79 Great Design Reads – and all in one book.

While recently on vacation down in Las Vegas (yes it was hot, and no I didn’t win anything), I managed to pick up a copy of Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut. I have utterly enjoyed reading this book.

Not all of the essays are about design directly, and in fact you’ll not find a single photo or illustration within its hardcovers. But it is chock full of great writing. And the fact that each essay is only two or three pages long has made this a perfect book for my nightstand and allows me to jump freely to and fro from essay to essay which I like.

While not necessarily an indicator of the typical tone or voice of the author throughout the book, I would be remiss if I didn’t share what I think is a great passage. In essay No. 46 titled “I Hate ITC Garamond”, lies this little diddy:

The most distinctive element of the typeface is its enormous lower-case x-height. In theory this improves its legibility, but only in the same way that dog poop’s creamy consistency in theory should make it more edible.

Each essay is set in a unique typeface (this info is indexed in the appendix), and of course essay No.46 is set in ITC Garamond. :)

I’m probably 50 essays into it thus far and loving it. I highly recommend it.

ps.That cover shot was taken with my Nexus One under a halogen desk lamp with only a quick resize for posting. I am pleasantly surprised at its quality. You can click it for a slightly larger version – still not original size.

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