I don’t typically write in depth reviews of anything, and this time will be no exception to that rule. As always, I’d like to sum up my general thoughts on the book.
Learning Curves (2011), by Klara Sjölén, Erik Olofsson, and Allan Mcdonald, is the amazing follow-up to the highly popular Design Sketching (2005) book, which I’m sure many, if not all of you reading this have heard about. if you haven’t, be sure to check them out.
Learning Curves is an ambitious project. What makes it special to me is that rather than focusing on the same old, same procedural methodologies in other sketching books, Learning Curves brings together a myriad of designers and artists who contributed their work to this book. Full disclosure, some of my work is featured in Learning Curves.
After perusing the pages, it’s impossible for one to not feel inspired to get up and start sketching something amazing. Of course, that first sketch won’t be amazing but it’s inspiring nonetheless. Learning Curves is certainly both inspirational and educational, and leans heavily on the provided examples of work from contributing designers.
The book reads much like a compilation of solid, sage, and sound advice gleaned from the mind of a very experienced soul. It’s much like the advice I give to students as I travel to present sketching and visual communication workshops. Putting into words that which you have learned is one of the most difficult things to do. Trust me, I know this. I’m writing my own book right now. Learning Curves (2011) seems to do this very well.
The book is solid and well printed and you get a sense of the life in each sketch. It is perfect bound on the spine, though I do wish that there were a spiral bound version that could fold flat. That way, one could follow along or have the reference open while sketching.
Despite the lack of procedural instructions on how to be better at visual communication, Learning Curves (2011) is an excellent resource and I highly recommend it to any designer who is looking for some good inspiration to help mix things up. Learning Curves (2011) is available for purchase at the design sketching website for 55USD. Happy sketching!