If you’ve been following this blog then you know this post picks up where the second part of the biography post left off...  It was 1998 and I’d just graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia with honors with a degree in Industrial Design and I’d successfully parlayed a 2 semester internship into a paying job. My first project as a professional designer was the graphic design of a catalog for medical file shelving!  The parent company liked it so much I got to design their industrial shelving system catalog shortly after that!..

 Specialty Shelving System - Scotch Rack Industrial Shelving System Catalog

Specialty Shelving System - Scotch Rack Industrial Shelving System Catalog

 Specialty Shelving Corporation - Medical Record Filing System Catalog

Specialty Shelving Corporation - Medical Record Filing System Catalog

There were very few photo resources for both of these catalog, and what ones there were really needed some Photoshop intervention. A lot of components needed to be drawn in 3D and assembled for parts drawing diagrams and instructional design diagrams for specifying and assembling components to make a system.  The charts needed to inform readers how to specify stock parts to create custom solutions! I can remember channeling a particular packaging design challenge an instructor gave to me once where we had to give our design drawings over to another classmate and we were graded on how well our instructions allowed them to execute our concept rather than the mockup itself.  Dressing up these utilitarian catalogs was secondary to getting the user experience communicated clearly.

At the time I worked on those catalogs what I knew about graphic design was learned from borrowed books I read on my commute to and from my internship.  Since I wasn’t offered graphic design classes in the Art Institute's Industrial Design program I took it upon myself to learn Macromedia Freehand and Quark when my internship workload was light and took on redesigning the firm's website as well.  This marked the beginning of something that would become a hobby of mine. Not graphic design per se, actually on my first few exhibit projects my role was more illustration and graphical, but I started reading graphic design books during my commute which is something that became a hobby I continued throughout my career.  

One of my favorite things to bring on long airplane trips is a good design theory book.  Some of my all time favorite graphic design resources are below:

 ISBN-13: 978-0823013050  This is the one that kind of started it all, I think every designer should own at least this book and one good book of each of type and color combinations. 

ISBN-13: 978-0823013050

This is the one that kind of started it all, I think every designer should own at least this book and one good book of each of type and color combinations. 

  ISBN-13:  978-1592531257  Rockport Publishing puts out a lot of good design books, I always liked this one as a quick resource for starting an idea for a layout grid.  

ISBN-13: 978-1592531257

Rockport Publishing puts out a lot of good design books, I always liked this one as a quick resource for starting an idea for a layout grid.  

 ISBN-13: 978-0596522346  This one was actually required reading for a professional presentation class I took when I went back to school for my Business Administration degree a few years later in my career.  This one has some really great points and I don't think it can be shared enough!  There are so many deadly powerpoint presentations out there...   

ISBN-13: 978-0596522346

This one was actually required reading for a professional presentation class I took when I went back to school for my Business Administration degree a few years later in my career.  This one has some really great points and I don't think it can be shared enough!  There are so many deadly powerpoint presentations out there...

 

  ISBN-13:  978-1568987699  I came across this one because it was reviewed under the weekly book reviews in the daily newspaper.  They raved over it and I thought it was odd that a design book was being reviewed in the metro...  Turns out they were right, it's rave-worthy.  This is one of those books that's so visually interesting it attracts attention from passengers near you.  I think when the passenger next to you says "that book looks really interesting" it means something.  This is also one of a series of books published by the Princeton Architectural Press, another really great source for design books.  Their "design briefs" collection is full of good reads that are light on filler.

ISBN-13: 978-1568987699

I came across this one because it was reviewed under the weekly book reviews in the daily newspaper.  They raved over it and I thought it was odd that a design book was being reviewed in the metro...  Turns out they were right, it's rave-worthy.  This is one of those books that's so visually interesting it attracts attention from passengers near you.  I think when the passenger next to you says "that book looks really interesting" it means something.

This is also one of a series of books published by the Princeton Architectural Press, another really great source for design books.  Their "design briefs" collection is full of good reads that are light on filler.

  ASIN:  B00BP0LTVI  Another great one I found because of another reader's book review.  This combined with the Slide-ology book above are like a masters class in communicating with clear concise visuals.     

ASIN: B00BP0LTVI

Another great one I found because of another reader's book review.  This combined with the Slide-ology book above are like a masters class in communicating with clear concise visuals.  

 

One of my goals for this blog is to share resources and create a dialogue so if any of my designer friends reading this have some favorite resources they'd like to share please do so in the comments.

I'll be back in two weeks with one of two posts I'm currently drafting.  The first is the next project in my career timeline, a board game concept design development.  The second is a recently opened 5,000 square foot environmental education center exhibit I worked on in 2015 - this post needs some in-person photographic research which hasn't been scheduled yet so I might not be able to post until 4 weeks from now - hopefully not.

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