Dear Bonnie, I love you

Bonnie Siegler, an accomplished graphic designer who, after partneting with Emily Oberman for many years, now runs her own studio, has decided to share her wisdom with the world in a weekly column on Design Observer, aptly called “Dear Bonnie“.

In her “truth-telling advice column”, she answers questions from new and not so new designers who have some sort of problem they need help solving. I encourage you to read all her responses, as they are truly brilliant, but let me also give you a few examples here.

  • For the ones just getting started, like this 19 years old student whose ambitions go far beyond his internship, Bonnie advises to be humble and learn from every experience – no matter how simple or unimportant it may seem at the time.
  • She doesn’t stop there though, and takes on a question from someone who already has a job as a designer, but isn’t quite sure how to do his best work. The key is to be critical and honest with oneself and understand whether it’s your own work or the environment that needs changing.
  • Dealing with clients is an important topic that needs mastering in order to be successful. Bonnie explains how to show clients the value of design work and how to deal with a situation in which a big brand uses your work without your permission nor giving proper credit.
  • This is a great piece on graphic design history – Bonnie’s own top 20 designers whose work every student and practitioner should know about – and how we should work hard to see the names of more women in graphic design history from now on.
  • How to feel good with how much you are charging your client for a project, and the etiquette of dealing with them in the future.
  • How to fake it ’till you make it.

These are just a few examples, but there are many more answers on Design Observer that we can learn from. Her advice is well crafted and always spot on, so make sure to check it out.

To find out more about Bonnie Siegler and her work, check out the website of her studio, Eight and a half. If you’re interested in how I found out about this column in the first place, listen to this interview on the Design Matters podcast.


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