Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut, ISBN-13: 978-1568986999


Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut, ISBN-13: 978-1568986999

[PDF eBook eTextbook]

  • Publisher: ‎ Princeton Architectural Press; 1st edition (May 17, 2007)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 240 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1568986998
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1568986999

Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design brings together the best of designer Michael Bierut’s critical writing serious or humorous, flattering or biting, but always on the mark. Bierut is widely considered the finest observer on design writing today. Covering topics as diverse as Twyla Tharp and ITC Garamond, Bierut’s intelligent and accessible texts pull design culture into crisp focus. He touches on classics, like Massimo Vignelli and the cover of The Catcher in the Rye, as well as newcomers, like McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and color-coded terrorism alert levels. Along the way Nabakov’s Pale Fire; Eero Saarinen; the paper clip; Celebration, Florida; the planet Saturn; the ClearRx pill bottle; and paper architecture all fall under his pen. His experience as a design practitioner informs his writing and gives it truth. In Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design, designers and nondesigners alike can share and revel in his insights.


Bierut is a writer who balances equal dose of optimism and skepticism to draw readers in and let them find their own way out. Each of the 79 essays is printed in a different typeface, and though a reader could probably do without Bulmer and Danubia, reading the changing text is part of the enjoyable adventure as Bierut looks at ordinary circumstances of design that have the ability to create extraordinary consequences in life. — Communication Arts, August 2007

Highbrow and brilliant. — New York Magazine, The Approval Matrix, August 2007

I was rewarded every time I dipped into this elegant, thoughtful compilation of stand-alone essays. — Adage, November 2007

In this lively collection of previously published essays, Michael Bierut provides a compulsively readable guide to all things design. While fonts and logos receive their expected due, so too do Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal, treadmill tripping, and enormous wild geese. — Dwell, January 2008

Topics range from design-related discourses on how to become famous or deal with a client to art, economics, history, war, politics and books. Even the redesigned Food Pyramid gets a section. Regardless of the topic, Bierut’s sometimes-bemused voice and peircing intelligence illuminate the central role of design in our lives. — STEP Inside Design, August 2007

“A very well written, witty book that should find its way into any truly nerdy Dwell reader’s bathroom.” –Dwell Magazine

Michael Bierut is a partner at Pentagram and a 2006 AIGA medalist. He is a design critic for the online journal Design Observer, the Public Radio International program Studio 360, and the Yale School of Art.

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