Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming, Review

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Research

One of my favorite graphic designers and authors, Ellen Lupton, has a new book coming out this June called Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming. Last week, I was fortunate to have watched an AIGA lecture led by Lupton and some of her graduate students at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). The hour long lecture talked you through her new book and explained some of the design exercises from the book. There was also a question and answer session at the end of the seminar.

In the lecture, Lupton addressed three major components of the design process; Defining the Problem, Getting Ideas, and Creating Form. Her book further demonstrates different methodologies, activities,and exercises that one can do to push the design process. Some of the exercises included brand books, visual research, visual brain dumps, forced connections, action verbs, kit of parts, and sprinting. Overall, the book seems very clear and elegant, and makes for a “must have” in the design arsenal.

Ellen Lupton is the director of the M.F.A. Graphic Design program at MICA and curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City. She has also written some other favorite design books of mine including Thinking with Type which I recommend to all my beginner typography students as well as my seasoned design colleagues.

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