Renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut claims that he’s not creative. Instead, he likens his job to that of a doctor who tends to patients – “the sicker, the better.” Digging into the 86 notebooks he’s kept over the course of his career, Bierut walks us through 5 projects – from original conception to final execution – extracting a handful of simple lessons (e.g. the problem contains the solution; don’t avoid the obvious) at the foundation of brilliant design solutions.
Prior to joining Pentagram in 1990 as a partner in the firm’s New York office, Michael Bierut worked for ten years at Vignelli Associates, ultimately as vice president of graphic design. His clients at Pentagram have included The New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Harley-Davidson, The Minnesota Children’s Museum, The William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, Mohawk Paper Mills, the New York Jets, Princeton University, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Morgan Library and Museum. He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Montreal. His commentaries about graphic design in everyday life have been heard nationally on the Public Radio International program “Studio 360” and his appearance in Helvetica: A Documentary Film is considered by many that movie’s funniest moment. Michael is a co-founder of the weblog DesignObserver.com, and his book 79 Short Essays on Design was published in 2007 by Princeton Architectural Press.