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Dialogues with Creative Legends and Aha Moments in a Designer's Career

By David Calvin Laufer

Published by New Riders

Published Date: Dec 14, 2012


In Dialogues with Creative Legends, you will find answers to some of the perplexing questions talented people confront. From these dialogues emerge a startling range of ideas, from beginning a creative career to developing client relationships, mentoring, and the role of design thinking in society. The author's gradual revelations about the intertwined contributions of creator and patron will resonate with students and practitioners in all the creative professions. This remarkable book explores the role of creativity in commerce and culture. It's a quest for livelihood and meaning that is at once highly personal--and strikingly universal. Come along as the author interviews many of the creative luminaries of the late 20th century, including: Saul Bass, Buckminster Fuller, Paul Rand, Lou Dorfsman, Herb Lubalin, Don Trousdell, Charles & Ray Eames, George Nelson, Massimo Vignelli, Heinz Edelmann, Victor Papanek, and Hermann Zapf.

Table of Contents


1 Teachers and Titans




Victor Papanek

Portfolio and Career

Buckminster Fuller

World Game

Charles and Ray Eames

The Connections

Saul Bass

Notes on Change


Design in the Real World

James Burke, Jr.

Life Is Like a Train

Walter Herdeg and
Jack Kuntz

The Kingmaker

Josef Müller-Brockmann and Ruedi Rüegg

People, Not Portfolios

Heinz Edelmann

Every Ten Years, Burn Your Portfolio



2 Gotham



The Great Midwest Mounted Valise


Penn Station Booth 6


The Valise Rides Solo

Ed Gottschall

Not Your Average Interview


Cold Calling 101

Herb Stern

The One Week Hence Test

Seymour Chwast

Bad Luck, so Good Luck

Ian Ballentine

A Short Course in Genre Publishing

Len Leone

Joe Cool Himself


Hope Gliimmers

James McMullan

Watercolor Wizard

Barbara Bertoli

Strong, yet Vulnerable


Coloring Outside the Lines

Max Miedinger

Getting Helvetica Right

Arthur Tress

The Dream Collector


Thinking Like the Herd: The Bertoli Toggle

Peter Mayer

How to Run a Sales Meeting


Boldness in the Face of Opportunity


Penn Station Booth 6, Revisited

Frederick Schneider

Oxford University Press


Overheard in Editorial Meetings: The Interplay between Word and Image


To Be Right Is the Most Terrific Personal State that Nobody Is Interested in

George Nelson

Philosophy of Design




Portfolio Transitions, or Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste!

Massimo Vignelli

The Auteur Speaks

James Craig

Keeping Your Powder Dry


Tipping Point on a Train

Hermann Zapf

The Secret Is the Speed

Paul Rand

The Designer as Brand

Ivan Chermayeff

 A Search for Essence

Lou Dorfsman

I Just Try to Make It Look Good

Herb Lubalin

Talk about Schlock



3 From Valise to Expertise


Don Trousdell

Growing a Style and Outgrowing Style

Dave Condrey and
Bll Duncan

Welcome to the Greatest Marketing Organization on Earth

Robert Woodruff

Take Out Everything but the Enjoyment

Lawrence Gellerstedt, Jr.

Leadership Is Developing People

Caroline Warner Hightower

Design as Magic


Saul Bass Redux

Sid Topol

A Good Proposal on Time

Roberto Goizueta

Creative Friends