Anthony Burrill reminds us to 'Work Hard & Be Nice to People' with his latest life-affirming guide

If there's one iconic poster adorning the walls of most design studios, it's Anthony Burrill's charming reminder to 'work hard and be nice to people', a piece of wisdom he once overheard in a queue at his local supermarket. And today, the graphic artist uses that phrase again, as the title of his latest book.

Photography by Kate Davis. All images courtesy of Burrill

Photography by Kate Davis. All images courtesy of Burrill

Out today, Work Hard & Be Nice To People features sound advice inspired by Burrill's most iconic typographic prints. It's like a little bible on how to survive the design industry. From being productive and finding happiness and success to tackling difficult decisions and staying motivated, it's an uplifting guide to work and life.

The paperback book is a completely revised version of Make It Now!, Burrill's previous book that shares some of his ideas and approaches to design alongside new insights and developments. "It was much more fun and interesting for me to completely re-think the book rather than simply re-issue it in a different format," Burrill tells Creative Boom. "I think the new book demonstrates the idea I talked about in the hardback and my approach to making new work. It felt like I was remixing my work, adding and taking away sections that played with the content.

"It was a great opportunity to re-evaluate what I'd done before and use that as material I could play with and re-interpret. Along with the publisher, we decided to re-title it as it felt like a completely new project. Now it acts like a little manifesto, something you can keep in your pocket and dip into."

Were there any highlights that stood out for Burrill? And did any of his advice change following the pandemic? "While I was making the book the ideas of rules and how to break them kept coming up. We need to challenge accepted wisdom and overthrow the rules that were made in a different time and context. I completed the book in February, long before the world changed. It’s interesting looking at the finished book now given what has happened. It gives the ideas in the book added resonance. Some parts feel quite prescient, while others speak of broader themes that can be applied to the changing world."


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