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  • Writer's pictureDrew

#001 - What's on your bookshelf? Interview with Vince Patterson

This is the first in a series of interviews with designers, creatives, and educators that aims to go behind the scenes and find out what they keep on their bookshelves for inspiration and learning. I'll be tapping them up for advice on the must know topics, terms, processes, and ways of thinking about design that we often take for granted.


Who better to kick off the series than the guy who inspired me to take design to more series level, develop my skills and push my abilities, and basically help me grow as a designer.

Vince Patterson is a Graphic Artist and Educator based in Cheshire England who works across a variety of media including print, digital design, and motion design. His project "The Cledford" is an experimentation with the Risographic printing method in which the result is a series of individual prints that are each unique.

The Cledford Project

Another of Vince's projects 'How do you know when it's finished?' is a collection of photographs taken of etched metal plates of a period of time as the plates begin to weather. The photographs are contained within a book, but the reader has to tear each page away from the rest to reveal the next photograph. The reader (or viewer) becomes directly linked to the work as it is through their interaction with it that allows it to be viewed. The viewer therefore has to decide when the process is complete, and is therefore responsible for finishing the work.

There are some videos demonstrating the process that can be found on Vince's website by following the link here.

How do you know when it is finished?



What would you say are the three most important or influential books that you have on your book shelf? They don't have to be design related.


'On the Road' - Jack Kerouac

'End of Print' - David Carson

'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' - Hunter S Thompson


Is there a book that you go back to time and again, knowing that it will inspire you when you’ve hit a creative lull?


For me it would have to be 'End of Print' by David Carson


Often as designers we take it for granted that people know the same things that we do; or have been on the same kind of journey. If Design is a language, what are the top 5 things (vocabulary, if you will) that a designer should know to help them converse in the world of design?


Listen first.

Discuss after.

Communicate clearly.

Explain why.

Show not Tell.


That's great. I think I was expecting to get answers relating to design processes, theories or art movements. I feel like this answer is much more Zen in approach and addresses some deep fundamental truths that can be applied to a number of things, not just design. In my experience these things aren't taught, so I'm glad I asked.

Would you say that you have a favourite designer, and can you explain why they hold that rank with you?


I don't because I'm so fickle. I love David Carson, then I'll look at something different and dip into Massimo Vignelli, Wolfgang Weingart, Wim Crouwel, Paula Scher whatever takes my fancy.

I'm really into Matt Willey's editorials in the NY Times Magazine currently and Robert Rauschenberg's screen prints are a big influence.


I'm taking notes, I'll be sure to look up the ones that I'm unfamiliar with.

Are there any other books you’d like to recommend?


'Predatory Thinking' by Dave Trott

Any of the books by:

Stefan Sagmiester

Chip Kidd

Paula Scher 

Michael Johnson

Tibor Kalman


Thanks Vince. You've given me plenty to go on, and hopefully this information will be useful to anyone reading this interview.

I remember when you showed me Sagmiester's 'Things I have Learned in My Life So Far'. I've heard the expression of having your mind blown, and think it's batted around too often, but that book or collection of projects really made me take a step back. I had to put it down mid way through and have a break to let my mind catch up with what I had seen. I couldn't even face Sagmiester's other book 'Made you Look' until the next day.


For more information on Vince Patterson and his work check out the links below. If you like what you see, give him a like or a follow where appropriate:

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