Eric Karjaluoto


In 2009, I wrote Speak Human, in which I asked marketers to be more personal (the book is a bit out of date, but the core principles still hold up). I followed this up, in 2013, with a book about how process leads to better design. It’s called The Design Method.

Both are dense books, as I wanted to pack them with as much information as I could. Truth is, I think both of them are too long. Next time I’ll be more succinct.


The Design Method: A Philosophy and Process for Functional Visual Communication

Feeling uninspired? That shouldn’t keep you from creating great design work. Design is not about luck, inspiration, or personal expression. Design is a disciplined pursuit aimed at producing sensible, functional work for clients. In The Design Method, you’ll learn how to create quality design work on a regular basis that consistently pleases your clients using the same method that Creative Director Eric Karjaluoto uses at his creative agency, smashLAB. The Design Method will teach you a proven, repeatable process for solving visual communication problems.

Editorial reviews for The Design Method

“The book is dense, intelligent, and bravely opinionated. When designers are given nothing but frosting and pretty fluff, it is refreshing to see a book that challenges perceptions and informs us.”
—Sean Adams, Partner, AdamsMorioka

“Full of useful advice on how to tackle a graphic design project from start to finish. An excellent addition to the library of any design student or self-employed designer.”
—David Airey, Designer, and Author of Logo Design Love

“If you want to expertly navigate the exploding potential that design now holds, this is the best new guidebook I know.”
— Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer, Collins

“Eric Karjaluoto has a wonderful way of writing about design, which is engaging, conversational, and understandable. While this book is helpful for anyone interested in design, it is also a pleasure to read.”
—Paula Scher, Partner, Pentagram

“Everyone likes to complain about design, but almost no one is leading, teaching, and talking about how to do it better. Thanks, Eric, for giving us a book we can share with those that need it—us!”
—Seth Godin, Author of the Icarus Deception

Purchase The Design Method on Amazon


Speak Human: Outmarket the Big Guys by Getting Personal

You like to think that your company would succeed if it were bigger. While you’re dreaming about growth, you might be missing a huge opportunity: new ways of communicating are changing how we connect with customers. These methods give small companies like yours a great advantage. You’re agile, fast, and passionate; now you just have to harness that power. So put down whatever you’re doing and read this book. Speak Human will help you leverage the power you already have. (And if you’re a big company, it’s time to think “small” and get personal.)

Editorial reviews for Speak Human

“This is a wonderful book, full of important insights not only about design and marketing but about the ways in which people interact with the objects, communities and environments they share. Marketing is its thematic, but not in the traditional sense as Karjaluoto searches for new strategies to better understand the relationships among people’s needs and the world they live in.”
—Dr. Ron Burnett, President, Emily Carr University of Art + Design

“Eric is a wonderful storyteller. I’ve been a fan of his blog for several years so I naturally was eager for his new book. Wow! In Speak Human, Eric shows you how to engage with your marketplace in the ways that will resonate. Forget hype, tell stories the way Eric does and your communications will come alive.”
—David Meerman Scott, Bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR

“Here on the threshold of the new marketplace era the shift is complete: The customer is now in total control of the relationship. The good news is Eric Karjaluoto’s book, Speak Human, is a blue print for building a successful 21st century strategy for connecting with customers on their terms. Goodonya, Eric.”
—Jim Blasingame, Leading small business expert and host of The Small Business Advocate Show

Speak Human is a really, really good book. It is a must read for anyone looking to make a big difference with a big dream, a big idea and a small budget. Whether revealing classified secrets of social media, the impact of nerdy storytelling or the power of being polite, Eric Karjaluoto engages our curiosity and delivers insight and artistry with aplomb.”
—Debbie Millman, President, Design: Sterling Brands and AIGA President

“Loaded with examples, both good and bad, that demonstrate how small companies can effectively compete with the big guys. Interesting, well-written and compelling.”
—Laura Ries, Leading branding consultant and best-selling author: War in the Boardroom

Purchase Speak Human on Amazon