The Craft of Words is a 49-page guide by Christopher Murphy and Nicklas Persson (a tweed-clad duo also known as The Standardistas). They advocate words and language – both their meaning and visual form – as the starting point in any design process, before things like colour and aesthetics. Tone and voice play a critical role in communication. When you craft words with as much care as visual elements, the effect you achieve with your design is greater than the sum of its parts.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a novel by Robin Sloan. The story starts humbly with Clay Jannon, an unemployed young man in San Francisco adept at the interwebs, who gets a job working the night shift at a bookshop. Four things are odd: The shop’s shelves are huge towering structures reaching up several storeys. There are very, very few customers; what customers there are, ask for books with strange code-like titles and are feverishly devoted to one particular series.
A Practical Guide to Designing the Invisible by Robert Mills is a compact, useful primer for web design beginners with refresher lessons for the more experienced designer. The book has five sections exploring: Invisible communication Wayfinding Importance and meaning of colour Tone of voice Storytelling Firstly, this book isn’t about HTML, CSS or creating graphics. It’s not a practical book to have open by your computer. What it does is get you thinking, in depth, about the details in a design which positively affect your web experience.