Book Review: DAMN GOOD ADVICE (for people with talent!) by George Lois
by Michael Zabel
As a self proclaimed voracious reader, I usually read multiple books at once depending on many factors (e.g., time of day, location, leisure, etc.). Flipping through DAMN GOOD ADVICE for the first time, I thought to myself A) short, numbered anecdotes + B) larger than 12-point text + C) lots of amazing images or “eye-candy” + D) relevance to the creative industry = what a great book to read when I’m taking a shit! However, my shallow first impression of this small – but mighty – book was soon dispelled as I began to realize the wealth of knowledge author and legendary ad-man George Lois shares in this read. Drawing from his own personal experiences in the industry, Lois recites his credo of being a successful creative, relevant page after relevant page. Autobiographical by nature, one of the most important lessons to take from this book is to never turn your back on integrity. In an industry and economic downturn where it’s really easy to sell your soul to succeed and make money, Lois is here to remind us all that it’s okay to say “F-off” to somebody who wants you to be unethical. Another one of my favorite points in the book is No. 92; a brief story about how the author resents being associated with the TV show Mad Men, thus continuing on the theme of upholding your principles and working hard not just for yourself, but for the benefit of your co-workers and the public (who will ultimately be influenced by your work). DAMN GOOD ADVICE is just what it says it is, which is another valuable lesson in and of itself. So, literally from beginning to end, if you can’t find even one thing either agreeable or inspiring from these pages, well then you may just have to find a new profession.