Book reviews

"Damn good advice (for people with talent)" (George Lois, 2012)

Damn good advice

I don't even know why I bought this book. It had been praised by some blogger I trusted, I think, and I had been finding it in every design bookshop I visited for a while, so I thought that maybe that was a signal I had to buy it.

It actually makes for a very good lightweight non compromising read. Little capsules of thoughts you can read in a couple of minutes and then life goes on. So it was good for reading a little bit, maybe meditating on the idea for a while, then falling asleep like a log.

There are a few interesting thoughts or "inspirational stuff" on the book, but I don't think I'll be revisiting it often as I do with other books. The design isn't particularly appealing to me, and it feels a little bit like an egotrip for George, but I guess the whole point it to be cheeky and provocative, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Some of the interesting ideas:

  • creativity should communicate in a nanosecond
  • But always remember, you're trying to sell something. So ask for the sale!
  • Reject group grope
  • Make your presence felt
  • Always do three things when presenting a Big Idea: 1) tell them what they're going to see 2) show it to them 3) tell them, dramatically, what they just saw
  • Never, ever, work for bad people
  • Never eat shit
  • If you think people are dumb, you'll spend a lifetime doing dumb work
  • 80% of life is showing up -- make things happen!
  • Any great creative idea should stun momentarily -- it should seem to be outrageous
  • or, what the hell, be totally outrageous
  • inspire breakthrough creative thinking - go to the museums!
  • crave immortality (what you leave behind when you're dead)
  • Speak up, goddammit! (but if you're afraid to speak up, maybe it's not worth saying)
  • Energy begets energy
  • Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are 50 years old
  • Extoll your mentors