I was haphazardly browsing the shelves of my local library when I stumbled upon D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself by Ellen Lupton. The premise of the book hooked me immediately: these days, anyone can get in on the world of designing clothes, websites, stationary or pretty much anything else creative. Whether you're being cost conscious, making a political statement, or just trying to be unique - there's no reason you can't be designing the stuff you see around you ever day.
The book takes a tour through various creative elements - from book making to website building. Along the way, it gives an overview of different approaches you can take to tackle these projects, and rates each one in terms of cost and time.
I have to say, I'm largely disappointed in the book. To say that it took the approach of breadth of depth is being kind. There's just so little information presented on each topic as to make it little more than a catalog of techniques.
If the book did accomplish one thing, it was to serve as a catalyst in sparking my creativity. Why aren't I doing more with i2x T-shirts? And what other creative marketing could I be doing? So the book was hardly a total loss. Just don't expect to get enough information from it to actually design anything.
I give the book a 5/10 - it was inspirational, and that certainly counts for something.