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Universal Principles of Design Hardcover – October 1, 2003
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About the Author
William Lidwell is the Director of Design at Stuff Creators Design in Houston, Texas. He is author of the best-selling design book, Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into 12+ languages; Deconstructing Product Design, a social deconstruction of 100 classic products; and lecturer of two video series on design: "How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals" available from The Great Courses, and "The Science of Logo Design" available from Lynda.com.William Lidwell writes, speaks, and consults on topics of design and engineering. He is the author of multiple books including the best-selling design book Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into 16 languages. He lives in Houston, TX.William Lidwell writes, speaks, and consults on topics of design and engineering. He is the author of multiple books including the best-selling design book Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into 16 languages. He lives in Houston, TX.
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Top Customer Reviews
1. The section about how to warn future civilizations of radioactive waste is utterly incorrect. The very solutions they offer in the book would draw people towards dangerous areas, not repel them, because of natural human curiosity. If I was hiking around and I saw the visuals suggested I would naturally want to go get a closer look. So, that was clearly overcooked design, when the simplicity of using depictions of skulls and related pictograms would do the trick, regardless of race, culture, background or language.
2. Part of the book regards how to not deter customers from entering an establishment, such as a store or a restaurant. One example they give is to avoid having salespeople waiting for you at the door. In another part of the book, they use the Apple stores as an example of a successfully inviting design, which is ironic given that the first thing you see upon approaching an Apple store is salespeople waiting for you at the door.
I'm not sure how these errors made it into the book but it is otherwise very good and I recommend it.
This book gives you exactly what the title promises: 100 design principles categorized in various ways. Each page provides a description of the principle, examples showing its application in various domains as well as references for understanding more about the subject.
Many of these principles you probably already know while some others you will see in a new light. This book is a reference, though so use it to jog your memory, not as a textbook on graphic design. The amount of information on each principle is not sufficient to really understand its application, especially to software. Also, these principles are the ideal and I wished more than once that there were more guidance about how to prioritize them in the face of costs or conflicts. However, if you are involved in design, you will find yourself coming back to this book for a quick opinion on what works.
I would suggest that this book be used as a way to categorize design knowledge you might pick up from other, more in-depth sources.
I bought this book intending to use it as a tool for a basis for design education, but find that I can't really use it as such. I'll need another book that has more in-depth, coherently organized content as a teaching tool. Still don't know if I will return it, but I am sure I will find it useful later in my career.
The book is well layed out and easy to get into just one topic without having to read everything. Great for reference and education. A beautiful hardcover book. Whether you design products, webpages, software systems or entire buildings this one is for you.
If there is only one book to be recommended on design, this is THE ONE!
I'm also using it as a sort of checklist for design, watching for the application of these overarching concepts in whatever I'm creating. As a web designer, programmer, song-writer, and fiction writer, the concepts have application in virtually everything I design.