Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction
Inspiring look at the interfaces in science fiction films.
Design is the Problem
Informative introduction to sustainable design. Makes the case for thinking long term when making critical design decisions.
The Art of Looking Sideways
A wide array of ideas in a large tome. There is enough raw material here to inspire a variety of design work.
The best programming book i’ve ever read. Clearly demonstrates functional programming. Excellent chapter end questions.
Demonstrates methods for displaying dense, rich & multi-dimensional information in a limited space.
Grid Systems in Graphic Design
The definitive work on the use of grids in design. “A crystal-clear framework for problem-solving.”
A Smile in the Mind
One of a kind book on the use of wit in advertising & design. Packed full of great work from hundreds of designers.
The Elements of Color
An exploration of how colours work, their interaction with each other and how we perceive the result.
Pragmatic Thinking & Learning
“Learn by synthesis as well as analysis.” Filled with techniques for harnessing brain power.
The Passionate Programmer
Full of advice on how to thrive as a programmer. Not specific to any programming language.
Logo Design Love
Outlines a thorough process for logo creation. Contains excellent advice on working with clients as well.
Food for the visual story teller. Scott McCloud's classic is an exploration of the mechanics of sequential art.
Visual Thinking for Design
The science of visual processing. Integrates cognitive psych, perception, info visualization & design.
Detail in Typography
Focuses on the atomic elements that make up a block of text including letters, words, lines and the spacing in between.
The Art of Game Design
A philosophy of game design built with lenses. Game makers, film makers and story tellers can all benefit from this.
Web Form Design
The definitive work on designing forms for the web. Covers common use cases and presents user testing data.
The Pragmatic Programmer
Years of author programming experience condensed into best practices. The best book in its category.
The Mythical Man Month
Timeless principles on the management of complex software development projects. Excellent analogies throughout.
Universal Principles of Design
Design principles are visualised along with a citation of the definitive work in each subject.
The Elements of Typographic Style
Worthy of repeat readings and careful study this is the definitive work on the subject of typography.
Designing with Web Standards
The book that made me fall in love with Front End Development. The core message still resonates.
Designing Web Usability
With a focus on best practices this book made me realise there are better and worse ways of doing things.
The journal of typography. For “everyone who has any interest in fonts, graphic design, lettering, and typography.”
Interviews with professionals who design & use type. Each interviewee chooses their eight favourite typefaces.
Eames: The Architect and the Painter
Biography of Charles Eames. A fellow with many talents. He designed more than chairs.
The Visual Language of Herbert Matter
A showcase of Herbert Matter’s work which was a combination of design, photography and film.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
I aim to source type as well as Jiro sources fish. This film makes me want to be good at design, although its about sushi.
BBS the Documentary
The most thorough documentary ever created on the BBS. Covers everything from the art scene to FidoNet.
The final in the trilogy. Here he focuses on our built environment and how changes to the urban landscape affect us.
Focuses on the everday objects of industrial design: cars, clocks, & computers. Great interview with Johnny Ive.
The first in Hustwitt’s trilogy this entry explores typography. Excellent interviews with H&FJ and Erik Spiekermann.
A French science fiction & fantasy comic born in the highly inspired decades of the 70’s & 80’s. A guilty pleasure.
One of the greatest comic artists of all time. His work is a pleasure to indulge in. Colour & art style are exceptional.
Two teenage girls growing up in suburban America. Excellent writing keeps the story interesting and humorous.
Crumb occupies an awkward, uncomfortable, neurotic and lusty world. The visual style compliments the theme.
Ghost in the Shell
The first great cyber-punk feature length animation. Intense focus on technology makes this hardcore science fiction.
1973 cutout stop motion fantasy animation from France. A bizarre and fascinating tale told with a unique visual style.
Japanese animated post apocalyptic fantasy. My favourite Miyazaki film. The forest scenes and his colour use are excellent.
Castle in the Sky
Japanese fantasy film made by Studio Ghibli in the 80’s. A great adventure with a focus on flight and mining. Memorable villain.
A little girl discovers a secret world. This film evokes strong emotions from the scary witch to the bustling hotel scenes.
Super Bomberman 5
Powerups, bombs & revenge. One of the best multiplayer games ever invented. It holds up well after all these years.
Engrossing atmosphere. Incredible environmental detail. Great music and narration. A video game that feels like a poem.
Sword and Sworcery
Beautiful game in every sense. Tap based fantasy adventure with fighting, magic and tons of great pixel graphics.
Horror Vacui 2
One of Shaun Inman’s finest creations. I’ve spent countless hours battling the computer and friends in this deep puzzle game.
Profoundly moving. Rare combination of engaging puzzles and gripping story, art & music. Unique game mechanic.
I’ll never forget attempting to survive the first night against the onslaught of monsters. The world is alive & changeable.
The best turn based strategy game ever made. Like Chess it has endless depth. Play with a friend or against the computer.
Innovative game mechanics and thoughtful level design make this one a classic. The visual style is also worth mentioning.
Played for countless hours at the turn of the millenium. Broke my Half-Life CD in half at one point to break the addiction.
Excellent single player story mode. Story twists and turns and the world feels immersive. Great multiplayer as well.
Metal Gear Solid
I appreciate this game more than anything for its excellent & consistent visual style. Popularised the stealth game genre.
The greatest 3D platformer ever made. Excellent level design and innovative controls. Work began on it in 1993.
Street Fighter 3
Underappreciated and in need of re-evaluation. The animation & parrying mechanic alone make this a classic worth revisiting.
Lords of the Realm
Early 90’s turn based strategy game which combined resource management, war & governance.
Stunned at first. Frightening at times. Immersive & graphic. Got me dreaming of 3D worlds & VR headsets.
Street Fighter 2
Deep gameplay kept me coming back. Loved the competitive aspect. The gold standard of 2D fighters that started it all.
The first great side-scrolling beat 'em up. Big colourful arcade graphics. Tough enemies. Countless quarters gone.
Spent more hours on this than any other NES game. Gave me an appreciation for the action rpg genre. Excellent fighting system.
First game that spellbound me. Difficulty was high but that kept me interested. Well executed Greek myth theme & music.
“A clear romantic vision has the marvelous ability to focus thought and will.” — Alan Kay
“I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies.” — Le Corbusier
“Content strategy is to copywriting as information architecture is to design.” — Erin Kissane
“Rather than construction, software is more like gardening–it is more organic than concrete. You plant many things in a garden according to an initial plan and conditions. Some thrive, others are destined to end up as compost.” — Andrew Hunt & David Thomas
“Watch the problem coming over the horizon and if it’s a problem knock its bloody head off before it gets near you.” — Ridley Scott
“I storyboard everything from scratch right through.” — Ridley Scott
“The whole world is pretending the breakthrough is in technology. The bottleneck is really in art.” — Penn Jillette
“Don’t try to be original. Just try to be good.” — Paul Rand
“Being sensitive to the resistance of the medium is critical to the creative process.” — Jonathan Harris
“Use the momentum of one part of a project to get through the rest.” — Jason Santa Maria
“It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” — E. L. Doctorow
“Train your weaknesses. Race your strengths.” — Frank Chimero
“Don’t make something unless it’s both necessary and useful; But if it’s both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” — Shaker Dictum
“It’s simple. You just take something, and then you do something to it. Then you do something else to it. And then something else. Keep this up and pretty soon you’ve got something.” — Jaspers Johns
“My new mantra is: ‘I will make a product that people want to pay for and that they will be happy to pay for.’ I wake up in the morning and I say that. And I go to sleep at night and say that. It really changes everything.” — Stuart Roseman