A Smile in the Mind

Witty Thinking in Graphic Design

An exploration of humour, irony and playfulness in graphic design.

Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart, with a foreword by Edward de Bono


Price: USD$39.95

  • An exploration of witty thinking - humour, irony, playfulness - in graphic design
  • Presents the best witty graphics produced over the past 30 years with work from over 300 designers in the US, Britain, Europe and Japan
  • Uses hundreds of visual examples to illustrate different types of wit in a variety of products, from invitations to annual reports and letterheads
  • Includes interviews with 26 of the world's top designers, including Ivan Chermayeff, Milton Glaser and John Gorham


About the book

This book explores so-called 'witty thinking' - arguably the most entertaining area of graphic design. Witty thinking is playfulness with ideas, words playing against images, and unexpected connections prompting new insights. It is clever thinking, not funny drawing.

A Smile in the Mind analyses the intricate thought processes behind the apparently forward images. It shows how to make the case for witty solutions and, through a series of in-depth interviews with the world's top designers, suggests how to get inspiration. Gathering together the best examples of graphic wit over the past three decades, this book includes work from over 300 designers in the USA, Britain, Europe and Japan. Written with insight and a subtle lightness of touch, it offers designers a friendly read, a helpful sourcebook and a dynamic trigger for ideas.

In The Press

'Beautifully edited, lovingly and carefully compiled ... both intellectually and aesthetically stimulating. Oh, and it's funny too.' (Graphics International)

'This book keeps the fun coming. There are so many wonderful (and superbly reproduced) examples of sharp, deftly done pieces that the reader becomes greedy, devouring hit after hit.' (Print)

About the author(s)

Beryl McAlhone is a writer with a special interest in design.

David Stuart is a founding member of the international design company The Partners.


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