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College of Design

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What I've Been Reading

I'm a sucker for books about design. I have accumulated a large pile of design related books from personal purchases and gifts over the last year or two - many of which I haven't even had time to read yet - though the ones I have read have been great. Here is short summary of a few of the great design books I have taken a look at lately. I highly recommend them all!

Designing the iPhone User Experience
Okay so, kind of a dry name, but a really thorough and useful book if you at all interested in mobile app design. Before ever talking about the visual design of an iPhone app, the book talks extensively about user research, usability testing, and evaluating your competition- factors that are much more important in the long run. A pretty app doesn't make a good or successful app, careful research and analysis and a intuitive user interface does. The book also includes several case studies of real apps that are very interesting to read.

The Handy Book of Artistic Printing
Recently, I have been getting very inspired by hand lettered typography. I had never tried doing any hand lettering before reading this book, but I am now thinking of integrating some hand lettering into a packaging project. While the book does contain quite a bit of content that I have mostly neglected to read so far, just the pictures that it includes on every page make it worth checking out. On a similar topic, check out this trailer for a documentary about sign painters if you enjoy hand lettered type:

SIGN PAINTERS (OFFICIAL TRAILER) from samuel j macon on Vimeo.

The Mobile Book - Smashing Magazine
Smashing Magazine is great online resource for the most current topics in web/mobile/ux design. Smashing pulled together some of the best mobile experts to talk about the bleeding edge and future of web and mobile design for this book. It's a little technical at times, but really interesting if you are at all into web and mobile web design.

Have you read any great design related books lately? Let me know in the comments!

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design