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This book is by far the most enjoyable design related book I have read. The author Michael Janda put himself into this book and you truly feel as though you're sitting across the desk from him having a conversation. He writes with a level of open authenticity so that you feel as if you know him personally.

Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don't teach you in design school, but should chic

The book is full of practical and actionable advice! I truly believe that anyone working remotely in the creative field, regardless of tenure, should read this book. Burn Your Portfolio teaches or helps you remember how to: be a good employee, co-worker, treat clients properly, deal with hard topics, and this list goes on. This is a great book.

As a design major finishing up my last year at University, it's great to get some insight on what it's like trying to get a job in the industry. The chapters are short and to the point, making it an easy read. His personal stories are funny and the book has a great overall tone to it. Not to mention, it really is a book that would be beneficial for anyone from any field to read. Highly recommended! This book is extremely insightful. The chapters are broken down into bite size sections. Each chapter gets to the point and is easy to follow and memorable. Its quirky, informative, and creative.

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There are dozens of nuggets of wisdom for people starting out as freelancers or rookie graphic designers and gives inside tips and tricks that are hard to find without being in the trenches of the graphic design industry. I loved this book. It changed my perspective on so many challenges I face daily as a designer. It contained practical, solid advice about the real problems real designers encounter, all the time! Full of good natured humor and poignant personal examples which help the reader to relate.

An absolute must read for anyone in a design field.

Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don't teach you in design school, but should

I would highly recommend this book! As a recent college grad and a graphic designer that has quickly rose in the ranks at my company; I found this book not only informative but also assertive in reminding me of some good practices that I already use. Love the causal and at times humorous tone the author took in writing the book. I am a graphic designer and this is probably one of my favorite books. All the frustrations of the design industry were discussed and many helpful tips were provided. This was a very insight and quick read! His writing style is excellent.

Excellent book. Extremely helpful with deep-drive examples. I'm thankful for the author's transparency—very refreshing. Highly recommend and I've already bought another one for a fellow graphic artist friend. Burn Your Portfolio is a fantastic book. Peachpit: What do you think are the most interesting things happening in graphic design right now? Michael Janda: The blurring of the line between apps and websites is exciting to me.

Burn Your Portfolio – Michael Janda

Michael Janda: In the early years of my career I wish I had had a mentor. I didn't. The fact of the matter is that I think I was born with a drive to succeed and when I fed that drive with entrepreneurship it became an addiction. I wake up in the morning and I have a long list of ideas to work on. When one is complete I move onto the next one. For example, before my book, Burn Your Portfolio , hit shelves I was already pitching the idea for a second book to my publisher.

It really is an exhausting way to live, but it fuels me. Michael Janda: In the hands of a freelance designer my book is a goldmine of information. However, there is an enormous amount of information that can apply to any business industry.

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I worked hard to make the book as broad reaching as possible. Peachpit: Anyone who even glances through your book will see that it's written with a healthy dose of self-deprecation. How has your sense of humor affected your work? Michael Janda: I grew up with four brothers in a small town in northern Indiana. We lived on a lake by a forest. I liken our upbringing to Lord of the Flies I'm pretty certain that this upbringing taught me to not take myself too seriously and is the foundation of my quirky sense of humor.


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I also am well aware that although I have achieved an admirable level of success, there is always a bigger fish. That thought keeps me grounded and probably leads to a little of my self-deprecation. At my agency, this culture we've created keeps things light and fun in spite of stressful deadlines and demanding clients.

There is never a shortage of "mom jokes" or sarcastic quips at RiSER. Humor is a universal language that helps us improve collaboration and creativity. Peachpit: You talk a little in the book about the title being a bit extreme — and you also mention an alternate title that you ultimately abandoned. Care to discuss what goes into creating a good title, and what input you had on the process?

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Also, what is the story behind the title? Michael Janda: The original title of the book was "Nuggets from the Trenches. We needed something that applied more to the book's purpose. The search for a new title was extensive and took several weeks of exhaustive brainstorming. The alternate title you mentioned, that I was excited about on many levels, but couldn't bring myself to call the book, was "Polishing Turds" one of the book's chapter titles.

In the end, I didn't want to be known as "the turd guy" for the rest of my author life. I wrote a pretty extensive blog post about the search for a new title here. Peachpit: There are graphics throughout the book that illustrate some of the points you make. Which one is your favorite? Michael Janda: I worked closely with one of my employees, Nick Jarvis, to do the illustrations.

It was a ton of work and rework to land on the right style and ideas to enhance the reader's experience with the book. I have two favorites; the Introduction illustration and the "Don't Work in a Vacuum" chapter spread. The Introduction is probably mostly fun for me personally because it is my career path leading up to the creation of my own agency.

The "Don't Work in a Vacuum" spread is the epitome of what we tried to create in the book i. Michael Janda: I fell in love with Evernote when I wrote this book. Every time I had an idea for a new chapter I would create a new note and a couple bullet point thoughts about what I would include in the book. Evernote made this easy since I could do it from my iPhone, iPad, or computer. When I scrounged up time to write, I would open up Evernote, pick one of the chapter idea notes, and get started. Much of the book I wrote in the early morning hours on a few vacations in Hawaii while my family was still sleeping.