That Craig Ward is an exceptional talent, one of the most innovative and influential designers in the business right now, is a given. That he'd make a book that would be exciting and elegant was expected. But the happiest payoff of "Popular Lies" is that Ward brings as much vision and wit and clarity to the content of his words as he usually does to the visuals of them.
This is a lovely, lively book, one that non-industry readers like me, who just barely qualify as the "fetish for design" types, will adore just as much as the working professionals and students to which Ward so eloquently imparts his wisdom. It's a bold treatise -- he calls the universally loathed comic sans "the typographic equivalent of the innocent man on death row," for example -- but it's also an intelligent, reasoned guide for anyone who wants to turn creativity into a career. "Ultimately," Ward writes to would-be artist enfants terribles, "you're being paid to provide a service and a skill." His book, like his one-of-a-kind style, is at once both wildly romantic and refreshingly practical, a love letter to design that pulls no punches. With this remarkable achievement, Ward has created a work of great humor, substance, and beauty. And, like the master he is, he's made it look effortless.