I have been meaning to review this since Christmas but have only just got round to it. David Airey is probably familiar to most of you, he gets some stick in some parts of the design blog world but he's written a good book that I'd recommend. He deserves credit for it.
Let's start with the "gets some stick" part. If you look hard enough you'll always be able to find someone who doesn't like a thing. In the far corners of the blogosphere you'll find people who look down their noses at bloggers like David Airey. I'm guessing this is because they don't fit into the London-centric design clique. But also a little bit because their work isn't award winning, world famous stuff. I hate that sort of attitude. The design industry is fairly large and only 5% of it consists of the people you read about in Design Week. The rest of it is made up of people doing work up and down the country, designing new identities for new businesses in Newark. Some of this work is good, some of it not so good. But there's also a lot of award winning, world famous agencies doing a lot of bad work.
David Airey is a good designer and in my humble opinion has got better over the last few years since we've come to know him via his blog. He's also a good blogger and a decent chap. So put your preconceptions to one side and let's have a look at this book.
First thing to note, the text is huge. That's a good thing. A design book where you can actually read the text, brilliant. Second thing to note, it's actually quite short. A design book that won't take the whole summer to read. Brilliant!
This book is a comprehensive look at logo design. It's fairly basic and better for that. It's straight forward and easy to understand. As David does on his blog, he backs up his points with lots of photographs and roughs of different stages of logo design. This works really well. Designers talk about how they designed a logo and you get to see the sketches along with their thoughts. That's a rare thing in a design book. And very beneficial to someone wanting to learn about logo design.
The book features work by Lindon Leader, SomeOne and Bunch among other. Here are some logos I liked.
The new version of the French Property Exhibition.
David also talks about his own work, as he does on his blog.
I feel the book will be most useful to someone starting out in logo design, maybe in the first years of a degree course. Or someone who has a basic understanding of logo design and wants to know more but is put off by the big glossy design tomes.
It's full of useful advice that might seem obvious, but isn't. Like this.
There are lots of big famous agencies that don't take that advice.
This is a well put together, well written, comprehensive, manageable introduction to identity design. The design world is better off for this book. If you're in the market for that kind of thing you can buy it here.
"It wasn’t long before I emailed him a PDF containing a large chunk of my book, saying that if Tom was able read it and offer a quote, that I’d need his words by the end of the week. That only gave Tom a few days, so needless to say, I wasn’t hopeful.
Friday passed, and I thought to myself that the book wasn’t something Tom would want to put his name on. That’s fair enough. I’d be equally critical of endorsing someone I knew nothing about on the back of an emailed PDF.
Then on Tuesday Chris got back to me saying, “Tom loved your work and gave what I think, as a book author myself, is a perfect blurb."
Good enough for Geismar, good enough for me.