Monday, June 6th, 2011...9:10 am
Book Review – Logo Design Love
Logo Design Love is one of the hottest books on the market for designers. There is a reason for this – it’s a solid book with good information and it has an amazing marketing campaign behind it. But, after reading it, I’m wondering if it’s really as amazing as the all of the hype surrounding it. The book left me with mixed feelings and kind of a 70/30 sense of what this review should be like. Usually, I either love a book or I don’t want to have anything to do with it. This one left me somewhere in the middle and not feeling strongly about either side.
So let’s start with the positives. First of all, let me just get one thing out of the way. This is the first and only technical book that I have ever read from cover to cover. Many times I have picked up books and quickly lost interest only to go find the information I needed via the Internet. But with this book, I read it all. Every single page. So, that right there should tell you something and I’d like to give kudos to the publishers for marketing it well enough that I chose to pick it up in the first place.
The book is very well written. Author David Airey does a really great job of talking TO his audience rather than talking AT them. He also has a way of getting his point across without the over-use of technical jargon or using the book to boast about his own achievements (and if you follow David, then you know that he has plenty to be boastful about.) Because of these things, the book is very easy and even enjoyable to read as David gives you a step by step guide of not only logo design but also of working business practices. David also spends some time talking about where he went wrong and covering what not to do along with what to do. I loved that. The personal stories helped me to connect to the book and the information being delivered.
Complimenting David’s writing, the book is scattered with multiple design image examples that help to illustrate points and the designs come from established designers and design companies. By using examples from these professionals, the reader can get a real sense of what it’s like to work as a brand identity artist. But, the real hook of the book, the reason of why I read it from cover to cover and why I believe this book is as popular as it is, comes in the first four to five pages of the first chapter. In fact, I think those few pages may have just messed with my head forever and I know that I’ll never forget them.
Here’s something else that I liked about the book – the information given was 100% solid. No fluff, no fancy extras, just real, to the point, get-in-get-out helpful information. Too many times I have seen technical books run off on tangents making you wonder how you got from point A to point Q and what steps you somehow skipped in-between. This book doesn’t do that. It’s well organized and doesn’t miss a single step which makes it easy to refer to should you ever need to go back over something.
30% Not So Great
Ok, so here’s where I’m getting hung up. There is not a single piece of information or advice in this book that was new to me. This left me feeling a little uninspired and a little disappointed. Now, I’m not saying that I know everything there is to know about logo design. Far from it in fact. But that’s why I picked up this book – to learn. So, I read the book, only to discover that there was nothing in it that I wasn’t already doing or hadn’t already read somewhere else. Now, that does not mean that the information might not be relevant to someone else. But since this is a one-sided review, my side, I just didn’t get that much out of it that I could use. What I would love to see is a “Logo Design Love 2″ book that covers the things that designers don’t discuss too often like contracts, an in-depth look at the research process, how to negotiate for brand expansion designs (ie. business cards, stationary, etc.), design principals that make for outstanding logos, how to find out if the design you love was already designed by someone else, and working with internet based companies that often times want a more complex design. This is the book that I would find to be most helpful and I think the two books combined would be a powerhouse of information for any designer. Sadly though, this book doesn’t exist and I am left with a great guide… for beginners.
The Bottom Line
If you are a beginner, go out and get this book. Make it your logo bible. If you are not a beginner, borrow the book from a friend because it’s still worth the read but not worth the purchase. If you are an expert, skip this book and please write me a book that I can learn from.
If you own this book or have read it already – I would love to hear from you!
What do you think of Logo Design Love?