Creative Anarchy by Denise Bosler is divided into two parts, which are cleverly printed in opposite directions. That’s right, you cannot read this book cover-to-cover, you must flip it over and start anew.
The first half of the book covers the history, purpose and importance of basic design principals (color, layout, texture, typography, etc.) and why design matters in the bigger picture. Relevant real-world examples accompany the concepts and cover a wide range of cultures and styles—everything from political posters and Russian protest groups to Catalan restaurants and San Francisco rock bands. This content may at first seem basic for the experienced designer, but I found the author’s advice inspiring and necessary. After all, you can’t break the rules if you don’t know them in the first place.
After a quick run through the basics, the author covers the soft skills needed in design work, such as “leaving you ego at the door,” designer ethics and effectively working with difficult clients. I thought this chapter was a nice segue between the section on following the rules and learning how to break them effectively.
The second half of the book is broken down into seven chapters, each detailing the reasoning behind when, where, why and how to push creative boundaries. Each chapter includes a gallery with visual examples, and exercises to put the concepts into practice.
Here are some of the learning objectives outlined in the exercise sections:
Besides the theme-focused exercises each section also includes Creativity Exercises to challenge you, push your comfort zone and expand your design horizons.
In this book Denise Bosler accomplishes exactly what she set out to do— help creatives develop unique designs that are beautiful, functional, productive and profitable. It is a great resource to have on the shelf for brainstorming and overcoming a creative block and surpassing one’s own limitations.
Even if you are not a designer, Creative Anarchy provides a tool-set for thinking differently: Entrepreneurs can get new ideas to build their brand; product developers will find new ways of seeing their merchandise; and if you are a buyer of design services, you will find that the possibilities and expectations of design projects open up significantly.
Amelia Johannsen is a digital communications professional working on a variety of projects internationally. She is passionate about functional design and collaborative innovation used to create a more compassionate and sustainable world. As a freelance writer, she contributes to projects such as InnovationMangement.se, The Green Exchange and Handmade Barcelona, while her free time is best spent traveling and in the pottery studio. Feel free to connect on Linkedin and Twitter.