Askew views – Alan Fletcher’s Art of Looking Sideways

Posted on May 8, 2010


Where to start with The Art of Looking Sideways? Well, the answer is pretty much anywhere. A compilation of thoughts, ideas and observations from legendary graphic designer Alan Fletcher, this is not a book that requires reading from start to finish, more of  a lucky dip which you can open at random to discover something new and enlightening.

First published in 2001, this is by no means a new book, however it’s contents still seem fresh and inspiring. This weighty door-stopper of a book is literally crammed with fascinating tidbits of interesting information, which engage the grey matter and encourage one to look at things a little differently. For instance, did you know that, despite the fact that a chronological gap of at least 2,500 years, and a distance of half the globe separates the pictorial script of the natives of the Indus Valley and Easter Island, they are virtually identical?

Fletcher, who sadly passed away in 2006, described this book as “a journey without a destination.” I can’t think of a more apt description. I still haven’t uncovered all its mysteries, and I doubt I will, but it will continue to inspire me and keep me looking at the World from another angle.