Graphic Design Self Promotion – Graphic Design Book Review

Graphic Design Self PromotionGraphic design self promotion is always a tricky thing so anything that helps is always welcome. I was recently given a copy of a new ebook called 10 Steps to Powerful Online Self Promotion for Creatives written by Alex Mathers. I have to admit I was a bit sceptical about this, as a year or two ago I was given another book on the same subject which was very basic and declined to review it. Fortunately though this book is excellent and exceeded my expectations.

I have been doing a lot of reading up on social networking (I have pile of books) and to be honest I could have thrown them away and just read this one. What is good about this book is it is targeted directly at a creative person and so tells you the things you really need to know.

The book walks you through many different ways of doing graphic design self promotion online – including creating online graphic design portfolios, setting up your designer’s twitter step by step (I need to do this myself), creating your designer’s facebook and fan page. The book however does go far beyond this with methods you may not have even considered and should have ideas for both the novice and more experienced designer.

There are so many ideas in this book you could gradually implement an idea or two a week and soon build up both your credibility and list of potential graphic and web design clients.

The book will be released on 10th March, but Alex is currently also given away some free tips on creative and graphic self promotion if you join his mailing list.

I actually had a go at creating a little Youtube video animation for the book, to try out Photoshop CS3 animation timeline its my first attempt and I had a few problems with quality but here it is…

Street Sketchbook: Art and Design Book Review

I got the book Street Sketchbook as a present (from my Amazon wishlist) not this Christmas but the Christmas before and I have been meaning to review it ever since.

Street Sketchbook is as the name implies a look at the sketch books of artist and illustrators. The word “Street” does not necessarily mean that the artists are street artists, though some are, but is used more as a term to describe non conformists art. A lot of the sketches are character based, with interlocking patterns and figures and is a great source of inspiration for graphic designers and illustrators alike. I don’t know about you but I sometimes prefer the rough drawings I do for my design projects to he finished designs. A sketch just manages to have spontaneity that is difficult to maintain.

Below are some pages from the book

street sketchbook design book - designer sketches

I really like the use of ready made/found  images in the pages above. It’s something that could be used as inpiration for illustration or design – using the idea of taking found textures and drawing on top of them.

street sketch book design book - pen and ink character design

I like the way this image flows across the page and the stylistic characters are beautiful.

street sketchbook watercolour illustration

As you would expect from a sketch book many of the illustrations are black and white, but as you can see from the pages above some artists also demonstrate the use of loose vibrant colour work.

Overall I think this book is a great source of imagery, I was so impressed I actually bought a painting (below) by one of the featured artists Wayne Horse 

black and white painting

A Design Book with an Unusual Concept

I was sent a link to a new design book by the author Maggie Macnab, which has an unusal idea behind it. Her theory is that memorable graphic designs come about because they contain symbols and shapes that occur in our everyday lives in nature. Take a look at the video for the book, it’s on my Amazon wish list.

Contemporary Graphic Design – Book Review

A guest review by Harry Elliot

Contemporary Graphic Design, published in 2007, by Peter & Charlotte Fiell, Taschen, contains an eclectic mix of around 100 graphic designers and their work. The book itself is attractively presented with full-page spreads and a glossy finish. It opens with an introduction that illustrates the preoccupations and issues to which modern graphic designers are responding and also considers the ever evolving medium of graphic design and its developing formats. Each artist has a number of different pieces presented, ranging from record covers, web pages, fonts and commissioned work. They also have the chance to explain their individual design principles, which adds significantly to the experience and develops the reader’s view of the work.

The wide range of artists and work includes Jonathan Barnbrook’s highly politicised work, Yomar Augusto’s abstract pieces and the conceptual handiwork of Craig Holden Feinberg. Over 500 pages long the book is a great source of inspiration due to its diverse selection of designers, as well as being an interesting read. Not only does it capture the mood and feel of design right now but also considers the future for this discipline.

The book is for sale at Amazon and Taschen
graphic design book - a book about contemporary graphic design for graphic designers

Travel Books for Designer or Creative

travel book for graphic designers

I know some of you are very keen travellers, so when I read in Computer Arts Magazine about some new travel guides aimed at creative people I thought I would write a quick post about them. I haven’t bought any of the books but according to the books’ website:

Little Black Books are city guides created specifically for the ad industry that cover the best places to sleep, eat and drink, from the quirky to the fantastic. LBBs are of great value to readers throughout the year, helping you choose where to entertain clients, host company events or accommodate visitors. In addition to information on travel and entertainment, LBBs contain a directory of production and post production company contacts as well as local associations and press contacts. You’ll also find a handy 52 week diary which lists events, award shows and local holidays—all of this in a convenient size and beautiful, eye-catching design.

I have had a quick look at the website, and from the previews it looks like the books are well designed too. The first books cover Soho (London), NYC, Santa Monica, Toronto, Miami and Cannes.