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Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America's Master Communicator, George Lois
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Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America's Master Communicator, George Lois

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,468 ratings  ·  308 reviews
Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent!) is a look into the mind of one of America's most legendary creative thinkers, George Lois. Offering indispensle lessons, practical advice, facts, anecdotes and inspiration, this book is a timeless creative bible for all those looking to succeed in life, business and creativity. These are key lessons derived from the incomparle lif ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 12th 2012 by Phaidon Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  3,468 ratings  ·  308 reviews

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Start your review of Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America's Master Communicator, George Lois
May 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
If I were to rename this book, it would probably be "Damn Bad Advice (that is, in large part, based on nonsensical conjecture)". While George Lois is certainly a talented advertiser and author (the book is, if nothing else, entertaining) much of the advice offered in this book is nonsensical, and in some cases not even advice at all. I'm not sure there's a piece of advice in here that isn't already immediately apparent to anyone with any semblance of critical thinking skills. Of the 120 points i ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
While it says (For People with Talent), it is mainly focused on the "traditional advertising" world. Nevertheless, the writer has a great sense of doing things the right way.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book was horrible and the only saving grace is that it reminded me that choosing not to work in advertising was a wise move.

I picked this up at the bookstore because I'd seen it on many "essential reading" lists for designers. I opened it to #86: Keep up the fight against racism, no matter what the cost. That struck me as unusually down-to-earth for a design book, so I bought it.

Lois fakes inclusiveness and seeks to push back against the way the public views advertising after binging seven
Jan 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Not so "damn good". Most of the advice is either thinly veiled career boasting or something you should already know if you've progressed beyond the first year of marketing or design school. The book reads like a giant run-on sentence of "do more and do better" without actually giving insight into how to do this other than to "try". I've read more creative insight in a dry textbook, which is very disappointing because George Lois is talented and accomplished in his career.
There are many examples
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a short book packed with awesome tid bits about creativity and marketing. I read it cover to cover. At times, the book was so spot on and insightful that I slammed it shut with anxiety. Holy cow, this is so good it's scary. Right after I was done reading it, I pulled out a notepad and began shooting out ideas.
Stephanie Marie
Dec 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: design
This book is a great motivator. It boasts a clean, fun design, it's easy to read (in one sitting or spread out over a week where you really need a kick in the pants), and is straightforward. George knows what he knows and that's all there is to it.

At first, I was thrown off by the numbered list format of the book-- I was expecting something more traditional-- but it was great. It made it very light and easily digestible. George's writing style is aggressive, in your face, and matter-of-fact-- s
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book while I was backpacking through Europe right after I finished 5 years of Architecture school. I was in a place where you realize you've been pushed into the real world and you barely know how to swim. You haven't figured anything out yet.
This book gave me 'Damn Good Advice' that I still go through at times when no one else can say the right thing. It's fresh and in-your-face. I loved how clear and to the point his writing style is. No BS, just like talking to the author in his l
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A book I would HIGHLY recommend to anybody going into any creative field. Clear, specific, bold advice for making things happen in your career and feeling good about yourself every step of the way. Written by George Lois, who can only be described as the original Mad Man... He vehemently denies any connection to the show, but if you subtract the philandering, drinking in the workplace and other generally frowned-upon activities, some of the stories Lois tells could be right out of the T.V. show. ...more
Daniel Siegel
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Damn Good Advice isn't exactly a guidebook to achieve advertising success like its author George Lois has - it's more like advice to shore up your general life fundamentals. In that regard this book definitely hit the mark for me, and its clean design made for enjoyable skimming. Lois definitely doesn't shy away from tooting his own horn, but based on his body of work, a bit of fanfare doesn't seem inappropriate. A fine addition to the shelf of a creative.
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Damn ! A great book !
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Picked this up yesterday afternoon while in the library aimlessly looking for inspiration and ended up reading the whole thing. Lois shares his advice on creativity, hard work and big ideas, gleaned over a 50+-year career in advertising. He claims to take the show Mad Men as a personal insult, but it's hard not to be reminded of just a teensy little bit of Don Draper while reading Lois' thoughts on having absolute confidence in your work and selling your ideas. Anyway, it's a visually striking b ...more
Dan Nietsche
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
The tragedy of this book is that of a man who continually tells you to have the 'big idea' or go home actually sells you old rope. The book is what I'd consider quite 'American'. It's flashy, it's loud, it's PERFECT for advertising.

But the man is so clearly a product of his time. He shuns teamwork - it's all about the (great) ego, which I suppose is his'. As I apparently don't know the man, I couldn't verify it, but he comes across as a massive douche.

Now, not a lot in this book is factually wr
Kevin Kelly
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the book version of George Lois. Short, sweet, blustery, tons of ego and a couple of nuggets if you're not too turned away from his confidence. There's been some criticism over the years of him claiming authorship/work that he only had a small part producing. Anyone can see that is not an impossible scenario by reading thru this book. He represents an old method of cranking out effective advertisements - his logos tend to make me cringe a bit - but by being so singularly focused, he lose ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2013
This is a GREAT book for readers interested in design and specifically advertising. However, it also contains worthy general advice. The writer's passion for his field is spilled all over the pages which provides a great inspiration for the reader. George Lois mentions his own experiences and the secrets to the success of many of his work. As for myself, My mind started thinking like advertiser and I started drafting ideas right away. I'm very glad I had purchased this book and I plan to read it ...more
Nov 21, 2014 rated it liked it
George Lois is an American art director, designer, and author. In Damn Good Advice , Lois offers a guide to creativity and success heavily influenced by his time spent working in advertising. While the book's advice heavily leans towards design work and advertising skills, there are pointers and advice that can benefit anyone working in a creative field. ...more
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was pretty good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to because I couldn't relate to it. It was more targeted for people that could use their creativity at work; artists, marketing, graphic design, etc. It talked mostly about advertising & how to stand out with your ideas through creativity. ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of these books. I have been given this and 'It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be' as gifts. Great quick reads for short journeys to inspire. I also like giving these books as gifts to fellow creatives and those in creative industries.
Patrick DiJusto
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I have a strange weakness: I'm attracted to the genre of "How To Be Creative" books. I don't know why -- they're all exactly the same, and they're all exactly useless.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A no BS examination of creativity and how to unleash/master it. Lois is gruff, perhaps even rude at times, but when he knows what has to be done, he gets it done. I'd work for him.
Anggia Widhi
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
for people in the advertisement agency especially
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first started reading this book sometime early/mid-2017 and couldn’t get past the 1st 30 pages for his “humor” and style of writing just didn’t appeal to me at all. I felt like in a way he was more of attacking the reader not advising them and I was repulsed by it. The words he used and the style was just so different from any book I have read before in this same category. Or maybe that was just my mindset at the time, but I put it back on my bookshelf and didn’t come near it again.

Fast forwar
Helsy Flores
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
It is a book that gets your mind excited and eager to go out there and do something great - right now! The design is clean and makes it easy and enjoyable to read. However, it should be noted that Lois is from another time, from the old school. He might have been a genius for something he did back then, but that same thing wouldn’t work or be enough today. It was easier then because advertising was just beginning, almost any idea you had was new and hadn’t been done before, there weren’t thousan ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointment
The first time I saw this in my local store, my intuition lead me to believe this is some cheesy waste of time like the lot of pseudo-self-improvement books are. It was packaged thus I couldn't give it a personal value judgement. Amusingly enough, he advertised it well, I bought it the next time I went to the bookstore. I certainly did not expect it to be anywhere likely to "Tools of Titans", but I had a decent standard in mind.

To be clear for others, the book is focused on visual design and adv
Cristian Iancu
Nov 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm halfway through the book, swimming in a sea of cliches and truisms, spruced with a little bit of nonsense here and there, still trying to find the DAMN GOOD ADVICE, but the waves are strong. While I do not question the success of this guy's career, as this is the only thing he talks about, how awesome he is and how we can grow up to be just like him, he makes HIS experiences sound like some kind of recipe for success. Like any other successful person telling their stories and being full of t ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
I would not recommend this book. George Lois has had an excellent advertising career. This book discusses some of those successes and gives advice/lessons that Lois has learned from his experience.

This advice is inconsistent at best and flat out contradictory at worst. In example, one sections says,
"you can never learn anything from a mistake....never give your failures a second thought."

Then later in the book there is a passage that says,
"...Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to
Lindsey Cruz
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: creativity
This book was a quick read with loads of useful advice from a professional in his field. The reason I picked up this book is because I was researching books on creative directors and this was one of the must-reads .

I didn't know who George Lois was (though I've definitely heard his name before) until I realized that he is the mastermind behind a lot of ads for famous brands and companies we see today, like Tommy Hilfiger and Aunt Jemima Syrup.

The more I read the book, the more I noticed his st
Nick Green
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
8.2/10 I knew nothing about George Lois before reading this book but he sure does love talking about himself and his accomplishments and now I feel like an expert. Not saying that is a bad thing considering his life accomplishments and the fact that he is a legend in the world of advertising and the original “Mad Men”. The book starts off hot and you feel like you are going to be hit with a title wave of motivation but after you find the rhythm of the book you will discover that a lot of the adv ...more
Alexandra AE
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Damn Good Advice (for people with talent) (by George Lois)


The book I needed to read.

The book you need to read.

120 illustrated tips on how to own your work, unleash your creativity and reach your goals ruthlessly.

Listen, I only take advice from people at the top because, clearly, they know how they did it.

There are a lot of motivational/craft/advice/etc books out there written by people only known for… publishing motivational/craft/advice/etc books. Clearly, none of those are my
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one was a quick read, in term of total time, but I spread it out over many days. In retrospect, this was a good idea when considering Lois as a master of communication. Every piece out of the 120 pieces of advice likely contained a "Big Idea", even if I didn't catch it.

My own visceral reaction to this book has come as a surprise. I like it! In general, I feel very positively towards Lois and his book. This is not surprising because I had expectations before reading, but rather because of th
Ali Davenport
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book in an art gallery and it’s a real gem. I like its snappy approach – the bitesize pieces of advice with fun visuals. It’s given me encouragement and ideas as I’ve developed the marketing around my book soul survival guide.

When you’re doing it all – you’re the writer, publisher and marketeer – it’s easy to fall foul of Imposter Syndrome. Who do I think I am? What makes me so great? George Lois cuts through all that, urging us to celebrate our individuality and daring. As he says:
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