AIGA Book Club: Popular Lies About Graphic Design

Popular lies book club header

At the latest AIGA board meeting a member suggested we start a book club, I immediately fell in love with the idea! It gave me an opportunity to read about design and a relaxed arena to talk about design with my peers. Something I felt I had been missing while living in my current “vacuum”.

The first book chosen is called Popular Lies About Graphic Design by Craig Ward.  I must admit I was curious about the content. I was not sure what to expect, and I dare not tarnish my perception by reading book reviews/ comments from others who read it. After all, this is my first book for the book club, not a blender from Target. That is also why I decided to  purchase the paperback versus read the online PDF.

And I am so happy I did!

Seconds after I received my book from the local bookstore

To me the best part about this book, other than the content, is the layout, something I feel I cannot appreciate on a screen. (I must admit I just purchased my first ebook this summer, and after reading it, I purchased the paperback version)

Me reading the book on the plane

The book is 152 pages, 36 chapters, pocket size and  packed with a bunch of exciting layouts and excellent use of space, all designed in black, white, and a few uses of orange.

Throughout the book, Ward personally examines several phases (or lies if you will) that is heard at one point in a designer’s career: Comic San is the worst typefaces ever created; graphic design is easy; you’ve got to live in New York; print is dead.


To me the book felt like a piece of design and not just a printed blog post filled with opinions. Ward uses the layout of each chapter to visually provoke the reader to engage within the pages. This can be seen in two of my favorite pages: Graphic design is easy, and Legibility and readability are basics the same. These pages visually depict the lie that’s being introduced to the reader.

He pushes the concept even more in his center pages, where his asked other designers what lies they were told, the introduction pages to this chapter are arranged horizontally across two pages which places page 64 on page 65.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the honesty of the content, as a new designer when you hear your peers and mentors say something like “Apple has good graphic design” or “symmetry is bad” you feel you should agree. After all they are designers too and know what they are talking about, right? So with that said, I will end this post with two thoughts: one if you have not purchased the book, you should (or if you must, read the pdf) and come to the book club Thursday, November 12th to share your thoughts… And secondly with an honest statement…I don’t hate the typeface Comic Sans.

Exit mobile version