(Un)Funny Business: David Barringer on Design

Barringer.jpgOur highly unscientific survey of designers’ summer reading revealed rave reviews for David Barringer‘s There’s Nothing Funny About Design (Princeton Architectural Press) and its Felix Sockwell-designed cover. In his first collection of essays, the writer and self-taught graphic designer takes on topics ranging from blood-soaked DVD cover art and his father’s business card collection to the work of Chip Kidd and why drug names overdose on the letter “X.” The take-home message? There’s a whole lot that’s funny (funny ha-ha and funny strange) about design, including Barringer’s update of the Kubler-Ross Model, “Nine Emotions of the Working Designer,” which comes in the section of the book devoted to the business of design. “I used it as a funny way to advise young designers today, but I let the form evolve into something stranger, part fiction, part philosophy, some of it contradictory, poetic, satirical,” he has said. “You should laugh at some parts, shake your head at others, but at some point nod and think, ‘Yes. Exactly.'”