Design is a Job

by Mike Monteiro

Cover “Design is a Job”Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro is the 7th issue from A Book Apart, a publishing house by the people from A List Apart and An Event Apart. The first three issues were respectivley red, green and blue. Targeted at webworkers.

The brown issue

This one has a brown cover and it is about how to run a design business, mainly webdesign. Which kind of relates to my own business. Apart from that, all books were very worthwile, so this one couldn’t be missed on my reading list.

Choose your clients

A very important point the author makes is to choose your clients. This is how you build up an interesting portfolio, and guarantees that you’re the right person (or business) to tackle this particular problem. It takes guts of course to say no to clients, even if they are interesting for other reasons (money, for instance).
The whole book is centered around this issue. Your design serves a purpose, it’s not there for fun, making good looking pictures. It’s there because a problem needs to be solved.

Be honest

What I like very much about the book is it’s honesty. You should be honest to your clients – including their internal designers –, to your teammates, to yourself and to your own work. Take responsibility for that. That also means that you have to be clear, you have to communicate a lot, and as quickly as possible.
That also means you have to be comfortable with all aspects of the job, including talking about money, even though that can be hard sometimes.


It is a very inspiring book, especially beacuse it’s tone and baseline is about being honest. No tricks. Respect your client, respect yourself and respect your own work.