Book Club – Digital Experience Design Team

This month, we’ve been chatting to our Digital Experience Design team to find out what books inspire them, and turns out, they’re quite the bunch of bookworms! If you’ve been following us on Twitter, you may have already caught them, but if not, we have you covered right here. Check out some of their must-reads (from a design point of view that is, not their favourite bedtime stories) below…

Chris – Head of Digital Experience Design

It’s so hard to pick just five, so I’ve gone for the ones that jumped out to me as the most helpful or brought me the most joy! In no particular order…

Design Your Life by Vince Frost, an old one but I still love it! This book is a great mix of interview quotes with some great type design thrown into the mix. There are quite a lot of these books about now, but back in 2014 this was pretty different. It also has that quality book feel and ink smell that all designers love!

Make Time is the perfect book for anyone who finds themselves bogged down with meeting invites and struggling to get focus back on the things that really matter.

New Retro is where I get my graphic design fix. A gorgeous book packed with mind-blowing logos and illustrations.

Do Fly is a great little book all about doing the work you love! It’s super easy to read and really inspiring – I highly recommend!

And last but not least, Alexone – Came à yeux 2004 – 2006, it’s easily one of my favourite books. It’s like stepping inside Alexone’s sketch book – it’s packed full of graffiti-style illustrations and brings me so much joy to look back through.

Elliot – UX Designer

My top books are a mix of inspirational and technical…

I have a huge love of vintage print design and ephemera, so there’s a tonne of inspiration in the books from Annie Atkins (the prop designer for The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Anthony Burrill.

Grid Systems taught me a lot about unconventional ways to set type without ignoring the rules completely. It’s predominately for print design, but can create some interesting results when applied to UI.

The NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual is just a straight up design nerd book. Basically a set of guidelines on steroids – so much detail!

Finally, a beautifully illustrated book called All The Buildings in New York. It features everything from classics like the Chrysler Building to tiny coffee shops.

Stephanie – Senior UX Designer

Unsurprisingly, one of the greatest problems with selecting relevant books about UX and digital products is that the content changes FAST. So, instead, the collection of books I’ve chosen look to the past. Learning from history and lived experiences, these books process all the juicy nerdy stuff that comes with any design project, and forms it into advice that is human, future-looking, empathetic and unbound by the technology that exists today.

Good Services, written by former Design Director of UKGov, Lou Downe, talks about end-to-end service design. One of my favourite lines from the book is, “don’t just design the steps, design the spaces between them”. For a UX Designer, the spaces are the areas we can make users feel comfortable.

User friendly: How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work, and play by Cliff Kuang spans a century of design problems and solutions, inspiring the notion that creative solutions really can be found in any industry.

Citizen first, Designer Second is a journalistic story from Rejane Dal Bello, exploring her twenty year career as a graphic designer. The book is full of inspiration from her work and reflections on how design can make an impact on the world around us.

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is one of my most treasured possessions! A boxed archive of 500 of the most notable designs spanning centuries of design history. It’s just a beautiful thing full of remarkable and historic design.

Finally, (okay this one is not strictly about graphic design…) but Lido, because I have serious pandemic wanderlust and my love of swimming is endless. Lidos are often a place of mid-century architectural goodness and inviting blue water and what’s not to love about that?

Written by:

Georgia.Preston Senior Marketing Executive


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