The book suggestion of this week is about graphic design and the theory behind it. The book is title Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field by Helen Armstrong. Graphic Design Theory is organized in three sections: "Creating the Field" traces the evolution of graphic design over the course of the early 1900s, including influential avant-garde ideas of futurism, constructivism, and the Bauhaus; "Building on Success" covers the mid- to late twentieth century and considers the International Style, modernism, and postmodernism; and "Mapping the Future" opens at the end of the last century and includes current discussions on legibility, social responsibility, and new media. Striking color images illustrate each of the movements discussed and demonstrate the ongoing relationship between theory and practice. A brief commentary prefaces each text, providing a cultural and historical framework through which the work can be evaluated. Authors include such influential designers as Herbert Bayer, Lszl Moholy-Nagy, Karl Gerstner, Katherine McCoy, Michael Rock, Lev Manovich, Ellen Lupton, and Lorraine Wild. Additional features include a timeline, glossary, and bibliography for further reading. A must-have survey for graduate and undergraduate courses in design history, theory, and contemporary issues, Graphic Design Theory invites designers and interested readers of all levels to plunge into the world of design discourse. "This book offers a great primer on graphic design theory by collecting 24 essays from design luminaries like Jan Tschichold, Lorraine Wild, Paul Rand, El Lissitzky, Herbert Bayer, and more, culled from writings spanning more than a century on wide ranging topics from typography to the social responsibilities of a designer. " --Jason Santa Maria Buy it Now
I am quite addicted to books, all sorts of books from design related to simple novels. Lately however, I have been reading some books about human behavior, mostly related to how we make decisions. I think it’s an incredible subject especially for designers like us who are trying to create a good experience for our users through our designs. One of my favorite books and the one that I want to suggest to you is called Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely. Predictably Irrational is a book about how human behavior, but the cool thing about it is that it shows through several examples based on real experiments, how irrational our decisions are sometimes. Irrational behavior is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why cautious people make poor decisions about sex when aroused, why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money. According to Ariely, our understanding of economics, now based on the assumption of a rational subject, should, in fact, be based on our systematic, unsurprising irrationality. Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely's intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. I highly recommend this book as I mentioned before. It is also worth checking out Ariely videos about the book and his TED talks, they provide incredible and valuable insights. TED - Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions? Buy the Book Click on the image to buy the book on Amazon
It seems that the Internet is a new world where everything looks unique and original. The idea of the user experience and the social networks seem to have been developed by young people working for companies like Google, Facebook, 37signals and many others. But is it really true that all these concepts are new or are they insights from the economy theory applied throughout the years? Well, let's see what Adam Smith wrote at the economic science inaugural piece, An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations from 1776: For Adam Smith the individual has a natural propensity for accomplishing trades. However, to accomplish trades we have to produce an excess to sell it or permute it with other. But how is it that the society increases the production to create this excess? For Smith the individual should be specialized in one step of the production and not accomplish the whole process alone. “the certainty of being able to exchange all that surplus part of the produce of his own labour, which is over and above his own consumption, for such parts of the produce of other men's labour as he may have occasion for, encourages every man to apply himself to a particular occupation, and to cultivate and bring to perfection whatever talent or genius he may possess for that particular species of business.” So, can Adam Smith dialogue with the Internet? Well, think at the specialization level that the Internet has reached, nowadays we have almost every imaginable kind of service avaible online. For example, if you are a photographer and need to create a portfolio you can use services such as Flickr, Behance, Deviantart, Carbonmade and others not only to create it but also to promote it. If you need to make money from your portfolio or work there is Shutterstock, iStockphoto and other marketplaces, Apple and its app store for the iPhone is a really good example. The only thing you have to worry about is creating a nice app, the rest (hosting and selling) will be done for you. All these services have as a main goal to allow the user to focus on his/her own potentials to be able to evolve and improve his/her own activity and productivity. Remember that: “In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons.” Smith alerted us around the 18th Century about the importance of trades and specialization on things we can contribute. Therefore, let's take his tip and contribute to the continuously human development! About the Author This article was written by Fabio Pesavento, PhD in Economic Science from Brazil and professor at ESPM.