David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

ink drops

Three weeks ago my acquisitions editor Nikki at Peachpit asked if I could find a well-known designer to write a quote for the back cover of my book. She said it would need to be someone with a great reputation, and that we didn’t have much time.

Finding a quote hadn’t crossed my mind, and it’s not like I’m out rubbing shoulders much with the cream of the design crop. I told Nikki it was unlikely, but to leave it with me and I’d see what I could do.

A few days later I was having an email chat with Chris Nutter, communications director at Chermayeff & Geismar in New York. He was helping to arrange an interview with Tom Geismar (the interview you kindly submitted questions for). I put two and two together and ran the quote idea past Chris.

It wasn’t long before I emailed him a PDF containing a large chunk of my book, saying that if Tom was able read it and offer a quote, that I’d need his words by the end of the week. That only gave Tom a few days, so needless to say, I wasn’t hopeful.

Friday passed, and I thought to myself that the book wasn’t something Tom would want to put his name on. That’s fair enough. I’d be equally critical of endorsing someone I knew nothing about on the back of an emailed PDF.

Then on Tuesday Chris got back to me saying, “Tom loved your work and gave what I think, as a book author myself, is a perfect blurb.”

Brilliant! But the deadline had passed.

I immediately emailed Nikki and Cory (Cory’s the production guru at Peachpit to whom I supplied my InDesign files). They said if I was quick, there was still a chance we could change the cover, but it needed to be that day, so some hours later — at 10pm — we signed-off on a new cover including Tom’s quote.

Brilliant!

Here’s what Tom said:

“There are a lot of books out there that show collections of logos. But David Airey’s Logo Design Love is something different: it’s a guide for designers (and clients) who want to understand what this mysterious business is all about. Written in reader-friendly, concise language, with a minimum of designer jargon, Airey gives a surprisingly clear explanation of the process, using a wide assortment of real-life examples to support his points.

“Anyone involved in creating visual identities, or wanting to learn how to go about it, will find this book invaluable.”
— TOM GEISMAR, CHERMAYEFF & GEISMAR

And here’s the new cover spread PDF (216kb)—updated from the one I shared with you a week ago. As well as adding the endorsement, I also removed the descriptive text about the “simple, modern-looking book” and improved the layout of the section with my photo—thanks very much for the feedback Ebi and Tara.

There are only a few names in the design profession that I’d want to add to my cover. I asked the first one that came to mind, no-one else, and couldn’t be happier with the result.

I guess that’s what they call the luck of the Irish.

The moral of the story? If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

As a side note, 1,700 of you have pre-ordered already. Thank you! I’m told the printed books will be warehoused on December 18th, so if you’ve bought a copy, you can expect to receive it a week or so after that date.

Update: 10 May 2011
Who would’ve thought there’d now be eight translations?

My second book on Amazon

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33 comments about “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

  1. Excellent news – congrats David :)

    I was thinking about something very similar today…. along the lines of “never be afraid to ask….” for my blog.

  2. Well done David! Great quote!

  3. A great story, David! It is wonderful your book is getting published.

    I have admired your blog and suggest it to others regularly but have never commented until now. This couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Kudos to you and I so enjoy the irony of a paper book being printed.

  4. Good news to hear David! Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on your book sometime in the future.

  5. Hi David, the cover’s looking great.

    However, when I opened the PDF I noticed that the heart on the spine was showing in 2 separate halfs. – I noticed it straight away. When you zoom right in on both hearts, there is a small jagged endge on the base-point when the 2 vector halfs haven’t been lined up perfectly.

    This won’t be noticeable in print, but I’m sure as a designer, you’d want to know…and to be fair, you DO have to zoom in quite a lot, hehe.

    Looking forward to the read :)

  6. I am one of the 1700 and looking forward to it arriving. Great news on Tom Geismar — Its always nice to hear how people are willing to share their time. Best of luck.

  7. This is so true. When I was younger I worked as a commission salesman, and I had a manager that used this statement quite a bit, and the more I thought about what he was saying and put it to use, I found that it does work.

  8. Good of you to catch that, Andrew. I hadn’t noticed. I’ll ask Cory if he thinks the printed cover will be affected. Cheers.

    Shaun, go for it—I think it’s an important premise, and thanks for the congrats. Thanks also to Steve, Chris, and Richard.

    Jori, it’s always nice when a reader leaves their first comment, and much appreciated how you suggest my blog to others.

  9. Brilliant, sounds like bit of a mad rush!

  10. Just goes to show how high Mr. Geismar regards your work and book as he was willing to have such a quick turnaround on that blurb. Congrats!

    I’m not a graphic designer in any way, shape, nor form, but I do appreciate it a lot and follow your blog regularly. Even I might be tempted with a copy of this book!

  11. It was a rush at the end, Liam. Particularly as I was juggling attention between my book and Liverpool’s laboured win in Hungary. At least one focus turned out well.

    Ian, and likewise I appreciate you visiting. Thanks a lot for that. Can I tempt you with a copy of my book?

  12. Probably!

  13. Congrats on getting the Geismar quote! That is fantastic. Adds to the anticipation of the book release.

    I already pre-ordered the book – as knowing you and your blog I know the book will really be quality material.

    If I hadn’t known of you already though, I would have bought the book just from reading Mr. Geismar’s quote.

    Cheers!

  14. lol – It seems that publishing a book can be very stressful! But worth it in the end no doubt, I can’t wait to read it! Not long now :D

  15. It’s great you were able to convice your editor that line (“simple, modern-looking”) wasn’t necessary – I think the design speaks for itself. And congrats on getting that quote in such a short timeframe – a real rarity for the publishing industry I know!

  16. Well done David . nice story

  17. Very true. If I had not asked you about the basis for your blog theme, I would not be well on my way to having my own :).

  18. Hey Josiah, thanks for pre-ordering. You’ll have to let me know what you think once it arrives.

    Michael, you’re right, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. Hope things are good up the road.

    Thanks Tara, hema. And Jon, how’s the blog production coming along? Almost there? Good luck.

  19. It is coming along very well. I suspending the initial one simply because once I saw how it was contructed, I could now do a PSD and convert it myself once I got it into Dreamweaver. My problem has always been styling before writing the PHP files more. I sketched and styled based off that but now that I can write the PHP files better, I can slice a PSD based on those contentions and then piece it back together.

  20. Well done, David, I’m sure the quote will add greatly to the book’s appeal and sales. People are always advising on the benefits of a testimonial page on a website and I think this is useful for the same reasons. Best of luck with the book!

  21. My knowledge of PHP is well poor, Jon. If I make a change I need to learn how to do it first. Haven’t touched it much since I last set-up the design of this blog. Looking forward to your launch.

    Thanks very much, Rob. I can’t wait to get a hold of a copy.

  22. Great story, David. And a valuable lesson. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing the book!

  23. Perfect David!! Sometimes we hesitate perhaps, because we just live this way…doing our best, and we do not realize at all how brilliant our efforts are.

    I have already pre-ordered your book!! Look forward to have it in my mexican hands soon!!!

    Best regards.

  24. David:

    Hello. I saw this post and wanted to comment. I get your posts in my email box and always look forward to it. Great to see that your book is just about over the finish line. I can personally attest to the success of asking for what you want (because you just might get it). You’ll be surprised at what you get. I’m actually just now starting the process of collecting blurbs myself for a book. So this particular post was very relevant to me.

    As another person stated, sometimes we just don’t know how brilliant our own ideas and efforts are. Indeed.

    Congrats on the quote and the book David.

    Best,

    Darius

  25. Very true my friend, doesn’t hurt to ask:) I’m about to try that out for a particular client, wish me luck!!!!

  26. Hi David,

    I’m an avid follower of your work and as such have pre-ordered! :)

    Well done and good luck!

    Andy

  27. Nice work David – book is getting better by the minute

  28. What an amazing story. I found it particularly interesting as I myself am getting ready to self publish a book and was interested in getting quotes from other designers/digital artist on the back of the book.

    I can’t wait till your book comes out! Its is sure to be an item on most designers Christmas List!

  29. David,

    I’ve been reading your blog’s and updates for quite some time. I have to say, as soon as I saw the Chermayeff & Geismar colors I knew it had to be good!

    Congratulations on the book and the review by Tom himself, that is notable achievement for any designer.

  30. My mother always says “Ask and you shall receive” and like hell the woman loves to ask. She also never takes No for an answer. While I might not be that bold ALL the time, it is one of those bread and butter quotes everyone ought to have as a mantra. In addition to “no pain no gain”.

    I’m loving the new cover and so glad to see the image line up with the text! This is also why I follow your blog, the fact that you are actually listening – I think is a lesson in it’s own right.

    Can’t wait to get my book now :D yay!

  31. Awesome, I’m excited to get my copy. Thanks for letting us in on the process David.

  32. Thanks for pre-ordering, itzel, Andy. Great to know.

    Ebi, you offered good advice, so I’m very glad I had a chance to change things a little.

    To everyone else who has commented, the support throughout the writing process has been amazing. I can’t thank you enough, because there were times I felt like packing it all in.

  33. Even if it was too late for cover repro it would have surely been possible to quickly get a sticker produced to put on the front – which may be more eye-catching too. There’s always a way.

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