This book for me is essential to any designer, I found Alan Fletcher when I was in college and I visited his exhibition before he died in 2006. Fletcher is a British Graphic Designer and regarded the graphic designer of his generation, and probably one of the most prolific. It was amazing to have studied his work in books and then see it in the flesh, truly amazing. Fletcher to me is a legend, his work is profound and based on questioning everything, not only just underneath the surface but deep within a subject he can find the most intriguing details and his work is addictive because of this. I feel I can learn so much from reading and looking at the way he explains things.
The piece that I will always remember is the ‘mind over matter’ which he writes mind with a line underneath and then writes matter underneath that line, it is so pure and simple that if all designs were like this then all design would work. I try to live up to this ideal of being able to create something so simple out of something so complex.
The book ‘the art of looking sideways’ is a development of all his ideas from evolution, to colour, to the way the mind works. He explores pretty much everything you could think of, relating it to your life as a human and your life as a designer. The main point I get from this book is that as a designer you never shut off and live your life as just a consumer, they are intertwined and if you recognise that then you can make the most of your life as both a human and a designer. If you can always question things further than the top layer then you will have a better understanding of life, the way it works and what can be gained by making certain judgments and decisions. The design of the book itself is just as expected from Fletcher, a collaboration of ideas and developments structured and organised but in an experimental fashion.
I really quite like the way that this book has been designed, having many ways of reading it, the different textures, typefaces, styles and ideas. I think the only question that needs to be asked about this book is: Is there too much going on in this book? My answer would be no. If it were any different than it would not represent Fletcher the way it does. His style is this book and many designers like myself aim for this confidence and ability.