Book Review / Know Your Onions: Graphic Design


Today we’ve got another book review! And this month I read Know Your Onions: how to think like a creative, act like a businessman and design like a God. By Drew de Soto.


Know Your Onions definitely falls under the "handbook" category.

Because of this, I’ll be honest I had trouble getting myself to sit down and read it, sometimes it feels a little textbook-y. I ended up just skipping around a lot to whatever I felt like reading at the moment or if there was something I was particularly curious about.

Here were the sections that stood out to me and ones I think you would also enjoy:

  1. In the past we’ve talked about file management and organization and Drew offers his tips there.
  2. There’s a very nice Typography section that covers pretty much everything you could know about type.
  3. He has a helpful process with designing with teams and I think the way I would translate that into working by yourself is doing shorter sprints of focused work and then coming back to it with fresh eyes.
  4. There were tips to getting out of a creative rut and my favorite was playing the what if game, which I think I’ve done but didn’t have a name for it. The concept is if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, what if you only used typography, or illustrations, or a minimal color palette. I think that could be a fun way to pump out a lot of ideas.
  5. Printing Section is fully loaded with tons of printing jargon that will definitely come in handy -especially if you do...print work!
  6. Handy Dandy Glossary in the Back.

If you’re new to graphic design, I think you would enjoy reading this cover to cover- if you’re more seasoned, it’s definitely a nice one to add to your bookshelf, pick it up for inspiration, brush up some knowledge.

What should I read next time? Let me know!