Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories

Review by Matthew Sanders Donna Spencer’s debut Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories (Amazon US) distills several years experience applying card sorting techniques to web projects into a highly practical guide on card sorting. Some information architecture books take a general approach and cover a large range of topics in a single book. These books serve an important purpose of explaining what information architecture is, best practice principles, and how to communicate designs...

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Stanley & Marvin

If you liked Victor & Susie, the short, small and sweet story created entirely from typography, check out the new one from the folks at Brighten the Corners. (Click to enlarge) It’s called Stanley & Marvin and tells the story of Stanley returning home having been away for some time. “Stanley hadn’t been home for a while. His brother-in-law has a moustache. Everything is different. Stanley doesn’t like it.” (Click to enlarge) Stanley reconnects with his...

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Imposters

Hollywood Boulevard is filled with people dressed us famous characters all trying to make a buck from having their photos taken with tourists. Some consider them part of the local colour, some panhandling nuisances. Like any subculture, the scene has its share of fanatics, politics and code of conduct as well as plenty of stories. Imposters by James Knoblauch & Shawna Kenney (Amazon: US|CA|UK|DE) explores this world and the out of work actors and vagrants who are its inhabitants. The...

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How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer

(Guest review by Shannon Smith) If you are a fan of FreelanceSwitch the freelancing blog started by Collis and Cyan Ta’eed, their spin-off How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer is written in the same, blog-like style. The book, which is available as a PDF or lulu.com paperback, is an easy read, written in a clear and informative style. The eleven chapters comprise helpful tips laid out in a format that feels like a series of blog posts with short topics, shorter headings, lots of bulleted...

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Tauba Auerbach: 50/50

(Click to enlarge)Guest review by Andrew Shea. Tauba Auerbach manages to distill the content of her latest book, 50/50, into one brief summary: 100 Pages 100 Patterns, 50% Black 50% White. True to her word, there is no text in this book, the 100 pages to follow contain only black and white patterns. Auerbach is on a roll; 50/50 is her eighth publication since 2003 (each chronicling her progress as an artist), an impressive record for any 28-year-old visual artist. While Auerbach’s last...

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Victor & Susie

Brighten the Corners sent me a copy of their very cute book, Victor & Susie. It is a short story book about a girl, Susie, who meets a snail called Victor that has a hole in his shell and isn’t feeling too well. She takes him in and looks after him and… well, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. (Click to enlarge) The credits list Brighten the Corners’ partners Billy Kiossoglou as the Writer and Illustrator and Frank Philippin as the Typographer. Given that...

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Three Books on Colour – Part Two: An Eye for Color

(Click to enlarge) An Eye for Color by the fantastically-named Olga Gutierrez de la Roza is the second in our Three Books on Colour series following on from Kelvin: Colour Today, which we reviewed in Decemeber. I was initially a bit skeptical about yet another book on colour, especially these days with sites like Adobe’s Kuler and Dr. Woohoo’s In The Mod and because Gutierrez de la Roza has created a set of Rolodex cards for each palette, which seemed to be an almost quaint touch...

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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

Guest Review by Max Gadney Architecture is a discipline that draws together principles typical of many design disciplines – clients, briefs, research, materials, form and function. Added to this mix is permanence, history and scale, which has made architecture arguably one of the most intellectualised design disciplines. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick contains single-page, easily digestible thoughts on aspects of architectural theory and practice as well as...

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Process: 50 Product Designs from Concept to Manufacture

When I was a child I visited a Rembrandt exhibition with my father and remember being more fascinated by his sketches than the final paintings. Seeing the creative process in the quick lines of a pen and ink sketch somehow made the finished article more personal. Process: 50 Product Designs from Concept to Manufacture by Jennifer Hudson (published by Laurence King) is the same experience, but for products. Well, almost. Process explores the inspiration behind each designer and product before...

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