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Design Is a Job

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  2,470 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Co-founder of Mule Design and raconteur Mike Monteiro wants to help you do your job better. From contracts to selling design, from working with clients to working with each other, this brief book is packed with knowledge you can’t afford not to know.
Paperback, 135 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by A Book Apart (first published March 12th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ryan
May 02, 2012 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
Mike Monteiro is someone I have repeatedly followed and unfollowed on Twitter over the last few years. His occasional clever wit and insight is largely eclipsed by his brash and arrogant stream-of-consciousness. He picks fights, makes fun of people, and is probably one of the design field's most notorious smug assholes.

Yet, somehow, in Design is a Job his grouchiness melts away. His arrogance becomes helpful confidence. His gripes transform into wisdom learned the hard way. Foul-mouthed cursing
...more
Paul
Apr 11, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Short and to the point, Design Is a Job is a must-read for anyone who works as a designer, and a great read for anyone who works with clients, period. Not everything will apply to everyone, but there are plenty of words of wisdom which will. Even as a software developer, I found plenty to chew on and digest. The book is punchy and useful, and it'll hardly hurt at all. In fact, you'll be done with it before you know it. Of course, then, you'll want to read it again.
Joey Heflich
May 20, 2014 Joey Heflich rated it really liked it
"Ever wonder why Batman didn’t just open up a secret facility and have Jim Gordon send him his best cops for some intensive training time? Because Batman has a huge ego is why."
Chad Warner
Sep 07, 2012 Chad Warner rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chad by: A List Apart
This succinct book is densely packed with sage business advice for designers (especially web designers). Monteiro rightly calls it “a guide to making a living as a designer”, and shows that he has a lot of experience in the industry. It’s quite funny; I laughed out loud several times. My favorite chapters were Getting Clients, Choosing the Right Clients, Charging for Your Work, and Working with Contracts.

I especially liked Monteiro’s description of the role of design. He says that designers aren
...more
Peter Labrow
Jun 06, 2012 Peter Labrow rated it it was amazing
Let’s face it, there are plenty of books around telling you how to run a business. It’s always more interesting (and somewhat rarer) when someone tells you how to run your type of business.

That’s right, folks. Design is a Job is written by the leader of a website design company, Mule, and is primarily written for other website professionals.

But, if you’re not a website designer, don’t look away now! It’s also extremely valuable for those who work with, or commission, almost any kind of designer.
...more
Graham Herrli
I would work for Mike Monteiro. It's not often someone's personality comes across so clearly in a book. His book shows him as a forthright upstanding man.

He has a wonderfully concrete style with humor smattered throughout. Design is a Job is his simple, straightforward advice on how to succeed as a designer. I expect a lot of this advice is common sense to people who have experience in business or networking, but it wasn't altogether obvious to me; I found it reassuring to read some basic princ
...more
Alfredo Sherman
Sep 28, 2013 Alfredo Sherman rated it liked it
Shelves: design, non-fiction
Llevo poco tiempo siguiendo a Mike Monteiro y la brutal honestidad que maneja sobre las cosas que le importan. De poco en poco este camino me llevó hasta este libro, el cual coincide con dos temas que son muy relevantes para mí en el momento: diseño web y ganarse la vida como diseñador.

Es un libro con una extraña redacción, lleno de metáforas muy sencillas y puntuales, y una visión muy sincera, a veces recurriendo al sarcasmo, de cuáles son los procesos de trabajo que más le han funcionado con e
...more
Jen Serdetchnaia
Jan 09, 2015 Jen Serdetchnaia rated it liked it
Good quick read. Like good design, everything Monteiro says is technically obvious but somehow enlightening in the way he says it. I love his stand for being comfortable with money, for accepting that it's your failure for not educating your clients if they don't believe in the design process, for comic relief, among other things. Would have loved some more craft-specific references. At times came off like an extremely basic starter guide for a small business.
Craig Birchler
Feb 08, 2014 Craig Birchler rated it liked it
If I could have given 3.5 stars I probably would have. I found this book to be well organized and practical for design consultants. The practicality for traditionally employed designers is fairly limited to about 4-5 of the 10 chapters as much of the focus is on finding design work, negotiating for and receiving payment. That said, many concepts throughout the book are applicable for all design situations.

I found the short structure of the book to be limiting. At times, large principles were st
...more
Mike
Apr 22, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing
First off, this book would have been really handy for me back when I was in school. I made a lot of freelancer mistakes right after graduation that this book could have helped me avoid, or even just handle a little better. This book needs to be a mandatory for design students everywhere. Actually, mandatory for designers everywhere, whatever the level of experience may be. I'd also extend my recommendation to anyone that is involved anywhere in the workflow of shipping design. From freelancers t ...more
Alok Pepakayala
Feb 28, 2016 Alok Pepakayala rated it really liked it
This book is more like an autobiography if you read it without knowing the title, the chapters have honest experiences and covers all possible things one has to deal with being in the field of design, many things are repeated across chapters which is bad (makes you wonder if you opened the book in the wrong page and started reading it again), but also good if anyone wants to just open a chapter and read it (so, its still full).
Andrew
Apr 23, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderful. Mike gives you all the advice teachers are afraid to give you. He digs into the awkward and difficult issues we all face, from how to write a contract to how to fire someone. I would recommend this to anyone figuring out how to run a business or be in-charge of people. Great read. Great topics.
Kate
Nov 12, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it
Although I started off biased (web design is not my thing), the book won me over by final chapters. The knowledge can be applied to any other job that deals with projects. Funny, easy to read, short and to the point.
James Martin
Feb 18, 2013 James Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid advice on client relationships and most every other aspect of the work-a-day life of professional designers. A fast, enjoyably irreverent read. I learned a lot from reading it, much of which will directly benefit my work.
Dave
Mar 22, 2016 Dave rated it it was amazing
A great high level view of your job as a designer and how to interact with key players. Mike is direct and to the point with a candor rare in the design world. Plus if you listen to this on audiobook its like Nick from the new girl is reading it to you!
Elizabeth
Jul 23, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
A must-read/pep talk for anyone striking out on their own. For a healthy freelance/client relationship, write a contract and get a lawyer involved.
Spencer
Mar 01, 2013 Spencer rated it it was amazing
Reading this should be one of the legal requirements for anyone filing a DBA to start a design practice.
Xavier
Jul 23, 2013 Xavier rated it it was amazing
If you’re starting a business in the creative industry, this is a book you need to read and re-read every three months.
Jeffery
Nov 30, 2013 Jeffery rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading for designers.
Ann Lemon
Jun 05, 2013 Ann Lemon rated it it was amazing
smart, funny, true.
Charlie
Feb 06, 2017 Charlie rated it it was amazing
A collection of hard-won lessons from a veteran designer and leader.
The sort of insights that can help you apply meaning to difficulties as a creator.
Firing is necessary and ultimately good for both parties.
Hiring the best people requires courage. There's a good chance they will eventually surpass you, take your job, or leave you.
Your estimate should feel like a slap in the face.
Usually a late payment is not malicious.
Design is difficult drudgery most of the time.
Engineers are a designers
...more
Nina
Oct 27, 2016 Nina rated it it was amazing
Loved it. I found it reassuring about the work I do and the way I do and it and also took some of the points to heart about how I can correct some of the things I don't do as well as I could. I love his writing style but I can see how it might not be for everyone.


Clintwilliams24
Jan 04, 2017 Clintwilliams24 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Mike Monteiro is somewhat of a hero for me in my industry. He doesn't pull any punches, but approaches the business of design as just that – a business. Do the work. Have contracts. Get paid. Don't take bullshit. Fantastic read.
Alfredo Lie
Feb 06, 2017 Alfredo Lie rated it it was amazing
Probablemente la mejor referencia de cómo ser un profesional del diseño en solamente un tomo.
Janne Jääskeläinen
Mar 23, 2017 Janne Jääskeläinen rated it it was amazing
This pretty much sums up my own experiences. Highly recommended!
Annmarie Millar
Mar 22, 2017 Annmarie Millar rated it really liked it
Great, straight talking advice and funny in places. Really like it :)
Michele
Apr 08, 2012 Michele rated it it was amazing
When I sat down to write this (and I wrote it once already but tumblr ate it so I’m hoping I can write it again with pretty much the same words) I knew I’d end up reviewing not just the book, but the author. Which is okay as in the case, the book is the man.

If you know Mike Monteiro simply as @Mike_FTW on twitter - the guy with the acerbic wit, the guy willing to start and finish an argument with brutal belligerence, the guy who is as honest as he is funny - then what you probably don’t know is
...more
Marshall
Dec 28, 2016 Marshall rated it it was amazing
This book teaches you how to really make it as a designer, and how to start your own design workshop. The narrative is straightforward and humorous, and most of the tips provided are based on author’s real business experience as a designer.

The following keys ideas resonate with me the most:

1. Design is a business, it requires salesmanship and financial planning. A good designer knows how to sell her work, and how to negotiate contracts.
2. Choose client wisely, interview clients before deciding t
...more
Scott
Apr 13, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, design
Great insights learned from 'design school of hard knocks'. Design is a Job was a quick, yet informative read. It shed light on many facets of working in the field of design. As a designer with just a few years experience, this book gave me a greater understanding of what's to come and how to handle it. Foremost, include the following tips:

What is a designer? A designer...
- solves problems within a set of constraints
- understands goals
- gathers information
- imposes order
- creates novel forms
- ta
...more
Edgaras Benediktavicius
Sep 22, 2016 Edgaras Benediktavicius rated it really liked it
A book for any kind of designer. Teaches about a process, work with clients and how to be a better professional in general. It was a great read to revise things I knew as well as discover some gold nuggets. Very much recommended for freelancers or professionals working closely with clients.
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Some say the clothes make the man. Others say it’s opinions. Co-founder of Mule, Mike likes to have a bet both ways. His 2012 book, Design is a Job, was a love letter to hard work, self-awareness, and the importance of a good tailor.

Mike cultivates his reputation around being serious about design, human rights, a damn fine joke, and the Phillies. His philosophy of supportive antagonism helps Mule
...more
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“Confidence doesn’t come from knowing you’re right—it comes from being okay with failing.” 5 likes
“Make sure you’re consciously building the story you want to be telling. And make sure your story is compelling enough that your next client is excited to become a character in it.” 2 likes
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