Problem Solved

A Primer in Design and Communication

A manual for students and professionals offering solutions to design problems.

Michael Johnson


Price: USD$49.95

This edition is temporarily out of stock



About the book

Designers and advertisers continually have to interpret design briefs, produce new solutions to familiar problems and work to keep their clients' brands high in the public consciousness. This highly informative guide brings together for the first time discussions and case studies that illustrate the working methods of major advertising and graphic design firms.

Each chapter explores a different theme of problem solving, and concludes with a case study to illustrate a particular solution in detail. Themes include producing innovative work, avoiding repetition, standing out in the market place, reinventing a tired brand, communicating essential facts in a culture of information overload, keeping a brand young and trendy, dealing sensitively with propaganda, the use of shock tactics, and word-based advertising in a world over-run with images and sound-bites. Examples featured are taken from classic and contemporary international advertising.

Designers and agencies whose work is discussed in the book include Chermayeff and Geismar, Saatchi and Saatchi, BMP, Minale Tattersfield, Derek Birdsall, Niklaus Troxler, Bob Gill, Wieslaw Walkuski, Makoto Saito, Paul Fishlock and Pentagram.

In The Press

'Students and professionals alike will enjoy this primer for its engaging text and the wealth of imagery used to illustrate points.' (Artichoke, Australia)

'For once we have a graphics book that isn't just a parade of stunning imagery - impressive though its visual content is. A challenging theory underpins each wittily titled chapter, promoting brave and contentious ideas. It also pushes the importance of words in communication - a rare treat from a serious graphics tome.' (Design Week)

'A real tour de force. It covers an amazing amount of projects (and problems) and Johnson tackles them in an unpretentious and erudite way.' (Grafik, formerly Graphics International)

About the author(s)
Michael Johnson is Creative Director of johnson banks, which was voted most creative consultancy in Britain in 1999. He is Chairman of Education for British Design and Art Direction (D&AD) and lectures regularly on design theory and practice.

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design
Problem Solved 2nd Edition
The Art of Looking Sideways
Beware Wet Paint


Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City. Read more
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