79 Short Essays on LIFE

Michael Bierut’s “79 Short Essays on Design” were interesting, entertaining, and so relevant to life in general.  I particularly liked the essay ‘How to become famous’ and found it to not only inspire me professionally, but personally as well. I really like the idea that a designer should have a visual design strategy to fall back on.  In the short time we’ve been in this program I can already tell who has specific skills in detail, illustration, etc.  I haven’t quite developed my niche area yet, but I’m working on it!

The essay on information design and the placebo effect also made me look at design in a new way.   Having a background in marketing has made me analyze many of the visuals and advertisements I see today.  I often ask, “Why did they select this image?”, “What are they trying to achieve with this advertisement?”, etc.  Bierut’s joke about the terrorism alert levels made me think about the design and marketing of that warning system.  His idea raises a good point: What was the purpose and intended audience impact?  I now see how something that probably wasn’t too difficult to design can really have an impact on the audience and can evoke many different (and possibly unintended) emotions with them.

Finally, I just need to state that I found the essay ‘I hate ITC Garamond’ to be hilarious.  It was so funny how Bierut was able to relate the anger, distaste, and otherwise unpleasant feelings that many people feel for more common and disgusting things to a typeface!


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