By @SimonCocking review of  Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait (Graphic Biography) by Kevin Lynch, available from Amazon here.

In this information-packed graphic biography, Steve Jobs’ remarkable talent and genius are explored through bold design and original graphics. Kevin Lynch explores Jobs’ journey from savvy salesman, to his rivalry and market competition with Bill Gates, and his shift towards radical innovations in later life. This technological innovator led a fascinating, astounding and ultimately too short life, that irreversibly impacted how we communicate. 

Steve Jobs is a visual celebration and comprehensive study of ‘The Maverick’ and his work; and a must-have for any fan of Apple products.

The story of Steve Job’s life is a well known and well told tale at this stage, even seven short years since his death. This book is a readable, well written addition to the collection. The shadow of Walter Isaacson’s epic doorstep volume on Steve Jobs can hang over any subsequent biography, and this book also references and acknowledges this with several quotes from the Isaacson work. As Lynch explainsits now seven years since Jobs died. There’s been a lot more about his life and times that has emerged over that period, and I think we’re now in a different position to really assess his legacy and what impact his death has actually had on Apple and the wider tech world.” 

This book aims to deliver a much more visual, colourful and accessible take on Steve Job’s life. Lynch described his inspiration to create the book in this way ” I’d been really inspired by Information is Beautiful by David McCandless which is kind of a love letter to infographics and I really liked the idea of using the medium as means of storytelling.” Overall the book works on almost all levels, and does serve up a more visually engaging and beautiful book to look at, hold, and read, all of which would have pleased the intense aesthetic demands of the subject of his biography too. The book is a beautiful object as well as an interesting read. The one, rather large challenge we faced when reading it, was that the size and the colour of the text, set against the page, made it hard to read. We don’t need glasses yet to review the books we get, but too much more text like this and we may need them. Furthermore, p89 is even worse, and manages to look like legal small text and also jarring to the eye too. In a book which is in many ways a visual paean to the value and beauty of good design, the actual text itself (not the writing) is it’s Achilles heel. Hopefully for a second addition this can be remedied as it is a lovely, enjoyable read otherwise.


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