Michael Bierut: Design is a Sacred Calling

Michael Bierut’s How to Use Graphic Design to … (Harper Collins) is a compilation of a remarkable 35 year career in graphic design. Bierut has been a partner at Pentagram New York for 25 years, and before that he worked for the famed Massimo and Lella Vignelli, at Vignelli Associates. He is a past president of AIGA and he cofounded Design Observer. He says, “It was curiosity that led me to join Jessica Helfand, Rick Poynor, and the late Bill Drenttel in creating Design Observer. Writing about design was a way for me to think about the work we designers do, why we do it, and the effect it has on the world.”

In fact, his book, takes a deep look at his design journey and his life. Bierut’s frank commentary on what it takes to become a good designer is honest, compelling, and humbling as he shares his insights and his work, including his beloved collection of sketchbooks (more than 200 to date). There are more than 36 projects featured from start to finish that span his career and speak to the remarkable influence his work has had in the world.

TCG: What skills do you believe are most pivotal to graphic designers today? 

Michael Bierut: I’ll just assume you know all the necessary software programs. The most important trait is curiosity. Can you get interested in the subject matter behind what you’re designing? Can that interest sustain you over the course of the project? Most importantly, can you tap into your enthusiasm as you search for design solutions?

Read rest of the interview here.

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