January 15, 2006

Design It Yourself

D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself

This past Thursday, curator, professor, and author, Ellen Lupton, gave a short talk in Philadelphia. Most of her presentation revolved around her latest two books, 2004’s wonderful Thinking With Type, and her newly released, D.I.Y.:Design It Yourself. Her latest was created with help from her students at the Maryland Institute College of Art and focuses on design for the creative minded; seeking to inspire those who may be fearful of design or creating things they believe only a professional is capable of making.

D.I.Y. is a great place to start for those who are new to design or those who just want to play and have some sort of goal in mind. You will quickly learn how to make things unique to yourself: business cards, party invitations, t-shirts, books, and on and on. D.I.Y. will empower you and show you that anyone can think like a designer.

A very good point was also brought up in the discussion following Ellen’s presentation. Someone asked something to the effect of (severely paraphrased) Do you think that all of these people getting involved in hands-on design will promote more connoisseurship and respect for good design in general? And he is absolutely right. I have often thought about this myself, but it’s always nice to be reminded; knowledge and respect go hand in hand. I know I instantly develop more reverence for the pros when I try something new and invariably fall flat on my face. *cough* snowboarding *cough*

So, if you have that significant other who shakes their head and sighs as they walk by you working like mad on your computer, slip them a copy of D.I.Y. and spread a little bit of your obsession around.


The book’s companion website.

Commentary (11):

1. Matt J says… jan 15, 2006 | 11:46 pm

I bought Thinking With Type, like you recommended, and what an excellent book. I’m sure D.I.Y will be just as good, so I’ll definitely hit that one up.

2. Bruno Miranda says… jan 16, 2006 | 12:51 am

Sounds like a good book to kickstart design ideas and to inject some life into the creativity lanes of our minds.

3. Paul says… jan 16, 2006 | 1:42 am


It would be nice to think that people new to design or “rolling-their-own” would take the time to delve a little deeper into the subject and therefore respect the art, craft and knowledge.

I feel the same way in my work in the music business. People who take up an instrument on their own usually end up having a lot more respect for musicians after their experience.

Nice and thoughtful post…

4. Heiko says… jan 16, 2006 | 2:39 am

Thinking With Type seems to be an very intersting book. I wanna improve my knowledge about Typo and I guess it’s a good possibility to try it with that book. Thx Jason and Greetings from Berlin (Germany)!

5. Matt J says… jan 16, 2006 | 7:20 pm

Heiko - Thinking With Type is defintiely a great way to educate yourself on typography. My recommendations also.

6. reh says… jan 19, 2006 | 9:05 am

hey what’s up?
i saw you at the best bloggies :D
I hope u cann see mine and give an opinion and maybe come back more times ^^
kisses :*

7. Eli says… jan 23, 2006 | 3:43 pm

hey, thanks for this post. this seems liek a great book for the novice crowd.

8. Michael P. says… jan 25, 2006 | 10:13 am

Thinking with Type is an excellent book, not only filled with valuable information, but a total pleasure to read or just browse like you would a magazine. Many lessons about content presentation to be learned there.

I wasn’t aware of Lipton’s new book, but now it’s on order. Thanks for the tip, Jason.

9. Erik Mallinson says… jan 25, 2006 | 3:14 pm

I really enjoyed Thinking With Type overall. When it came to the web stuff I kept being like, “okay - she’s gonna talk about standards based design next… ok, NOW she’s gonna talk about it.” But it never happened.

10. Stergios says… jul 30, 2006 | 5:21 am

Hi there. I just bought D.I.Y. and it seems to be a great book. Thanks for the recomendation.

11. angela han says… aug 15, 2006 | 4:10 am

Hi, I really like DIY very much. I only enjoy a few articles from internet.
I really want to buy, but don’t know where to buy and how to buy. Because I am a Chinese girl.