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Mike Steven's "Mastering Layout

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by N2Harpz, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. N2Harpz

    N2Harpz Very Active Member

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    I have read so much about this book .." Mike Steven's "Mastering Layout "

    It must be the sign makers bible. Cause many on this site refer to it often. So I decided to buy this book. I have on on order now for $29.95

    But to my amazment on Ebay some guy wanted $57 for A USED one. At the local book store, which is a chain store, they wanted $85 for a used one. And at another store $60 again used.

    I'm glad I shopped around ... LOL

    Any way .. I can't wait till mine gets here.
     
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  2. PMG

    PMG Very Active Member

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  3. mbarden

    mbarden Active Member

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    I am half way through mine. It has already influenced my layouts.
    Mike B
     
  4. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    I bought it 5 years ago.
    I just need to get muself to read it now :rolleyes:
     
  5. flat rock stan

    flat rock stan Member

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    thanks everyone! I will be ordering the book, I need all the help I can get!!!!
     
  6. Kenny

    Kenny Member

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  7. RJ California

    RJ California Active Member

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    I'm like Doug. Got it and never read it all the way through. I've skimmed it several times and I find his explanations on why some layouts work and others don't, to be pretty interesting. To really study the book and learn all of his concepts would be a worthy task for me someday.
     
  8. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    I love reading when I have time, but I am a cover to cover reader, each page in sequence, & I feel like have to understand everything implicitly on every page before advancing on. I only have time to read late at night & I can enjoy some business self-help types of books, or a few pages of an espionage novel, before I fall asleep... but for some reason I got bogged down in Mastering Layout, feeling like I was not captivated quickly enough for my tired state of mind... but unwilling to jump ahead and look for a chapter more immediately engaging. I'm not sure why that is, but up 'till now, I've assumed I would become less busy some day, or a time would come where the attitude of "study" would compel me to get after it, where the desire to relax with a good book never has. One can hope.
     
  9. njsigns

    njsigns Very Active Member

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    I have brought this book with me to airports and on the plane, in waiting rooms while my girlfriend is in surgery (7 times in the past 18 months) and it is always on the coffee table waiting to be picked up. I think some of the language / concepts are hard to understand fully without a "diagram". That coupled with the images they are referring to being 2 pages away doesn't make it an easy read, not for me anyway. I have read it cover to cover a few times now, and still go back and re-read it when I can. I certainly "look at the pictures" though and it's easy to see the effective layout in the group. Even the "bad" layouts are better than most of the signs I encounter daily.

    Gene
     
  10. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    I think the book should automatically be included with every plotter/sign software system sold.
    The world would be a far lovelier place.
    I will never forget the feeling I had after reading it (while riding home from my first Letterhead meet where I bought it) I wanted to go tear down every sign I had ever made, I was so embarrassed!
    Love....Jill
     
  11. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    hmmm, maybe that's why I haven't read it... a self preservation form of denial :rolleyes:
     
  12. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Just read the damn thing Doug!
    Even cheat and just look at the pictures!
    :)
    Love....Jill
    I need to buy a new one as mine is in pieces and covered in paint splotches.
    Hey, maybe that makes it more valuable!
     
  13. Si Allen

    Si Allen Very Active Member

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    Lol Jilly...just might be worth $57 on Ebay!
     
  14. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    Before Mike passed on he signed my copy. It's long gone and I've bought several more to give to newbies who I thought showed promise. I met mike 20 years ago and he had a profound affect on me with relation to sign design.

    Without a doubt the knowledge I gained from that book had more impact on me out selling all of my competition because of better design. I've often sold jobs that my competitors lost with three times a higher price.

    It's not always about the cheapest price.
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That is truly a great book. It won’t solve all of your problems, but it will definitely get you on the right road for almost any layout. Once you get the hang of the book, more an more of it will start making sense and you’ll go back and read it again…….. and again………. and again.

    It’s always good for one to go back to the basics from time to time and remember what you’re doing and for what reasons. It really teaches you to think outside of the box. As you automatically begin to think what you know, it gets easier to comprehend more ideas and theories. You can’t learn this book in one or two readings. This book and it’s teachings take years to fully understand.

    I truly believe that starting in this industry with a brush in your hand is a definite asset compared to those coming in totally with only a computer background. However, the two will meet in the middle and having Mike’s book is a sure way to get as much ‘Brush Technique’ in your bloodstream. He took what all the old timers would teach you as ‘trade secrets’ and wrote them into book form for the whole industry to share.

    The best part was talking with him and sharing ideas and techniques while he was still alive. I truly miss him. His shop was right up the road from one of my first shops. His talks at meets and gatherings were great. He and a few of the other early guys were from ‘Southeastern PA’. This place rocked with talent. It still does. It will always rock. Let’s hear it for the ‘Pennsylvanian Brush Movement’ !!!
    :thumb:
     
  16. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    I have read the book a few times from cover to cover...it's a good book, but it needs some serious updating. Now that most people use the computer, there are no-nos being done because it is so easier to make those mistakes. The book also falls short in maintaining Identity or a logo standard and working within them. I have quite a collection of books and a few layout books, but none of them that explains as well as Mastering Layout on sign specific layout.

    I don't know if the signs are still there but the Pasadena, California Trader Joe's interior signs were done up in Mike Stevens type layouts all over the store. Realy cool stuff. I found out later that each Trader Joes hires a lattering/sign artist to make the sign unique to the store (though they could pay a bit more). I wish I knew that, I would have wanted to talk to the sign artist there at the time.
     
  17. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    I have been to Letterhead meets where I've had informal discussions of Mike's book.
    Someone once complained that after you read the book, all your signs look like Mike's.
    Like that's a bad thing?
    Before I read that book, my signs looked like crap. I ran everything out to the edges, and nothing had a cohesive look.
    While I didn't know him, I think that maybe Mike didn't really see beyond making a good sign into the identity/branding/logo thinking of today. That's where Dan Antonelli's books come into the picture.
    They are next on my "book" list.
    Love....Jill
     
  18. mystysue

    mystysue Active Member

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    Rick.. Ive not been to the one in Pasadena (altho that is where my shop is) but the one that is like at huntington and rosemead has/had a great one too. Most of the signs are done in chalk.
    If you look at the trader joes web site and under arts and entertainment.. it shows ya what they advertise for when hiring.. (they are hiring for one of the pasadena stores again)
    They only pay like 10 an hour which is really low.. but to me what is amazing is that each store has one of these people and that they work from 20 to 35 hours a week just doing the signs.
    One of the cool things is that they have insurance for the employee and their family.. .. Ill have to watch and see what the new person is like..
     
  19. imaSIGNr

    imaSIGNr Very Active Member

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    The difference in prices is probably that it comes in hard back and soft cover.....
     
  20. Poconopete

    Poconopete Very Active Member

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    Amazon

    Just got the amazon bundle today, paper backs. More wee hour reading to do.
     

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