A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design

A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design

Paperback

By (author) Beryl McAlhone, By (author) David Stuart, Foreword by Edward de Bono

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  • Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 252mm x 288mm x 30mm | 1,461g
  • Publication date: 13 August 1998
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0714838128
  • ISBN 13: 9780714838120
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: 630 colour and 117 b&w illustrations, index
  • Sales rank: 34,665

Product description

This book explores so-called 'witty thinking' - arguably the most entertaining area of graphic design. Witty thinking is playfulness with ideas, words playing against images, and unexpected connections prompting new insights. It is clever thinking, not funny drawing. A Smile in the Mind analyses the intricate thought processes behind the apparently forward images. It shows how to make the case for witty solutions and, through a series of in-depth interviews with the world's top designers, suggests how to get inspiration. Gathering together the best examples of graphic wit over the past three decades, this book includes work from over 300 designers in the USA, Britain, Europe and Japan. Written with insight and a subtle lightness of touch, it offers designers a friendly read, a helpful sourcebook and a dynamic trigger for ideas.

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Author information

Beryl McAlhone is a writer with a special interest in design. David Stuart is a founding member of the international design company The Partners.

Review quote

'Beautifully edited, lovingly and carefully compiled ... both intellectually and aesthetically stimulating. Oh, and it's funny too.' (Graphics International) 'This book keeps the fun coming. There are so many wonderful (and superbly reproduced) examples of sharp, deftly done pieces that the reader becomes greedy, devouring hit after hit.' (Print)

Back cover copy

The best graphic design does more than capture attention and make the audience linger. It prolongs the encounter, compelling the reader not only to notice, but to remember. This book is about making graphics memorable by using witty thinking. It argues that ideas which happen in the mind, stay in the mind. Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart begin by explaining what wit is and how it works. They make the case for wit in graphic design, seeing humour as the shortest distance between two people. The different routes designers can take are explainedincluding ambiguity, missing links, substitution and double-takes - to clarify the options available at the start of an assignment. A Smile in the Mind documents the power of intellectual playfulness as it invades even the corporate heartland of annual reports and the dry territory of technical literature. Designers can refer to examples for every category of graphics, from direct mail to information graphics, and for a variety of sectors from leisure and the arts to manufacturing and the law. For the finale, witty designers answer the big question: how did they get the idea? They offer a peep into their private working methods, as they check out word lists, look at things sideways, or put several jobs on the table at once. Gathering together the best examples of graphic wit over the past three decades, A Smile in the Mind shows work from over 300 designers in the USA, Britain, Europe and Japan.

Table of contents

The case for wit; different types of wit; items that use wit; businesses that use wit; witty designers - "How I got the idea".