Monday, November 1, 2010

The Education of an Art Director Book Review

The Education of an Art Director is an interesting how-to book, written in a informal how-to way. There is no clear answer to how to actually become an Art Director in this book, but many individuals telling their stories, (mostly working for up and coming print magazines) on how they got to where they are today. There was a lot of great names mentioned like Alexander Liberman and Paul Rand, that only make you wish you were in the height of your career in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's.
This book was written by Steven Heller, a very well know graphic design education book writer and Veronique Vienne a well know writer on design ethics and business practices. Some chapters held great inspiration while others read a bit dry but got a similar point across; that the education of an Art Director does not necessarily come from school education but from your apprenticeship to those great around you.
Passage from the book on hiring well, "Design Director Joe Dizney at Wall Street Journal oversees a staff of fifty in New York metro area, plus small staffs in Brussels and Hong Kong. 'Hire good people, hire smart people, then be fair and honest with them,' he says. 'I see myself as an entertainer first, then a friend, then a boss.'"
Topics that this book talks about range from starting out as a intern, to mentoring and teaching. A great read for those of us who need to look up and out and appreciate many of the co-workers that help bring their strength and creativity to the table.

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