If Twitter were a thing back in the ’70s and 80s it would be littered with the musings from famed graphic designer George Lois. Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America’s Master Communicator, George Lois kept popping up on absolutely every must-read list for creative people and has been on my reading list for a while now. I finally decided to pick it up and give it a shot.
If you don’t recognize Lois by his name, you should definitely know his work—from his iconic Esquire covers to launching MTV into moon man welding, super stardom. He’s the only person hanging in all the Halls of Fame (ADC, One Club, AIGA, CLIO, AAF) and not to mention star of the documentary Art & Copy.
In short, he knows what the hell he’s talking about.
Enter, Damn Good Advice, Lois’ latest book (debuting in 2012, so I’m a little late to the party) giving hopefuls, pros, and creative thinkers 120 pieces of advice on…well everything. Big ideas, inspiration, selling work and selling yourself; whatever you need there’s a word for you.
It’s hard to pick a favorite piece of advice out of the book. But in the unlikely life or death situation where I had to choose it would be:
“No matter what stage you are in your career, use your creativity to stand up for our heroes, and protect your culture against villains.”
That quote stood out to me as a young creative. Though we’re interns, students, juniors—whatever, our work still has the power to elicit change and positively shift culture. Obviously, in the ad business our goal is to push product, but in that process we should never exploit ourselves, our culture and the people we admire. That’s everything Black Coffee Creatives stands for. That’s everything I stand for as a person, as a creative.
If you peruse Buzzfeed on the daily, this book will be a breeze to get through. The list format paired with colorful pictures on every page keeps it engaging even for the shortest of attention spans.
This quick read filled with practical advice really puts this book off the charts. Priced at round $5, it’s cheaper than a fancy cup o’ joe–that alone is worth 5 out of 5 mugs. Definitely add this book to your collection, you’d be a fool not to.