Paul Arden, the former executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi who worked on some of Britain's most memorable advertising campaigns, has died at age 67.
In 2003 Arden took on the "self-help" book market, publishing It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be. The book has sold more than a million copies worldwide, despite its author's cheerful admission: "I can't write... I read as much George Orwell as I could, just to learn how to keep it down, take out the adjectives, make it as simple as I could."
I quoted Arden, and referenced the book, in my own 2004 volume, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career.
The passage in Savvy Designer is from Arden's chapter "Do Not Covet Your Ideas" in which he recommends that designers "give away everything you know, and more will come back to you. He explained, "The problem with hoarding is that you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you'll become stale." In my book I suggested that a copy of It's Not How good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be should be on the desk of every designer.
Arden was also the author of Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite (2005) and of God Explained in a Taxi Ride (2007), which attempted to explain the meaning of life in 125 pages. The author accepted that some would see the work as "a bit of fluff", but said that such critics had "tunnel vision" and that "the tunnel goes right up their arse."