MTIV (Making the Invisible Visible) is an indispensable guide for the new age of media design. This book is about HOW to achieve the results that bring in profits and make you a better designer. This beautifully written and designed book unveils the methods behind Hillman Curtis' phenomenal success as a new media designer. In well-crafted narrative and instructional form, Hillman outlines his systematic approach for working with clients to develop clear, cogent, and creative communication - three "musts" for successful design.
Through trial and error, Hillman and his company honed a seven-step process for creating concepts, and developing and designing new media. Often overlooked or unknown by designers, the methods in this book are distilled from years of experience and enhanced by Hillman's years as a leader in the design field. Divided into three parts - "Process," "Inspiration," and "Practice" - the book offers a practical methodology for successful artistic and professional work and also offers technical advice for translating this to the web (color, XML, streaming media, and other topics are discussed). Written with a subtle sense of humor and narration that really flows, this book is a joy to read, with great advice that helps designers with their own design work.
With his first book, Flash Web Design, Hillman Curtis quickly earned Flash guru status, and deservedly so. Like the coolest mentor one could ever hope to find, he struck a chord with his audience by sharing not just the nuts and bolts behind his Flash creations, but his ideas on good design methodology.
MTIV expands on that. Here he shares his respect and excitement for new media, gives a blueprint for design challenges of all types, taps into the myriad visual and literary inspirations that fuel his imagination, and shows readers how to get past their own moments of "designer’s block."
Curtis is a fine storyteller. He takes anecdotes of coffee breaks, book tour lectures, work, life, and art, and weaves them around design maxims. For every morsel of advice, there are three or four personal stories that illustrate how he arrived at it and puts it to use. He shows how books, movies, print ads--just about anything--can be used in the search for creative solutions.
The seven steps in "Process" compose the bulk of the book. These are the exact steps Curtis’s design team applies to each project. Without giving too much away, they are Listen, Unite, Theme, Concept, Filter, Justify, and Eat the Audience. (Well, you’ll just have to get the book to find out about that last one.)
In "Inspiration," we learn that Curtis draws from Hemingway, Mies van der Rohe, Sidney Lumet, David Mamet, Leonard Cohen, Mark Rothko, and Joseph Müller-Brockman, among others. And the book finishes with a bang in the third chapter, "Practice," a collection of helpful tips in typography, color theory, XML, grids, and much more, from experts like Joseph Lowery (author of the Dreamweaver Bible) and usability authority Steve Krug.
MTIV is not just an easy read, it’s fun, warm, encouraging, and, yes, inspiring. A self-taught artist, Curtis has made MTIV the perfect Boy Scout manual for those who have stumbled on design as a new career or just languished through too many uninspired afternoons in front of the computer. --Angelynn Grant