A smile in the mind: witty thinking in graphic design

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Phaidon Press, May 16, 1996 - Design - 240 pages
12 Reviews
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.

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Review: A Smile in the Mind

User Review  - Rob Snow - Goodreads

A must for any graphic designer. Especially if they have concerns to understand the importance of lateral thinking in design. Humour being one of the fundamental aspects of good advertising and design ... Read full review

Review: A Smile in the Mind

User Review  - Jiri Jerabek - Goodreads

Fantastic explanation of a creative process by some of the brightest design and advertising minds. Read full review

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About the author (1996)

David Stuart is Associate Director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Project, Peabody Museum, Harvard University & coauthor of "Classic Maya Place Names".

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