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thoughts and observations about design, information architecture and design history
Most of these books are on my bookshelf and I have read through many of them. I use some of them everyday and others are referred to when tackling some nitty problems. Some I have had since I entered into designing for interactive media in 1994 and may seem a bit dated, but the principle ideas are sound and applicable as the media changes. Others are just interesting reading.
There are some I am still working on so I can't really offer comment. Synopsis and commentary can be found on the description pages at Amazon. Email me if you want specific comments on any of the books listed.

General Design | Design History | Interaction/Information Design | Digital Media Theory | Design Theory, Criticism & Analysis | Usability | Community

General Design Books & Other Books that Graphic Designers should read

Language of Vision
by Gyorgy Kepes

Web Style Guide - Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites
by Patrick J. Lynch, Sarah Horton

The Design of Everyday Things
by Donald Norman

The Elements of Typographic Style  
by Robert Bringhurst

Stop Stealing Sheep
by Erik Spiekermann & E. M. Ginger

The New Typography
by Jan Tschichold

Visual Thinking
by Rudolf Arnheim

Six Essays (+2) on Design and New Media
by Jessica Helfand

Man and His Symbols
by Carl Gustav Jung

The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)
by Carl Gustav Jung, et al

Hero with a Thousand Faces
by Joseph Campbell

Design History &
Selected Monographs

A History of Graphic Design
by Philip Meggs

Graphic Design - A Concise History
Richard Hollis

Graphic Design in Germany 1890 - 1945 (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)
by Jeremy Aynsley

Graphic Design Timeline - A Century of Design Milestones
by Steven Heller, Elinor Pettit

Paul Rand
by Steven Heller

6 Chapters in Design - Saul Bass, Ivan Chermayoff, Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Ikko Tanaka, Henryk Tomaszewski
by Philip Meggs (ed)

The Struggle for Utopia - Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy : 1917-1946
by Victor Margolin

Herbert Bayer -The Complete Work
by Arthur Allen Cohen

Alexey Brodovitch
by Alexey Brodovitch, Gabriel Bauret

Cipe Pineles - A Life of Design
by Martha Scotford, Cipe Pineles Golden

Nine Pioneers of Graphic Design (out of print)
by R. Roger Remington, Barbara J. Hodik

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Interface/Interaction/Information Design & Information Architecture

Information Graphics
by Peter Wildbur & Michael Burke

Information Design
by Robert E. Jacobsen (ed)

Designing Visual Interface - Communication Oriented Techniques
by Kevin Mullet

Mind Over Media - Creative Thinking Skills for Electronic Media (out of print)
by Mark von Wodtke

Hot Wired Style
by Jeffrey Veen

The Art & Science of Web Design
by Jeffrey Veen

About Face - The Essentials of User Interface Design
Alan Cooper

The Art of Human Computer Interface Design
Brenda Laurel (ed)

Interactivity by Design
by Ray Kristof, Amy Satran

Graphic Design for Electronic Documents and User Interfaces
by Aaron Marcus

Practical Information Architecture - A Hands on Approach to Structuring Successful Websites
by Eric Reiss

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
by Lou Rosenfeld, Peter Morville

Web Navigation - Designing the User Experience
by Jennifer Fleming

Envisioning Information
by Edward Tufte

Information Architects
Richard Saul Wurman

Information Anxiety - What to Do When Information Doesn't Tell You What You Need to Know (out of print)
Richard Saul Wurman

Information Anxiety 2
Richard Saul Wurman

Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things - What Categories Reveal About the Mind
by George Lakoff

Contextual Design - A Customer-Centered Approach to Systems Designs
by Hugh Beyer, Karen Holtzblatt

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Digital Media / Hypertext Theory & Discussion

Understanding Hypermedia 2.000
by Richard Oliver, Bob Understanding Hypermedia Cotton

Hypertext 2.0 - The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology
by George P. Landow

Hypertext - The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology
by George P. Landow

Interface Culture - How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate
by Steven Johnson

Invisible Computer - Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex and Information Applicances Are the Solution
by Donald Norman

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum - Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How To Restore The Sanity
by Alan Cooper, Paul Saffo

NetSlaves - True Tales of Working the Web
by Bill Lessard, Steve Baldwin

Design Theory, Criticism & Analysis

Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture
by Jessica Helfand

Design Literacy - Understanding Graphic Design
by Steven Heller, Karen Pomeroy

Design Literacy Continued
By Steven Heller

Looking Closer - Critical Writings on Design
Looking Closer 2
Looking Closer 3
by Michael Beirut (ed)

Design Writing Research
by Ellen Lupton, J. Abbot Miller

Graphic Design & Reading - Explorations of an Uneasy Relationship
by Gunnar Swanson (ed)

Understanding Media - The Extensions of Man
by Marshall McLuhan

Design After Modernism - Beyond the Object
by John Thackara (ed)

Theory and Design in the First Machine Age
by Reyner Banham

Back to Top

Usability for Designers

Don't Make Me Think! - A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Steve Krug

Designing Web Usability
by Jakob Nielsen

Usability Engineering
by Jakob Nielsen

Web Site Usability
Jared Spool

Community / Social Networks

The Virtual Community - Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier
by Howard Rheingold

Online Communities - Designing Usability and Supporting Sociability
by Jenny Preece

Community Building on the Web - Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities by Amy Jo Kim

Communities in Cyberspace
by Marc A. Smith, Peter Kollock (eds)

Cyborgs@cyberspace? An Ethnographer Looks to the Future
David Hakken

Emergence - The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
by Steven Johnson


General Design | Design History | Interaction/Information Design | Digital Media Theory | Design Theory, Criticiscm & Analysis | Usability | Community


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DUX—Five Lessons Learned

Coloring Outside the Lines

Modeling the Creative Organization

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The Tool Makes the (Wo)man

AIGA Experience Design Summit #5 - Recap

AIGA Experience Design - past, present and future: An interview with Terry Swack and Clement Mok

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design history articles
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