A Book Apart

Mike Monteiro Design Is a Job

Take care of yourself as a working designer and use design as a tool for good.

The Necessary Second Edition

Design Is a Job is now available directly from the author in zine form at designisajob.com!

The first edition of this book taught you how to sell design, draw up contracts, work with clients, and navigate the business of design. And, yeah, that’s all still (mostly) there. But design has changed, and this book has changed with it. In this second edition, Mike Monteiro not only covers how to be a working designer, but also how to take care of yourself, deal with toxic workplaces, and learn to operate in a community rather than as individual practitioners.

If you are interested in using design as a tool for good, building a more sustainable and equitable society, creating workplaces where everyone is treated with respect, and doing all of these things while still making a living, this book is for you.

This book explores:

  • What it means to work in the design industry today
  • Finding the right work with the right people
  • Negotiating jobs and projects—and getting paid fairly for them
  • Understanding your value as a designer and as a worker

In 2016, if you told me that the typefaces I made—inspired by progressive movements—would one day become part of new movements, I wouldn’t have believed you. As designers, everything we make has an impact. Whether that impact is positive or negative is up to us.

Tré Seals
Founder of Vocal Type Co.
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Mike Monteiro has been both a boss and worker, and he’s the only person who will honestly tell you how to deal with the people you work for and with—because he cares about you and everyone you will help or harm with your work. It's dangerous to go alone! Take this book.

Heather Walls
Chief Creative Officer at Wikimedia Foundation
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Designers conceptualize what gets built in the world. When one fully takes this in, as Mike challenges us to do, it prompts a radical reconsideration of who the work ought to serve.

Kelli Anderson
Designer, author, and artist
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Take everything you know about the first edition and throw it out the window, and then set that window on fire. Monteiro shows no mercy in this new edition, crafted to help designers navigate (and change) a world that is happy to take advantage of them and encourage them to build unethical products. Also, it’s funny.

David Dylan Thomas
Host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast and author of Design for Cognitive Bias
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When we unionized, our CEO tried to blame Mike.

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Mike Monteiro

About the Author

Mike Monteiro is cofounder and design director of Mule Design, an interactive design studio whose work has been called “delightfully hostile” by The New Yorker. He’s written four books: Design Is a Job, You’re My Favorite Client, Ruined by Design, and The Collected Angers.  He’s not as smart as his wife, or as charming as his dog. He’s pretty much given up on tech and is considering a future as a lighthouse keeper or record store owner, or maybe opening a record store in a lighthouse.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 978-1-952616-26-6
  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Published: First Ed. Apr 9, 2012; Second Ed. Nov 1, 2022