A book you should check out and maybe own.

What is a designer: things.places.messages by Norman Potter. Matt from London suggested this as a good book for me to read. It’s a book chock full of practical advice, suggestions, examples. There is a wealth of information. One of my favourite sections is advice for beginners. It rings so true.

1. Question every brief and rewrite it to be sufficiently clear, full and definite. If you must make certain assumptions of your own state them. Get agreement for your final version. Then proceed. Fail to do this and you will fail to in understanding design.

2. Attitude: if you climb on top of a job, trying to master it, the work will suffocate. Let it take you, play with it, search for its own life.

3. Don’t be conned into thinking that only new materials or processes are worth investigating. Every material available is strictly contemporary.

4. Out of every job that seems an indistinct mess, try to rescue one small part that is clear, simple, definite, and very well made or done.

7. Every student understandably begins by striving after originality. After five years work he is delighted if he can attend to a simple job with scruple and insight (unless he is about to launch a successful career as a carrion artist). It helps, at least, to know that.

8. Always show discarded alternatives in support of your work. If you get stuck, develop these alternatives as far as you can.

9. If the world is crowded with inessential rubbish, is there a case for seeing what you can do with the cheapest most simple and most ordinary materials?

and the advice goes on…

It’s a good read. You can borrow it out at the MCAD library ( NK1510 .P67 1980 )

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