Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Spreading information

First off I thought the title was slightly misleading. 'Designing information' might make you think the book was concerned essentially with the presentation of infographics or data visualisation but it presents a much broader look at design though many of the 230 illustrations could be classed as infographics. The text is based around the thoughts of sixteen designers and their approach to design (or in others words: information) and a Q and A interview format is used. This style is useful for the reader because I found much of what they said revealed a very personal approach to their design solutions and without specific questions much of the text would be rather rambling.

The thoughts of the sixteen designers are really quite varied. So much of their work shown in the pages is basically directed at small design aware audiences where a non-traditional approach to images and typography is readily accepted. Two designers views really stood out for me though, Tim Fendley works on city wayfinding and Mark Porter works with visual editorial (he created the look of The Guardian) because their work involved presenting design to a mass market.

The pages are well presented and all the illustrations have excellent captions. The Index is rather unorthodox listing: academic; access; aesthetics; amateurism; architectural legibility; architecture; art museums et cetera and below each the word the name of the designer (and page number) who mentioned that particular word. A rather silly and confusing way of communicating in my view.

Thoughts on Designing Information will interest design studios and those institutions connected with design education

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