Curated Collections of Excellent Products for Subreddits

Design

The best books on designing for visual mediums. Includes universal fundamentals, graphic design, web design, data and interaction design. By the author of Clean Up Your Mess!

  • fundamentals
  • typography
  • usability
  • graphic
  • web
  • data
  • interaction
  • psychology
The Non-Designer's Design Book
Robin Williams
Lowest Price: $14.50

If you feel like you have no design skills whatsoever and want to learn basics, start here. Or check out my site, Clean Up Your Mess.


So you have a great concept and all the fancy digital tools you could possibly require - what's stopping you from creating beautiful pages? Namely the training to pull all of these elements together into a cohesive design that effectively communicates your message. Not to worry: This book is the one place you can turn to find quick, non-intimidating, excellent design help.

In The Non-Designer's Design Book, 2nd Edition, best-selling author Robin Williams turns her attention to the basic principles of good design and typography. All you have to do is follow her clearly explained concepts, and you'll begin producing more sophisticated, professional, and interesting pages immediately. Humor-infused, jargon-free prose interspersed with design exercises, quizzes, illustrations, and dozens of examples make learning a snap - which is just what audiences have come to expect from this best-selling author.

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition
Steve Krug
Lowest Price: $21.00

If you haven't read this book yet, get it now! This should be required reading for all web devs. It gives you the conceptual framework you should have when you're developing web sites and web apps. It shows you that your user's experience is what matters most.


Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it's hard to imagine anyone working in Web design who hasn't read Steve Krug's "instant classic" on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. In this second edition, Steve adds three new chapters in the same style as the original: wry and entertaining, yet loaded with insights and practical advice for novice and veteran alike. Don't be surprised if it completely changes the way you think about Web design. With these three new chapters:

  • Usability as common courtesy -- Why people really leave Web sites
  • Web Accessibility, CSS, and you -- Making sites usable and accessible
  • Help! My boss wants me to ______. -- Surviving executive design whims
"I thought usability was the enemy of design until I read the first edition of this book. Don't Make Me Think! showed me how to put myself in the position of the person who uses my site. After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book.

In this second edition, Steve Krug adds essential ammunition for those whose bosses, clients, stakeholders, and marketing managers insist on doing the wrong thing. If you design, write, program, own, or manage Web sites, you must read this book." -- Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition
Betty Edwards
Lowest Price: $11.96

This book gave the ability to really "see" things, to really think visually, and that has allowed me to develop whatever design skills I have. Bonus: you really will learn how to draw! Really well! Here are some of my drawings: http://imgur.com/a/qpvO7#0


Translated into more than seventeen languages, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the world's most widely used drawing instruction book. Whether you are drawing as a professional artist, as an artist in training, or as a hobby, this book will give you greater confidence in your ability and deepen your artistic perception, as well as foster a new appreciation of the world around you. This revised/updated fourth edition includes:

  • a new preface and introduction;
  • crucial updates based on recent research on the brain's plasticity and the enormous value of learning new skills/ utilizing the right hemisphere of the brain;
  • new focus on how the ability to draw on the strengths of the right hemisphere can serve as an antidote to the increasing left-brain emphasis in American life-the worship of all that is linear, analytic, digital, etc.;
  • an informative section that addresses recent research linking early childhood "scribbling" to later language development and the importance of parental encouragement of this activity;
  • and new reproductions of master drawings throughout A life-changing book, this fully revised and updated edition of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is destined to inspire generations of readers to come.
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Scott McCloud
Lowest Price: $12.63

This might seem like an unusual choice for a collection of design books. However, Scott McCloud does a great job of showing what works when communicating visually.


Praised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman, Matt Groening, and Will Eisner, this innovative comic book provides a detailed look at the history, meaning, and art of comics and cartooning.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Edward R. Tufte
Lowest Price: $21.23

A classic design book. You will see this book recommended again and again, and for good reason. Though it focuses on quantitative information, it is applicable to more general design as well.

Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
Ellen Lupton
Lowest Price: $10.26

This book gives you a solid grounding in typography, introducing typography categories and vocabulary. It also does a good job of showing how you can be creative with typography.


Our all time best selling book is now available in a revised and expanded second edition. Thinking with Type is the definitive guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen. This revised edition includes forty-eight pages of new content, including the latest information on style sheets for print and the web, the use of ornaments and captions, lining and non-lining numerals, the use of small caps and enlarged capitals, as well as information on captions, font licensing, mixing typefaces, and hand lettering.

Throughout the book, visual examples show how to be inventive within systems of typographic form - what the rules are and how to break them. Thinking with Type is a type book for everyone: designers, writers, editors, students, and anyone else who works with words. The popular online companion to Thinking with Type (www.thinkingwithtype.com) has been revised to reflect the new material in the second edition.

The Elements of Typographic Style
Robert Bringhurst
Lowest Price: $17.93

For those interested in deepening their understanding of typography, turn here first.


Renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst brings clarity to the art of typography with this masterful style guide. Combining the practical, theoretical, and historical, this edition is completely updated, with a thorough exploration of the newest innovations in intelligent font technology, and is a must-have for graphic artists, editors, or anyone working with the printed page using digital or traditional methods.

Visual Thinking: for Design
Colin Ware
Lowest Price: $20.68

This book makes you a better designer by explaining why design "works" the way it does. It explains visual cognition, giving you the lowest-level explanation of design that you can get.


Increasingly, designers need to present information in ways that aid their audience's thinking process. Fortunately, results from the relatively new science of human visual perception provide valuable guidance.

In Visual Thinking for Design, Colin Ware takes what we now know about perception, cognition, and attention and transforms it into concrete advice that designers can directly apply. He demonstrates how designs can be considered as tools for cognition - extensions of the viewer's brain in much the same way that a hammer is an extension of the user's hand.

Experienced professional designers and students alike will learn how to maximize the power of the information tools they design for the people who use them.

. Presents visual thinking as a complex process that can be supported in every stage using specific design techniques. . Provides practical, task-oriented information for designers and software developers charged with design responsibilities. . Includes hundreds of examples, many in the form of integrated text and full-color diagrams. . Steeped in the principles of "active vision,? which views graphic designs as cognitive tools.

Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design
William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler
Lowest Price: $15.00

The great thing about this book is that you can pop it open to any page and learn something. It's like a short encyclopedia of design and itself embodies great design. It's a great coffee table or bathroom book.


Whether a marketing campaign or a museum exhibit, a video game or a complex control system, the design we see is the culmination of many concepts and practices brought together from a variety of disciplines. Because no one can be an expert on everything, designers have always had to scramble to find the information and know-how required to make a design work-until now.

Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated is a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary encyclopedia of design. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, it pairs clear explanations of every design concept with visual examples of the concepts applied in practice. From the "80/20" rule to chunking, from baby-face bias to Occam's razor, and from self-similarity to storytelling, every major design concept is defined and illustrated for readers to expand their knowledge.

This landmark reference will become the standard for designers, engineers, architects, and students who seek to broaden and improve their design expertise.

Designing Interactions
Bill Moggridge
Lowest Price: $26.34

This book is not a practical, how-to guide. Rather, it presents a history of interaction design through a series of engaging interviews. It's a really fun book, a great glimpse into the minds of great designers.


Digital technology has changed the way we interact with everything from the games we play to the tools we use at work. Designers of digital technology products no longer regard their job as designing a physical object--beautiful or utilitarian--but as designing our interactions with it. In Designing Interactions, award-winning designer Bill Moggridge introduces us to forty influential designers who have shaped our interaction with technology. Moggridge, designer of the first laptop computer (the GRiD Compass, 1981) and a founder of the design firm IDEO, tells us these stories from an industry insider's viewpoint, tracing the evolution of ideas from inspiration to outcome.

The innovators he interviews--including Will Wright, creator of The Sims, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, and Doug Engelbart, Bill Atkinson, and others involved in the invention and development of the mouse and the desktop--have been instrumental in making a difference in the design of interactions. Their stories chart the history of entrepreneurial design development for technology.Moggridge and his interviewees discuss such questions as why a personal computer has a window in a desktop, what made Palm's handheld organizers so successful, what turns a game into a hobby, why Google is the search engine of choice, and why 30 million people in Japan choose the i-mode service for their cell phones.

And Moggridge tells the story of his own design process and explains the focus on people and prototypes that has been successful at IDEO--how the needs and desires of people can inspire innovative designs and how prototyping methods are evolving for the design of digital technology.Designing Interactions is illustrated with more than 700 images, with color throughout. Accompanying the book is a DVD that contains segments from all the interviews intercut with examples of the interactions under discussion.

Interviews with: Bill Atkinson

  • Durrell Bishop
  • Brendan Boyle
  • Dennis Boyle
  • Paul Bradley
  • Duane Bray
  • Sergey Brin
  • Stu Card
  • Gillian Crampton Smith
  • Chris Downs, Tony Dunne
  • John Ellenby
  • Doug Englebart
  • Jane Fulton Suri
  • Bill Gaver
  • Bing Gordon
  • Rob Haitani
  • Jeff Hawkins
  • Matt Hunter
  • Hiroshi Ishii
  • Bert Keely
  • David Kelley
  • Rikako Kojima
  • Brenda Laurel
  • David Liddle
  • Lavrans Løvlie
  • John Maeda
  • Paul Mercer
  • Tim Mott
  • Joy Mountford
  • Takeshi Natsuno
  • Larry Page
  • Mark Podlaseck
  • Fiona Raby
  • Cordell Ratzlaff
  • Ben Reason
  • Jun Rekimoto
  • Steve Rogers
  • Fran Samalionis
  • Larry Tesler
  • Bill Verplank
  • Terry Winograd
  • Will Wright
How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul
Adrian Shaughnessy
Lowest Price: $14.79

This book is about the business of design rather than the process. Check it out if you feel like you need guidance on how to make money while remaining true to your art.


Published to instant acclaim in 2005, our best selling How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul has become a trusted resource for graphic designers around the world, combining practical advice with philosophical guidance to help young professionals embark on their careers. This new, expanded edition brings this essential text up to date with new chapters on professional skills, the creative process, and global trends that include social responsibility, ethics, and the rise of digital culture. How to Be a Graphic Designer offers clear, concise guidance along with focused, no-nonsense strategies for setting up, running, and promoting a studio; finding work; and collaborating with clients. The book also includes inspiring new interviews with leading designers, including Jonathan Barnbrook, Sara De Bondt, Stephen Doyle, Ben Drury, Paul Sahre, Dmitri Siegel, Sophie Thomas, and Magnus Vol Mathiassen.

Design For How People Learn
Julie Dirksen
Lowest Price: $22.70

This somewhat unknown gem of a book is an excellent resource for creating designs that support learning.


Products, technologies, and workplaces change so quickly today that everyone is continually learning. Many of us are also teaching, even when it's not in our job descriptions. Whether it's giving a presentation, writing documentation, or creating a website or blog, we need and want to share our knowledge with other people. But if you've ever fallen asleep over a boring textbook, or fast-forwarded through a tedious e-learning exercise, you know that creating a great learning experience is harder than it seems.

In Design For How People Learn, you'll discover how to use the key principles behind learning, memory, and attention to create materials that enable your audience to both gain and retain the knowledge and skills you're sharing. Using accessible visual metaphors and concrete methods and examples, Design For How People Learn will teach you how to leverage the fundamental concepts of instructional design both to improve your own learning and to engage your audience.

Emotions Revealed, Second Edition: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life
Paul Ekman
Lowest Price: $9.00

Successful design engages audiences on an emotional level. This well-written book is like "emotions 101." It'll give you the basic knowledge you need to identify and reason about emotions. Which sounds ironic, but it isn't!


"A tour de force. If you read this book, you'll never look at other people in quite the same way again."--Malcolm Gladwell

Renowned psychologist Paul Ekman explains the roots of our emotions--anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and happiness--and shows how they cascade across our faces, providing clear signals to those who can identify the clues. As featured in Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink, Ekman's Facial Action Coding System offers intense training in recognizing feelings in spouses, children, colleagues, even strangers on the street.

In Emotions Revealed, Ekman distills decades of research into a practical, mind-opening, and life-changing guide to reading the emotions of those around us. He answers such questions as: How does our body signal to others whether we are slightly sad or anguished, peeved or enraged? Can we learn to distinguish between a polite smile and the genuine thing? Can we ever truly control our emotions? Packed with unique exercises and photographs, and a new chapter on emotions and lying that encompasses security and terrorism as well as gut decisions, Emotions Revealed is an indispensable resource for navigating our emotional world.

Designing Interfaces
Jenifer Tidwell
Lowest Price: $27.31

A very handy reference, this book catalogs common interface patterns and describes when they're appropriate. It's sure to help you get unstuck when you're trying to figure out how to best support your users' goals.


Despite all of the UI toolkits available today, it's still not easy to design good application interfaces. This bestselling book is one of the few reliable sources to help you navigate through the maze of design options. By capturing UI best practices and reusable ideas as design patterns, Designing Interfaces provides solutions to common design problems that you can tailor to the situation at hand.

This updated edition includes patterns for mobile apps and social media, as well as web applications and desktop software. Each pattern contains full-color examples and practical design advice that you can use immediately. Experienced designers can use this guide as a sourcebook of ideas; novices will find a roadmap to the world of interface and interaction design.

  • Design engaging and usable interfaces with more confidence and less guesswork
  • Learn design concepts that are often misunderstood, such as affordances, visual hierarchy, navigational distance, and the use of color
  • Get recommendations for specific UI patterns, including alternatives and warnings on when not to use them
  • Mix and recombine UI ideas as you see fit
  • Polish the look and feel of your interfaces with graphic design principles and patterns

"Anyone who's serious about designing interfaces should have this book on their shelf for reference. It's the most comprehensive cross-platform examination of common interface patterns anywhere." --Dan Saffer, author of Designing Gestural Interfaces (O'Reilly) and Designing for Interaction (New Riders)
The Art of Explanation: Making your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier to Understand
Lee LeFever
Lowest Price: $14.73

Your guide to becoming an explanation specialist.

You've done the hard work. Your product or service works beautifully - but something is missing. People just don't see the big idea - and it's keeping you from being successful. Your idea has an explanation problem. The Art of Explanation is for business people, educators and influencers who want to improve their explanation skills and start solving explanation problems. Author Lee LeFever is the founder of Common Craft, a company known around the world for making complex ideas easy to understand through short animated videos. He is your guide to helping audiences fall in love with your ideas, products or services through better explanations in any medium. You will learn to:

  • Plan: Learn explanation basics, what causes them to fail and how to diagnose explanation problems.
  • Package: Using simple elements, create an explanation strategy that builds confidence and motivates your audience.
  • Present: Produce remarkable explanations with visuals and media.

The Art of Explanation is your invitation to become an explanation specialist and see why explanation is now a fundamental skill for professionals.
Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data
Stephen Few
Lowest Price: $15.60

What sets this apart as a data design book is that it focuses specifically on dashboards. This focus makes it very useful.


Dashboards have become popular in recent years as uniquely powerful tools for communicating important information at a glance. Although dashboards are potentially powerful, this potential is rarely realized. The greatest display technology in the world won't solve this if you fail to use effective visual design. And if a dashboard fails to tell you precisely what you need to know in an instant, you'll never use it, even if it's filled with cute gauges, meters, and traffic lights. Don't let your investment in dashboard technology go to waste. This book will teach you the visual design skills you need to create dashboards that communicate clearly, rapidly, and compellingly. Information Dashboard Design will explain how to:

  • Avoid the thirteen mistakes common to dashboard design
  • Provide viewers with the information they need quickly and clearly
  • Apply what we now know about visual perception to the visual presentation of information
  • Minimize distractions, cliches, and unnecessary embellishments that create confusion
  • Organize business information to support meaning and usability
  • Create an aesthetically pleasing viewing experience
  • Maintain consistency of design to provide accurate interpretation
  • Optimize the power of dashboard technology by pairing it with visual effectiveness

Stephen Few has over 20 years of experience as an IT innovator, consultant, and educator. As Principal of the consultancy Perceptual Edge, Stephen focuses on data visualization for analyzing and communicating quantitative business information. He provides consulting and training services, speaks frequently at conferences, and teaches in the MBA program at the University of California in Berkeley. He is also the author of Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten.
Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills
David Sherwin
Lowest Price: $11.00

This is like a meta-toolbox for designers. It focuses less on a specfic discipline and more on helping you be creative.


Have you ever struggled to complete a design project on time? Or felt that having a tight deadline stifled your capacity for maximum creativity? If so, then this book is for you.

Within Creative Workshop, you'll find 80 creative challenges that will help you achieve a breadth of stronger design solutions, in various media, within any set time period. Exercises range from creating a typeface in an hour to designing a paper robot in an afternoon to designing web pages and other interactive experiences. Each exercise includes compelling visual solutions from other designers and background stories to help you increase your capacity to innovate.

This book also includes useful brainstorming techniques and wisdom from some of today's top designers. By road-testing these techniques as you attempt each challenge, you'll find new and more effective ways to solve tough design problems and bring your solutions to vibrant life.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People
Susan Weinschenk
Lowest Price: $16.97

Another solid book on psychology as it relates to design. I can't stress this enough: learning why designs work is essential to becoming a better designer.


We design to elicit responses from people. We want them to buy something, read more, or take action of some kind. Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient. This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs. With it you'll be able to design more intuitive and engaging work for print, websites, applications, and products that matches the way people think, work, and play.

Learn to increase the effectiveness, conversion rates, and usability of your own design projects by finding the answers to questions such as:

  • What grabs and holds attention on a page or screen?
  • What makes memories stick?
  • What is more important, peripheral or central vision?
  • How can you predict the types of errors that people will make?
  • What is the limit to someone's social circle?
  • How do you motivate people to continue on to (the next step?
  • What line length for text is best?
  • Are some fonts better than others?

These are just a few of the questions that the book answers in its deep-dive exploration of what makes people tick.
Metaphors We Live By
George Lakoff, Mark Johnson
Lowest Price: $7.68

In my experience, design involves a degree of wordsmithing. This book is a thoroughly interesting investigation of the role metaphor plays in our mental processes.


The now-classic Metaphors We Live By changed our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind. Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are "metaphors we live by"-metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them.

In this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson's influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
Daniel Goleman
Lowest Price: $7.74

I can honestly say that this was a life-changing book for me. It reveals the fundamental importance of social relations in our lives. This was eye-opening for someone who focuses more on programming than design.

Why is this useful for designers? Well, it's not directly applicable. But, I believe that design, like all arts, is a social process. By understanding our nature as social beings, I believe we can create better designs.


Emotional Intelligencewas an international phenomenon, appearing on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and selling more than five million copies worldwide. Now, once again, Daniel Goleman has written a groundbreaking synthesis of the latest findings in biology and brain science, revealing that we are "wired to connect- and the surprisingly deep impact of our relationships on every aspect of our lives.

Far more than we are consciously aware, our daily encounters with parents, spouses, bosses, and even strangers shape our brains and affect cells throughout our bodies-down to the level of our genes-for good or ill. In Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman explores an emerging new science with startling implications for our interpersonal world. Its most fundamental discovery: we are designed for sociability, constantly engaged in a "neural ballet" that connects us brain to brain with those around us.

Our reactions to others, and theirs to us, have a far-reaching biological impact, sending out cascades of hormones that regulate everything from our hearts to our immune systems, making good relationships act like vitamins-and bad relationships like poisons. We can "catch" other people's emotions the way we catch a cold, and the consequences of isolation or relentless social stress can be life-shortening. Goleman explains the surprising accuracy of first impressions, the basis of charisma and emotional power, the complexity of sexual attraction, and how we detect lies. He describes the "dark side" of social intelligence, from narcissism to Machiavellianism and psychopathy. He also reveals our astonishing capacity for "mindsight," as well as the tragedy of those, like autistic children, whose mindsight is impaired.

Is there a way to raise our children to be happy? What is the basis of a nourishing marriage? How can business leaders and teachers inspire the best in those they lead and teach? How can groups divided by prejudice and hatred come to live together in peace?

The answers to these questions may not be as elusive as we once thought. And Goleman delivers his most heartening news with powerful conviction: we humans have a built-in bias toward empathy, cooperation, and altruism-provided we develop the social intelligence to nurture these capacities in ourselves and others.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities
David Airey
Lowest Price: $22.40

A great, practical guide on a specific subject which nearly every designer needs to know about.


There are a lot of books out there that show collections of logos. But David Airey's "Logo Design Love" is something different: it's a guide for designers (and clients) who want to understand what this mysterious business is all about. Written in reader-friendly, concise language, with a minimum of designer jargon, Airey gives a surprisingly clear explanation of the process, using a wide assortment of real-life examples to support his points. Anyone involved in creating visual identities, or wanting to learn how to go about it, will find this book invaluable. - Tom Geismar, Chermayeff & Geismar

In Logo Design Love, Irish graphic designer David Airey brings the best parts of his wildly popular blog of the same name to the printed page. Just as in the blog, David fills each page of this simple, modern-looking book with gorgeous logos and real world anecdotes that illustrate best practices for designing brand identity systems that last.

David not only shares his experiences working with clients, including sketches and final results of his successful designs, but uses the work of many well-known designers to explain why well-crafted brand identity systems are important, how to create iconic logos, and how to best work with clients to achieve success as a designer. Contributors include Gerard Huerta, who designed the logos for Time magazine and Waldenbooks; Lindon Leader, who created the current FedEx brand identity system as well as the CIGNA logo; and many more.

Readers will learn:

  • Why one logo is more effective than another
  • How to create their own iconic designs
  • What sets some designers above the rest
  • Best practices for working with clients
  • 25 practical design tips for creating logos that last
Vector Basic Training: A Systematic Creative Process for Building Precision Vector Artwork (Voices That Matter)
Von R. Glitschka
Lowest Price: $24.04

There really aren't any other guides to craft out there like this one. If you do vector illustration, this will really up your game.


Listen up, designers, and wipe those grins off your faces! It's time to get serious about your design work. For too long you've allowed yourself to go soft, relying on your software to do all of your creative work for you. This book will NOT show you how to use every tool and feature in Adobe Illustrator. This book WILL, however, teach you the importance of drawing out your ideas, analyzing the shapes, and then methodically building them precisely in vector form using the techniques explained in this book.

In Vector Basic Training, acclaimed illustrative designer Von Glitschka takes you through his systematic process for creating the kind of precise vector graphics that separate the pros from the mere toolers. Along the way, he'll whip your drawing skills into shape and show you how to create elegant curves and precise anchor points for your designs. Between the book and the video tutorials on the included DVD, you'll be ready for active creative duty in zero hundred hours or less.

**In Vector Basic Training, you'll learn: **

  • The tools and shortcuts that make up a design pro's creative armament
  • How to use "The Clockwork Method? to create accurate curves every time
  • When and where to set just the right number of anchor points for any design
  • How to build shapes quickly using basic Illustrator tools and plug-ins
  • Techniques for art directing yourself so that your work gets the response you desire
  • Why symmetry is your friend and how to use it effectively in your designs
To get the most out of this book it is recommended that you have Adobe Illustrator CS4 or higher.

On the DVD-ROM: Von Glitschka reports for duty in over four hours' worth of video tutorials that walk you through all of the techniques explained in the book. Also included: downloadable art files you can use to follow along on your own and deconstruct samples shown in the book.

Mastering Type: The Essential Guide to Typography for Print and Web Design
Denise Bosler
Lowest Price: $21.92

If you're looking to go beyond the basics in typography, this is a good book. I really like how it breaks down type by contexts - letter, word, sentence, paragraph, and page.


Packages on store shelves, posters on building walls, pages of a website - all contain information that needs to be communicated. And at the heart of that communication is type: visually interesting, interactive, expressive and captivating. Each letter must come alive; therefore, each letter must be carefully crafted or chosen. A solid foundation in typography, as well as an understanding of its nuances, will help you optimize your visual communication-in whatever form it takes.

By breaking down the study of type into a systematic progression of relationships-letter, word, sentence, paragraph, page and screen-award-winning graphic designer and professor of communication design Denise Bosler provides a unique and illuminating perspective on typography for both print and digital media and for designers of all skill levels.

Through instruction, interviews and real-world inspiration, Mastering Type explores the power of each typographic element--both as it stands alone and as it works with other elements--to create successful design, to strengthen your skill set and to inspire your next project.

Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
Luke Wroblewski
Lowest Price: $37.65

If you haven't read Luke Wroblewski's work, you're missing out. He has an excellent blog chock-full of practical information.

This book provides solid, research-based guidelines for constructing effective forms. Like many of the books here, it's focused on a specific subject and contains useful information.


Forms make or break the most crucial online interactions: checkout, registration, and any task requiring information entry. In Web Form Design, Luke Wroblewski draws on original research, his considerable experience at Yahoo! and eBay, and the perspectives of many of the field's leading designers to show you everything you need to know about designing effective and engaging web forms. Testimonials

"Luke Wroblewski has done the entire world a great favor by writing this book. Online forms are ubiquitous and ubiquitously annoying but they don't have to be. Wroblewski shows Web designers how to present forms that gather necessary information without unnecessarily badgering and annoying visitors. Alan Cooper, Chairman, Cooper; author, The Inmates are Running the Asylum

"If I could only send a copy of Web Form Design Best Practices to the designer of every web form that's frustrated me, I'd go bankrupt from the shipping charges alone. Please. Stop the pain. Read this book now." Eric Meyer (meyerweb.com), author of CSS: The Definitive Guide

"Luke's book is by far the most practical, comprehensive, data-driven guide for solving form design challenges that plague every interface designer. It is an essential reference that will become a must-read for many years." Irene Au, Director of User Experience, Google

"Form design has historically been an afterthought, a partial chapter in past web design primers. Thankfully, we now have Luke's indispensable best practices in print. This book will now sit on my desk whenever I'm designing an application." Dan Cederholm, Principal, SimpleBits; author of Bulletproof Web Design

"Through really clear examples and succinct best practices, Luke brings joy to designing forms. I love this book and will be adding it to my list of "must haves." Bill Scott, Director UI Engineering, Netflix; former Yahoo! Ajax Evangelist

Grid Systems in Graphic Design/Raster Systeme Fur Die Visuele Gestaltung (German and English Edition)
Josef Muller-Brockmann
Lowest Price: $61.85

Though it's a bit dry, this is the authority on using grid layouts.


From a professional for professionals, here is the definitive word on using grid systems in graphic design. Though Muller-Brockman first presented hi interpretation of grid in 1961, this text is still useful today for anyone working in the latest computer-assisted design. With examples on how to work correctly at a conceptual level and exact instructions for using all of the systems (8 to 32 fields), this guidebook provides a crystal-clear framework for problem-solving. Dimension: 81/2 x 113/4 inches, English & German Text, 357 b&w examples and illustrations.

Meggs' History of Graphic Design
Philip B. Meggs, Alston W. Purvis
Lowest Price: $51.83

While not immediately practical like some of the other titles in this collection, this book is perfect for those wanting to gain a better understanding of their craft.


**Winner of the First-Ever QED (Quality, Excellence, Design) award by Digital Book World **

This is the unrivaled, comprehensive, and award-winning reference tool on graphic design recognized for publishing excellence by the Association of American Publishers. Now, this Fifth Edition of Meggs' History of Graphic Design offers even more detail and breadth of content than its heralded predecessors, revealing a saga of creative innovators, breakthrough technologies, and important developments responsible for paving the historic paths that define the graphic design experience. In addition to classic topics such as the invention of writing and alphabets, the origins of printing and typography, and postmodern design, this new Fifth Edition presents new information on current trends and technologies sweeping the graphic design landscape?such as the web, multimedia, interactive design, and private presses, thus adding new layers of depth to an already rich resource. With more than 1,400 high-quality images throughout?many new or newly updated?Meggs' History of Graphic Design, Fifth Edition provides a wealth of visual markers for inspiration and emulation. For professionals, students, and everyone who works with or loves the world of graphic design, this landmark text will quickly become an invaluable guide that they will turn to again and again.

Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
David Bayles, Ted Orland
Lowest Price: $7.30

This is a book for those who tend to view their work from an artistic standpoint. It's inspiring, giving great advice for taking yourself seriously at an artist and for not going crazy from self-doubt.


"This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people; essentially-statistically speaking-there aren't any people like that. Geniuses get made once-a-century or so, yet good art gets made all the time, so to equate the making of art with the workings of genius removes this intimately human activity to a strangely unreachable and unknowable place. For all practical purposes making art can be examined in great detail without ever getting entangled in the very remote problems of genius." - from the Introduction

Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. The book's co-authors, David Bayles and Ted Orland, are themselves both working artists, grappling daily with the problems of making art in the real world. Their insights and observations, drawn from personal experience, provide an incisive view into the world of art as it is expeienced by artmakers themselves.

This is not your typical self-help book. This is a book written by artists, for artists - it's about what it feels like when artists sit down at their easel or keyboard, in their studio or performance space, trying to do the work they need to do. First published in 1994, Art & Fear quickly became an underground classic. Word-of-mouth response alone-now enhanced by internet posting-has placed it among the best-selling books on artmaking and creativity nationally.

Art & Fear has attracted a remarkably diverse audience, ranging from beginning to accomplished artists in every medium, and including an exceptional concentration among students and teachers. The original Capra Press edition of Art & Fear sold 80,000 copies.

An excerpt:

Today, more than it was however many years ago, art is hard because you have to keep after it so consistently. On so many different fronts. For so little external reward. Artists become veteran artists only by making peace not just with themselves, but with a huge range of issues. You have to find your work...

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
Jon Duckett
Lowest Price: $18.96

The best first stop for the absolute noobs. A full-color introduction to the basics of HTML and CSS, as well as some good info on good web design.


Every day, more and more people want to learn some HTML and CSS. Joining the professional web designers and programmers are new audiences who need to know a little bit of code at work (update a content management system or e-commerce store) and those who want to make their personal blogs more attractive. Many books teaching HTML and CSS are dry and only written for those who want to become programmers, which is why this book takes an entirely new approach.

  • Introduces HTML and CSS in a way that makes them accessible to everyone -- hobbyists, students, and professionals -- and it's full-color throughout
  • Utilizes information graphics and lifestyle photography to explain the topics in a simple way that is engaging
  • Boasts a unique structure that allows you to progress through the chapters from beginning to end or just dip into topics of particular interest at your leisure This educational book is one that you will enjoy picking up, reading, then referring back to. It will make you wish other technical topics were presented in such a simple, attractive and engaging way!
Implementing Responsive Design: Building sites for an anywhere, everywhere web (Voices That Matter)
Tim Kadlec
Lowest Price: $18.61

A book that you will read and come away with a full breadth of knowledge to use in developing great websites and not a book, like many are, leaving you seeking other books to fill in gaps.

One cool thing about this book is that it doesn't just cover specific techniques, but a whole project workflow.


Implementing Responsive Design by Tim Kadlec brings together project planning, creative design, and detailed coding techniques into a single book. It is written for mixed audience. About half the content is code related, and half covers workflow. It's a compilation of different ideas and techniques from industry leaders assembled in a logical and easy-to-digest format.

New devices and platforms emerge daily. Browsers iterate at a remarkable pace. Faced with this volatile landscape we can either struggle for control or we can embrace the inherent flexibility of the web.Responsive design is not just another technique--it is the beginning of the maturation of a medium and a fundamental shift in the way we think about the web.

Implementing Responsive Design is a discussion about how this affects the way we design, build, and think about our sites. Readers will learn how to:

  • Build responsive sites using a combination of fluid layouts, media queries and fluid media
  • Adopt a responsive workflow from the very start of a project
  • Enhance content for different devices
  • Use feature-detection and server-side enhancement to provide a richer experience
Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
Donald A. Norman
Lowest Price: $8.21

Did you ever wonder why cheap wine tastes better in fancy glasses? Why sales of Macintosh computers soared when Apple introduced the colorful iMac? New research on emotion and cognition has shown that attractive things really do work better, as Donald Norman amply demonstrates in this fascinating book, which has garnered acclaim everywhere from Scientific American to The New Yorker. Emotional Design articulates the profound influence of the feelings that objects evoke, from our willingness to spend thousands of dollars on Gucci bags and Rolex watches, to the impact of emotion on the everyday objects of tomorrow.Norman draws on a wealth of examples and the latest scientific insights to present a bold exploration of the objects in our everyday world. Emotional Design will appeal not only to designers and manufacturers but also to managers, psychologists, and general readers who love to think about their stuff.

Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide
Todd Zaki Warfel
Lowest Price: $38.09

A well-written guide to an effective prototyping process.


Prototyping is a great way to communicate the intent of a design both clearly and effectively. Prototypes help you to flesh out design ideas, test assumptions, and gather real-time feedback from users. With this book, Todd Zaki Warfel shows how prototypes are more than just a design tool by demonstrating how they can help you market a product, gain internal buy-in, and test feasibility with your development team.

Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis
Stephen Few
Lowest Price: $25.79

Another great work by Stephen Few, this is a broader work at data design than Information Dashboard Design.


Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis teaches simple, practical means to explore and analyze quantitative data--techniques that rely primarily on using your eyes. This book features graphical techniques that can be applied to a broad range of software tools, including Microsoft Excel, because so many people have nothing else, but also more powerful visual analysis tools that can dramatically extend your analytical reach. You'll learn to make sense of quantitative data by discerning the meaningful patterns, trends, relationships, and exceptions that measure your organization's performance, identify potential problems and opportunities, and reveal what will likely happen in the future. Now You See It is not just for those with "analyst" in their titles, but for everyone who's interested in discovering the stories in their data that reveal their organization's performance and how it can be improved.

The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization (Voices That Matter)
Alberto Cairo
Lowest Price: $24.85

Unlike any time before in our lives, we have access to vast amounts of free information.With the right tools, we can start to make sense of all this data to see patterns and trends that would otherwise be invisible to us. By transforming numbers into graphical shapes, we allow readers to understand the stories those numbers hide. In this practical introduction to understanding and using information graphics, you'll learn how to use data visualizations as tools to see beyond lists of numbers and variables and achieve new insights into the complex world around us. Regardless of the kind of data you're working with–business, science, politics, sports, or even your own personal finances–this book will show you how to use statistical charts, maps, and explanation diagrams to spot the stories in the data and learn new things from it.

You'll also get to peek into the creative process of some of the world's most talented designers and visual journalists, including Condé Nast Traveler's John Grimwade , National Geographic Magazine's Fernando Baptista, The New York Times' Steve Duenes, The Washington Post's Hannah Fairfield, Hans Rosling of the Gapminder Foundation, Stanford's Geoff McGhee, and European superstars Moritz Stefaner, Jan Willem Tulp, Stefanie Posavec, and Gregor Aisch. The book also includes a DVD-ROM containing over 90 minutes of video lessons that expand on core concepts explained within the book and includes even more inspirational information graphics from the world's leading designers.

The first book to offer a broad, hands-on introduction to information graphics and visualization, The Functional Art reveals:

• Why data visualization should be thought of as "functional art” rather than fine art • How to use color, type, and other graphic tools to make your information graphics more effective, not just better looking • The science of how our brains perceive and remember information • Best practices for creating interactive information graphics • A comprehensive look at the creative process behind successful information graphics • An extensive gallery of inspirational work from the world's top designers and visual artists

**On the DVD-ROM: ** In this introductory video course on information graphics, Alberto Cairo goes into greater detail with even more visual examples of how to create effective information graphics that function as practical tools for aiding perception. You'll learn how to: incorporate basic design principles in your visualizations, create simple interfaces for interactive graphics, and choose the appropriate type of graphic forms for your data. Cairo also deconstructs successful information graphics from The New York Times and National Geographic magazine with sketches and images not shown in the book.

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John Carter: Barsoom Series (7 Novels)
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Lowest Price: $0.99

When John Carter goes to sleep in a mysterious cave in the Arizona dessert, he wakes up on the planet Mars. There he meets the fifteen foot tall, four armed, green men of mars, with horse-like dragons, and watch dogs like oversized frogs with ten legs. His adventures continue as he battles great white apes, fights plant men, defies the Goddess of Death, and braves the frozen wastes of Polar Mars. In other adventures, the Prince of Helium encounters a race of telepathic warriors, the Princess of Helium confronts the headless men of Mars, Captain Ulysses Paxton learns the secret of human immortality, and Tan Hadron's idealized notion of love is tested as he fights off gigantic spiders and cannibals.

Edgar Rice Burroughs vision of Mars was loosely inspired by astronomical speculation of the time, especially that of Percival Lowell, who saw the red planet as a formerly Earth-like world now becoming less hospitable to life due to its advanced age. Burroughs predicted the invention of homing devices, radar, sonar, autopilot, collision detection, television, teletype, genetic cloning, living organ transplants, antigravity propulsion, and many other concepts that were well ahead of his time.