‘There’s No Bullsh*t Like Design Bullsh*t’ – New Book by John Spencer
There’s No Bullsh*t Like Design Bullsh*t is John Spencer’s newly-published second book that he is hoping will provoke and be enjoyed by design students, agencies, clients, and pretty much everyone else who would like to communicate better.
As well as being a practising graphic designer who runs his own design agency, namely, Offthetopofmyhead, John is also fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD).
Published in paperback by Impress, There’s No Bullsh*t Like Design Bullsh*t reflects on all sorts of things like the problem with brainstorming and what John describes as the “myth of creativity” and the “absurdity of ‘less is more’”.
In the preface to the book, Tom Lynham, communications consultant and founder of International Wordstorming, writes as follows: “Anyone who’s worked with John Spencer knows how refreshing his bloody-minded contrariness and mischievous wordplay can be. This book is a collection of soundbites from John’s published writings on graphic design that strip away the nonsense to reveal common sense. His thoughts are grenades of sanity lobbed into an industry that has mythologised creativity.”
“The idea that bullshit is clever is bullshit. Why do designers think it makes us sound grown-up and important? Graphic design is all about making sense of things but the way we talk about our work often makes no sense at all. We use jargon words like ‘insights’, ‘touchpoints’ and ‘differentiation’, and gobbledegook like ‘direct unequivocal propositions’, ‘convergent tangible context’ and ‘competitive brandscape analysis’,” says John.
“And we give free rein to puffed-up nonsense like ‘brand is not a product; it is the product’s source, its meaning and its direction, and it defines its identity in time and space’. Bullshit gets in the way of people understanding and valuing good design.”