If you’d happen to come across me on my morning commute recently, you’d notice that I’ve been taking out the same book to dip into for the few minutes between Euston and Tottenham Court Road.
I don’t know about you, but it’s not often I come across a design book that feels like I’m having a chat with a friendly neighbor, who just happens to be a shit hot designer. Normally, the kinds of design books I pick up either feel like I’m sitting in the back of a lecture theatre again, or, that the books have squeezed any actually useful written advice in favor of image after image.
Not so for the Book of Ideas, by Creative Director Radim Malinic (and actually the second volume in the series). And why do I read it during my morning commute? Well, its bitesize format is perfect for that shot of creative inspo before I get to work!
Volume Two builds on its predecessor’s foundations by continuing Malinic’s passion for dispensing bitesize advice for how to stay sane in our creative industry and how to do the best, creative work of your life. It’s the kind of book that has been tailor-made to get you inspired and your creative juices flowing, not just because of the snackable insights into being a working designer that it serves up, but also thanks to the beautiful presentation of the book itself and its showcase of Malinic’s truly yummy graphic design projects.
For me, one of the best things about the books is that its incredibly illuminating to get a glimpse behind the curtain and learn about the various strategies and life hacks Malinic employs in order to be as successful as he is. From discovering how Malinic makes use of every moment of his working day, by utilizing his phone to create sketches and even to write his book in the moments between meetings, to how Radim works best with remote clients (spoiler: recording video walkthroughs seem to work a treat) – there are so many useful insights that will help to set up newly minted designers for success, and help to refresh the more seasoned designers among us.
Malinic has split his book up into themed sections, which helps you to easily dip in and out of what resonates with you. Each section contains a number of topics with bitesize pieces of advice, followed by some specific case studies where Radim generously goes into more detail about how that project was created. The sections are:
Work: this section is all about questioning and optimizing how you approach your work so you (and your clients) can get the most from your creative process. Sample topics here include: finding freedom by working within limitations; the myth of the ‘big break’; and dealing with poor feedback.
Creativity: This section is full of Radim’s strategies and tips for harnessing your creativity. Sample topics here are finding and being a mentor; exploring your ‘silly’; and how to discover what drives your creativity forward.
Mind: I love that Radim included this section as this is one of the most important yet overlooked topics that seasoned designers have often learned about the hard way and have a wealth of experience to share about. This section aims to address ways that we can mitigate against feeling like we’re running on overdrive, refusing to hit the pause button and generally driving ourselves towards the dreaded burnout.Sample topics include being a creative athlete; the power of quiet; and the art of letting go.
Reading the book, it’s clear that the sage advice contained within have been derived from Malinic’s own hard-won life lessons. The entire Mind section resonates particularly for anyone who’s experienced the sensation of burnout in our fast-paced creative world.
So, if you’re looking for a shot of creative advice and inspiration, or looking to recommend a stocking filler for your nearest + dearest, find out more about the book here!