The art of looking sideways

Alan Fletcher is one of the most highly regarded graphic designers of our time. One of the founding partners of one of the greatest design companies Pentagram, he is responsible for a vast array of iconic, timeless logotypes such as the superlative V&A branding. He sadly died a couple of years ago, but his work lives on in many of his books.

The art of looking sideways is his best book by far in my opinion. It apparently took him 18 years to complete and I’m not surprised – it’s a marvellous compendium of Fletcher’s inquisitive and explorative life. Like a magpie he’s spent all his life, bothge professionally and personally collecting thoughts, ideas, things and finding his inspiration in pretty much everything he’s seen or done.

It’s a great book to have lying around at home on a coffee table or in the bathroom. No matter how many times I pick it up, I always find something new and fresh or I’m reminded how clever a little drawing is or find new meaning in a profound phrase.

If you’re in the creative industry, you should have this book already and if you don’t, what are you waiting for? If you work in another sector not related to design in any way, then this book is for you too. The art of looking sideways is just that – by taking a different perspective we can either solve a problem or see things in a new light.

Regardless of our job or status, we can all benefit from this outlook.

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