Life Changing Books- Picture This

Every book doesn’t impact our Life. Very few books do and those few books are very special to us. This month I am going to speak about the books which has changed my life.

Good thoughts need to shared — This is the main purpose of beingkarthik and this blog series. Also, I would like to give an insights about these books and share my experience, which may impact someone’s life.

Book Name: Picture This | How pictures Work
Author: Molly Bang
Genre: Design

 Why this book? 

If you are passionate about graphic design, then this is the first book you should read.

We are surrounded by pictures/images. But only a few pictures stood apart from others. The reason is they evoke emotions. This book is a guide which tells you how to build the visual composition of images which engage audience by evoking emotions.Every artist, illustrators, designers, builders, or anyone who like to understand picture and art must own this book.

In short to say, pictures this is the book, which communicates us clearly that Pictures speak than words.It also gives an insights about what and how to make pictures work.

 What’s Best? 

 First 50 pages:   No books in the world can beat the first 50 pages of this book. Especially the chapter name—Building the emotional content with pictures. No matter whether you are a designer or programmer or a coder or engineer or a sales rep, if you  read first 50 page of this book, then your entire perspective of looking at pictures will change. You will never look triangle as a triangle, you will never look circle as the circle. Each and every visual element in the composition (say poster, ad or any) will have its own meaning.

 The last sentence of the page create excitement:  If you are fond of watching English series, towards the end of each episode there was some sort of excitement created which would make us watch next episode. This same technique has been adopted at the end of each sentence in a page. Molly bang ends each sentence on a page with a question, which will make us think what it would be. It also creates an excitement of what will be in next page. Brilliant and cleverly executed.

 The principles:  The most difficult part of any teachers is to make a student understand the laws or principles. These are a basic part of understanding any subject, but it is often very difficult for us to understand. Chapter 2 in this book talks about the principle of visual composition. Here Molly bang explained the basic principle of making pictures speak. All the 12 principles are explained in a much easier way with pictures. These principles form the basis for understanding any pictures. This principle not only works for pictures but across all visual medium. Even the way you arrange or store your belongings in your home will change. The art of filmmaking will improve once we get to know the principle. These principles are the basics of any visual communication and it was explained much clearly in simple language.

 Exercise:  This book is incomplete without the exercise towards the end of the book. All theories, principles and concept explained in this book can be fulfilled only by this exercise. Molly bang gives us some random situation like Birds or shark attacking a victim. She tells us to make pictures speak (Evoking emotions), just with simple shapes and cut paper exercise. Every shape, size, color has its meaning, So she tells us to use it wisely and thereby making our pictures to evoke emotion in readers. The best part of this exercise, you get to analyze yourself and towards the end of our work, you tend to know yourself whether these pictures works or not. The real purpose of this book is achieved through these exercise.

 Basic elements of Graphic Design:   Line, shape, form, color, space, texture are some of the basic elements of graphic design. We cannot find out any visual artwork without these elements. But how do we use it, what does it mean. A straight horizontal line implies stability, the vertical line implies energy and angular line implies a motion. Circle resembles softness, triangle implies danger due to pointed edges and so many other elements of design are communicated in a much easier way. We understood the concepts easily. For anyone who wishes to expand their visual literacy skills or need to get a flow with graphic design principles, there can’t be anything better than Picture this! This is a guide for the Graphic designer!

 My Story: 

Very lately, I could figured out my passion towards graphic design. I was confident and stay motivated to follow what my heart says. But there is always a fear inside me, how to start, where to start. My mind and my thoughts were wandering here and there and it didn’t stay focus on how to make my goal towards graphic design.

Then I came to know about this Karnex Blog through my friend. How to be a designer, without going to design school. This is the blog which I am following till date.

Through this blog, I came to know about this book. When I quit my job, my colleagues are planning for a send-off. I told them that I don’t need any gift instead buy me these books (I have listed around 6 books).  The first book, I have listed is this Picture this book. On my last day, I told my colleagues that these are the books which I am going to use it for my lifetime. And I am so happy that I told these words and for sure these are the book which is going to be with for my lifetime.

I read the first 50 pages in this book at a stretch. It impressed me a lot. I read again on the same day. Next day morning again I read these 50 pages. Even before writing this blog, I read the first 50 page. No book so far has such a gripping start than this book.I read these first 50 pages more than 10 times, but not a single time I felt bored. And that is the beauty of this book. Every time the excitement level remains the same.

Soon after completion of this book, a random idea strike my mind, why not let us make some different objects with a triangle, square and circle. I restrict myself by saying that I am free to move around, overlap object, but I should not scale it. To my surprise, I could able to make 50 different objects using these shapes. Yes, that is when I realise that Picture this book also trigger my creativity.

My first random illustration of 50 vectors made up of 3 basic shapes.(No scaling)

This 50 shapes is my first post in Behance and thereby I begin my journey towards graphic design.

While working on this exercise from this book, I came to know how hard it is to evoke emotions in pictures. I tried to make these exercise and ask my friends to say, what do you feel on seeing this composition. My friends would tell me something totally different, which is nowhere related to what I have intended. I get to understand myself more by this exercise that making people understand your pictures or composition is the most difficult task. We need to practice, practice and keep on practicing to get to make this skill. And also when I see some pictures, in which if I could capture the emotions in it, then I get a huge respect on the designer who made those composition. This book made me understand the difficulties of fellow designers who successful evoke emotions using pictures.

My cut paper exercise. This is where my journey of graphic design started!

This book has given me an idea to try out a comic book. I have planned for them in the future too.

It has been 4 months, I started following my heart and making my career progress towards graphic design. I made posters, flyers, books covers, Logo design, invitations in these months. People appreciate my work. People like my creativity behind the work. I am happy with what I have achieved so far. Today I more confident and more clear about what I am doing. I can proudly say that everything on my passion starts with Picture this! Thank you Molly bang !


This book is not a long read book. This is not a novel type. Few can read this book in the day too. We can’t classify this book as Non-fiction or fiction book. But this book is thought-provoking. The way you see pictures would change upon the completion of this book.

Graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, Visual arts enthusiasts, creative writer, or anyone who wish to expand their horizon towards visual arts, then start with this book.

Evoking emotions in any art forms is difficult. This book will help you in building emotions into your pictures and make your art to the next level.

This book will change the way you look at pictures and the way you create pictures !! It helps !!