Michael Bierut, "How to"
How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World by Michael Bierut
The first monograph, design manual, and manifesto by Michael Bierut, one of the world’s most renowned graphic designers—a career retrospective that showcases more than thirty-five of his most noteworthy projects for clients as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Yale School of Architecture, the New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the New York Jets, and reflects eclectic enthusiasm and accessibility that has been the hallmark of his career.
Protégé of design legend Massimo Vignelli and partner in the New York office of the international design firm Pentagram, Michael Bierut has had one of the most varied and successful careers of any living graphic designer, serving a broad spectrum of clients as diverse as Saks Fifth Avenue, Harley-Davidson, the Atlantic Monthly, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, Billboard, Princeton University, the New York Jets, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Morgan Library.
How to, Bierut’s first career retrospective, is a landmark work in the field. Featuring more than thirty-five of his projects, it reveals his philosophy of graphic design—how to use it to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world. Specially chosen to illustrate the breadth and reach of graphic design today, each entry demonstrates Bierut’s eclectic approach. In his entertaining voice, the artist walks us through each from start to finish, mixing historic images, preliminary drawings (including full-size reproductions of the notebooks he has maintained for more than thirty-five years), working models and rejected alternatives, as well as the finished work. Throughout, he provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world.
Offering insight and inspiration for artists, designers, students, and anyone interested in how words, images, and ideas can be put together, How to provides insight to the design process of one of this century’s most renowned creative minds.
79 Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut
Now in Paperback! A collection of essays by Michael Bierut, Pentagram partner, cofounder of the website Design Observer, and AIGA board member. Bierut is one of the best-respected and most-beloved writers within the graphic design field, a spokesman for the profession, and a man pretty much universally admired within the academy and among practitioners. This collection includes writings from the 1980s through today.
Thoughts on Design by Paul Rand, forward by Michael Bierut
One of the seminal texts of graphic design, Paul Rand's Thoughts on Design is now back in print for the first time since the 1970s. Writing at the height of his career, Rand articulated in his slender volume the pioneering vision that all design should seamlessly integrate form and function. This facsimile edition preserves Rand's original 1947 essay with the adjustments he made to its text and imagery for a revised printing in 1970, and adds only an informative and inspiring new foreword by design luminary Michael Bierut. As relevant today as it was when first published, this classic treatise is an indispensable addition to the library of every designer.
Designing With Pixar by Emily Haynes, John Lasseter (Forward by), Michael Bierut (Introduction by)
Creativity abounds in this one-of-a-kind activity book from Pixar Animation Studios. Inspired by behind-the-scenes work of Pixar's animators, it encourages fans and artists to explore their own imaginations through Pixar's favorite characters and iconic scenes. Prompts from films such as Toy Story, Cars,Brave, Inside Out, and more invite discoveries about color, shape, character design, and scene setting—and how all of these interact to tell a visual story. This is a dynamic and inventive activity book like no other!
Michael Bierut studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, graduating summa cum laude in 1980. Prior to joining Pentagram in 1990 as a partner in the firm’s New York office, he worked for ten years at Vignelli Associates, ultimately as vice president of graphic design.
Bierut’s projects at Pentagram have included identity and branding for Benetton, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Verizon, MIT Media Lab, and the New York Jets; environmental graphics and signage for The New York Times, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Robin Hood Foundation, and the Walt Disney Company; exhibition design for the Museum of Sex and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; packaging for Saks Fifth Avenue and Nuts.com; and publication design for The Atlantic and Billboard.
He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, all in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany; and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Montreal.
He has served as president of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) from 1988 to 1990 and is president emeritus of AIGA National. He also serves on the boards of the Architectural League of New York and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. In 1989, Bierut was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale, in 2003 he was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and in 2006 he received the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in recognition of his distinguished achievements and contributions to the field. In 2008 he received the Design Mind Award in the National Design Awards presented by the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Bierut is a Senior Critic in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art. He is co-editor of the anthology series Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic Design, published by Allworth Press, and in 1998 he co-edited and designed the monograph Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist. He is a co-founder of the weblog Design Observer and his commentaries about graphic design in everyday life can be heard nationally on the Public Radio International program “Studio 360.” A collection of his essays Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2007, and his monograph How To was published by Thames & Hudson and Harper Design in 2015.
If you're unable to attend the event and would like a signed copy of the above books by Michael, please purchase the "Signed" version below.