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A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design: Revised and Updated Edition

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Forty years of "witty thinking" from over 500 designers, including hundreds of visual examples and interviews with the world's top practitioners First published in 1996, A Smile in the Mind rapidly became one of the most influential books in graphic design – a rich sourcebook of design ideas and an entertaining guide to the techniques behind witty thinking. Now extensively r Forty years of "witty thinking" from over 500 designers, including hundreds of visual examples and interviews with the world's top practitioners First published in 1996, A Smile in the Mind rapidly became one of the most influential books in graphic design – a rich sourcebook of design ideas and an entertaining guide to the techniques behind witty thinking. Now extensively revised and updated, this book explores the powerful role of wit in graphic design, making the case for wit, as the magical element that builds the world’s biggest brands and engages people with messages that matter. Packed with illustrations showcasing the use of wit by today’s practitioners alongside classic examples, A Smile in the Mind brings together the best projects from around the world and across the decades. The different routes designers can take are examined and illustrated with inspirational examples, exploring wit by technique (such as ambiguity, substitution and double takes), application (including posters, packaging and data visualization) and business area, spanning digital, retail, arts and culture, politics and even matters of life and death. The book also features interviews with legendary designers past and present, answering the biggest question of all: how did they get the idea? Designers offer a glimpse into their private working methods and thought processes, and reveal the inspiration behind classic pieces of work. Showcasing forty years of witty thinking and including over 1,000 projects and 500 designers and creative thinkers, A Smile in the Mind is an essential compendium of contemporary designs and a celebration of classic pieces, resulting in the definitive guide to wit in graphic design. Written with humour and insight, it offers designers a friendly read, a helpful sourcebook and a trigger for ideas.


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Forty years of "witty thinking" from over 500 designers, including hundreds of visual examples and interviews with the world's top practitioners First published in 1996, A Smile in the Mind rapidly became one of the most influential books in graphic design – a rich sourcebook of design ideas and an entertaining guide to the techniques behind witty thinking. Now extensively r Forty years of "witty thinking" from over 500 designers, including hundreds of visual examples and interviews with the world's top practitioners First published in 1996, A Smile in the Mind rapidly became one of the most influential books in graphic design – a rich sourcebook of design ideas and an entertaining guide to the techniques behind witty thinking. Now extensively revised and updated, this book explores the powerful role of wit in graphic design, making the case for wit, as the magical element that builds the world’s biggest brands and engages people with messages that matter. Packed with illustrations showcasing the use of wit by today’s practitioners alongside classic examples, A Smile in the Mind brings together the best projects from around the world and across the decades. The different routes designers can take are examined and illustrated with inspirational examples, exploring wit by technique (such as ambiguity, substitution and double takes), application (including posters, packaging and data visualization) and business area, spanning digital, retail, arts and culture, politics and even matters of life and death. The book also features interviews with legendary designers past and present, answering the biggest question of all: how did they get the idea? Designers offer a glimpse into their private working methods and thought processes, and reveal the inspiration behind classic pieces of work. Showcasing forty years of witty thinking and including over 1,000 projects and 500 designers and creative thinkers, A Smile in the Mind is an essential compendium of contemporary designs and a celebration of classic pieces, resulting in the definitive guide to wit in graphic design. Written with humour and insight, it offers designers a friendly read, a helpful sourcebook and a trigger for ideas.

30 review for A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design: Revised and Updated Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    spent a couple of hours at the library this evening scrambling to finish this whopper because it was due today, so i can't insert word-for-word quotes into this review, but somewhere in there a designer is quoted as saying something along the lines of, "i spend three days coming up with a witty design, and then i have to make it look as if i'd thought of it in three minutes." a very thought-provoking book on the use of wit in design! while still in the middle of this book i read a couple of revie spent a couple of hours at the library this evening scrambling to finish this whopper because it was due today, so i can't insert word-for-word quotes into this review, but somewhere in there a designer is quoted as saying something along the lines of, "i spend three days coming up with a witty design, and then i have to make it look as if i'd thought of it in three minutes." a very thought-provoking book on the use of wit in design! while still in the middle of this book i read a couple of reviews that criticised it for being a long-winded exegesis on the theory of the use of wit, but honestly, i think that the length of this book simply reflects the reality of the effort that goes into the production of witty graphics. i'm sure i've come across wit many times in advertisements, promotional material or awareness-raising efforts and enjoyed a chuckle to myself, but i've never quite stopped to think about the thought process that its creator might have taken to arrive there from the reverse end of the joke. this book is pretty comprehensive in giving not just a categorical sweep of the styles and applications in which wit is used, but also includes at the end anecdotes from professional designers on how they come up with their stuff: and the answer is... magic. no one can quite describe the exact moment when an idea strikes and the joke finds itself fitting together on paper, but one thing that seems to be clear is that that moment becomes mirrored in both the designer's and the audience's minds, and it forms a connection that conveys the original message in a way that is much more satisfying to both parties. other food for thought: that the use of wit seems to be quite a cultural thing, and... why is that? whenever i make a trip to new zealand to visit family i find myself struck by the way the people and brands there boldly use wit in all sorts of ways that you might not find in singapore - be they quirky shop signs, car plate numbers or food labels. maybe not taking ourselves so seriously is one thing that this country could stand to learn a little better. overall: just amazed and in awe of all the ideas that have sprung from minds past and present. creativity and the human brain are such curious things. (were these people Ne types?)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Akiko

    Stefano brought this book with him to school today to show something to Lili. I had a chance to peek inside before Sarah abscondended with it. He picked it up at a museum in Amsterdam and I must say it is quite cute and I smiled and LOL'd a lot. From the foreward, I noted "humor is the shortest distance between two people" and that "wit makes memes - a currency in the age of sharing." Stefano brought this book with him to school today to show something to Lili. I had a chance to peek inside before Sarah abscondended with it. He picked it up at a museum in Amsterdam and I must say it is quite cute and I smiled and LOL'd a lot. From the foreward, I noted "humor is the shortest distance between two people" and that "wit makes memes - a currency in the age of sharing."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marius Černuševičius

    I always look for something related to humor, this one is by far best collection of the witty visual thinking. On the bookshelf for the go-to book if need some inspiration for something witty in my work with design.

  4. 5 out of 5

    abi

    The work featured in this book is so good it almost makes me angry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jay Borah

    love

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scarletish Golightly

    Absolutely Amazing!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dee

  8. 4 out of 5

    Filip Justić

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Crown

  10. 4 out of 5

    Simona Puidokaite

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pooop

  12. 5 out of 5

    Trystan Vaughan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paris

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Ballard

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maria Teresa

  16. 5 out of 5

    Imogen Milsom

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liam Rainford

  18. 4 out of 5

    Connor Lyon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Suyash Mishra

    The importance of simple designs and how it redefines the market so that it leaves a long lasting impact. Creativity is the spark!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elisia

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chenqi

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anabeth Fuller

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mr J

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lance Risseeuw

  27. 5 out of 5

    Teo Mechea

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Max Omsin

  30. 5 out of 5

    andrew lester

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