Mini Book Review: Dialogues with Creative Legends

Dialogues with Creative Legends - Aha Moments in a Designer's Career by David Calvin Laufer

I bought this book on a whim - it sounded interesting, I recognised a few (but really only a few) of the names, and the ebook version was discounted. Who would have thought that a book about design (and designers) could be such a page turner?

The book loosely connects occasions where the author met some famous and not-so famous designers, sometimes in person, sometimes attending lectures they gave. I really only recognised a few of the names initially, like R. Buckminster Fuller and Hermann Zapf. Some rang a bell although I couldn't quite put them - Paul Rand, for example, who designed the famous IBM logo.

What holds all these somewhat random stories and interviews together is the author's story - initially of trying to land his first job and later on when he moves on from one job to another. This helps us identify with him somewhat - he's chasing both his dream job and some of his heroes and we want him to succeed.

The interviews and the lessons learned from each of them are all over the place, but always interesting. We get insights on design, on creativity and innovation, but also on project management. The author highlights his personal "aha" from each of these sessions, but you can easily extract your own, when you're interested in some other aspect (especially if, like me, you're not a designer).

To give you an idea, here's a random selection from some of the quotes that I highlighted:

I never set out to design beautiful things,
but when I am done designing, if the result is not beautiful,
I know I have done something wrong.

-- R. Buckminster Fuller

Work on what makes you happy, and the money will come,
though never as fast as you need it to.

-- Hermann Zapf

The world will tell you 'that's good enough.'
But of course, the world has its head up its ass. Don't give up.

-- Herb Lubalin

Trust comes when what others say about you is better than what you say about yourself.
-- Lawrence Gellerstedt

Creative Commons Licence "Mini Book Review: Dialogues with Creative Legends" by Dirk Haun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.


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