Although there are several good design websites that occasionally have book reviews, there didn’t seem to be a single place online where you could get constant updates and reviews of new (and sometimes old) design books.

Design books are often expensive and contrary – sometimes the book is worth having for the physical production values alone, sometimes for the images, sometimes for the words and, occasionally, for all three. We wanted to cover those elements in our reviews so that you know whether it’s worth owning.


The DRB was founded and is published by Andy Polaine who is an interaction and service designer, writer, researcher and lecturer. Andy is currently co-writing a book on Service Design for Rosenfeld Media (and as a result no longer personally reviews the RM books). Long-time reviewer, Dominic Flask, has now taken over as Editor of The Designer’s Review of Books and Andy remains with the spurious title of Editor-at-large, which means he still does some writing when he can.

The masthead font is Buffet Script designed and generously donated by Ale Paul from the Sudtipos type foundry. Matt Willis helped out with some early designs and advice. Behind the scenes the DRB powered by WordPress and the typographically potent and very flexible Thesis theme.

Why is there now an apostrophe in the title?

Originally there was no apostrophe and it was always an ambiguous grammatical point. If you want to read the full story, take a look here.

Can I place an ad on the DRB?

Absolutely, as long as it is suitable. Get in touch and we can discuss your requirements and rates.

Isn’t this just a ploy to get loads of free books?

You’d think it would be great to have a pile of design books on your desk wouldn’t you? That is unless you have to review them all. It is true that many publishers generously send review copies of books, but quite a few are from personal collections (they don’t all get reviewed though, only if they’re any good).

Can I suggest a book to review?

Yes, please do. The easiest way is either in the comments somewhere or to send us a mail. It helps if you know a bit about the book and suggest why it would be good to review.

Can I send you a book to review?

Yes, you are very welcome to. It is probably a good idea to let us know what you have in mind, so send us a mail and we will send you our mailing address. We don’t want to write it here because we hate physical spam mail as much as the virtual kind.

Can I write a review and will you pay me?

Yes to the first part of that question. If you can write well and have a book in mind get in touch. We’d love to pay you – in fact we’d love to pay ourselves – but we are unable to at this point in time. You will, however, get to keep the book that you review. Small beer, we know, but nice book.

What’s with the Amazon store?

It takes a lot of time to look for, read and review all the books here. Currently the only income for the DRB is via Amazon referrals, Google ads and other sponsors. You can help keep the DRB going by either using the built-in Amazon aStore or by following the links in the reviews.

Why do you have three Amazon stores?

Amazon, rather annoyingly, only offers affiliate IDs on a per-country basis. That means we have to have a different ID for every aStore we have and every time we add a book to the aStore, we have to do it three times. At the moment most of our readers are in the USA, UK and Europe, but if you think we should open an aStore in one of the remaining countries – Canada, France or Japan – get in touch and if enough people ask, we’ll add them.

Can we donate to help you out?

Absolutely and we will love you for it, even if it is just a dollar or two. If you would like to donate, please use the hideously ugly PayPal button below: