debbie millman

Saturday, July 05, 2008

My New Book Has Arrived: The Essential Principles of Graphic Design

My New Book!

My new book is out! The title is Essential Principles of Graphic Design and it is published by Rotovision, and distributed in the U.S. by the generous folks at HOW Books. It is a book of 35 case studies by some of the world's greatest designers, and it features a look at how they work and come up with ideas. Essentially, it is both a visual and verbal journey of a project from concept to creation. It also includes basic primers to the principles of Graphic Design, written by experts in each discipline. Some of the designers included are Stephen Doyle, Marian Bantjes, Fabian Monheim, Peter Buchanan-Smith, Vault 49, Yves Behar, Hillman Curtis, Jacob Trollback and many, many more (full list, and examples of some of the images and spreads are below). The magnificent Rodrigo Corral (naturally) designed the interior and he set the entire book in the typeface Chronicle, gorgeously created by Hoefler & Frere-Jones.

Fabian Monheim
Zetter Hotel identity created by Fabian Monheim

Connie Birdsall, Lippincott
Sprint Identity exploratory by Lippincott, Creative Director Connie Birdsall

Peter Buchanan-Smith
Examples of the breadth of the exploratory of the grammy award winning CD cover design for Wilco's "A Ghost Is Born" by Peter Buchanan-Smith

Nicholas Blechman & Brian Rea
Images by Brian Rea & Nicholas Blechman for VM World 2007

Luba Lukova
Sketches for a Shakespeare Poster for Columbia University by Luba Lukova

Marian Bantjes
Sketches for the title for the 2007 Society of Typographic Aficionado's Annual Competition by Marian Bantjes

Andrea Dezso
Sketches for the cover of McSweeney's 23 by Andrea Dezso

Bill Cahan
Front page of the proposal for the design of Herman Miller's magazine SEE from Bill Cahan, Cahan & Associates

Chris Bolton
Sketches by Chris Bolton for a Helsinki Museum Exhibit

Fernando Leal
Final Identity for the MTV Video Music Awards Brasil in 2005

Contributors to the book!


Blogger Scott Perez-Fox said...

Congrats! I can't believe this is already out, I still haven't finished your first book! (yea, I'm a bit behind in my reading) I just bought it, but you owe me a signature.

Are you having another launch party shindig? Any fanfare?

btw, now that you have loads of free time on your hands, hit me up on email.

7/05/2008 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger berto said...


Congrats! Wow, i am sooo happy this is out. If its as good as your last book we are all in for a treat!

7/05/2008 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger minus five said...

you continue to be one of the most amazing people in the entire history of the world. i'm really happy for you and kind of proud to know you.

7/06/2008 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mary Campbell said...

congrats, Debbie! Can't wait to read it :)

7/07/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous DDH said...

Amazon over-night. Yay!

7/07/2008 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger rc said...

Hooray! I'm looking forward to your new book, Debbie!

Ricardo C.

7/07/2008 08:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

exciiiiiiiiting :) congrats, again!

7/08/2008 04:16:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Klingensmith said...

Great News DM...
I am heading to the Cape this weekend and need something to read.

7/08/2008 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Klingensmith said...

Great News DM...
I am heading to the Cape this weekend and need something to read.

7/08/2008 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous ElaineB said...

Congratulations on the book! I will have to pick up a copy!

7/08/2008 05:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Nance said...

I saw your book on the weekend and the interiors are fantastic. Love the case studies.

Curious what the thinking was behind the cover design. Care to share?

7/14/2008 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been in my Amazon shopping cart since I first heard about it.
Can't wait to finally read and be awed!

7/15/2008 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger The Book Designer said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this.

The cover is growing on me. It's clunkiness and odd execution feels... clunky and odd. But in a good way.

7/21/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger debbie millman said...

Funny you should say that! Rodrigo did everything but the cover. At the last minute, the publishers designed their own cover. Rodrigo's were very different, I should do a post showing the 20 different (amazing) covers he and his team created.

But the final cover is growing on me as well...

7/21/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous RotoVision said...

Clunky and odd ina good way - we'll take that as a compliment (especially the odd bit). I thought it would be interesting to share our viewpoint on the cover of Debbie's excellent book. Rodrigo produced some very elegant and compelling cover designs which we liked very much as pieces of design. However, our sales team and our co-edition customer had their reservations. Book covers are often an odd (that word again) mix of pleasing aesthetic and commercial presence. This very early cover concept which we created in-house for the initial presentation struck a chord with the people on our sales team and we felt their knowledge of the market, combined with some very positive feedback from our customers, had to be taken into account for the final decision.

It's great that it's growing on those of you that have discussed the point however. The cover design is always the most emotive part of any publishing project.

8/06/2008 11:57:00 AM  

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Location: new york city, United States

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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