including great educational tips toward helping solve design and branding challenges. Through the art of interviewing, research, case studies, exercises and presentation techniques, just to name a few, this book does a nice job of illustrating in a very easy to understand text. The book was designed for creatives. It is both simple to follow, and gives nice visual examples. While it doesn’t delve into exhaustive detail and insight, it’s still a nice reference for kick-starting brain block.

One highlight of the book, covers the sometimes overlooked process of a “brand matrix”. So often, creatives jump to the answer before truly understanding the brands competitors, market-segment, name recognition, etc. Again, the book doesn’t do important processes like this justice due to lack of detail, but, it at least reminds them to engage tools like this. Hopefully, encouraging further exploration and insight into this type of problem solving.

With so many good quotes in the book, here is one that really hits home. “Sometimes an idea can be our worst enemy, especially if it blocks our thinking of alternatives.” – Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall

Whether you are fresh out of school, in the trade for 2 years, or 20, this is simply a nice reminder of basic tools for helping in the planning and execution of great ideas and design.

Available at Papress & Amazon.

By Ron Baker
Published October 21, 2013
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