Brutal Simplicity Of Thought Looks Good But Simply Lacks A Deep Purpose

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for books like the one created by M&C Saatchi, “Brutal Simplicity of Thought: How It Changed The World.”


Much like its title implies, this is a simple book: Elegantly written and designed, each two-page spread offers a simple visual, along with one question and a three-sentence answer. Some of the premises are more philosophical than others:

“How did an Irish Pointer discover Velcro?”
“How do you wage war without violence?”
“How do you get the customer to make your products?”

Sometimes, not always, the answer is a brand, a product, even an ad campaign created in the 70’s and 80’s heyday of Saatchi & Saatchi and later, M&C Saatchi. Taken as a whole, the topics fill in some trivia gaps and inspire bigger thinking.

That’s the tricky part about the book: It feels more like a trivia coffeetable book than a real source of creative inspiration. It’s fun to read, but who knows how often anyone might refer back to it after they’ve finished it. Still, Brutal Simplicity of Thought is the perfect gift book to keep around an office, just in case the old CAs and One Show Annuals disappear.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a review copy.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.