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UPDATE (pm CST): I just realized that Design for Hackers is now #36 #22 # 18 on ALL OF .. What about Kindle & other ebook formats?. eBOOK $PDF Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty Click button below to download or read this book. Description Paperback. Design for Hackers takes apart design by "reverse-engineering" Impressionist painting, Renaissance sculpture, the Mac OS X Aqua interface.
The influence of the letterforms that were born during this time — as products of pen and ink, of chisel and stone — can still be seen in the latest typefaces. Furthermore, understanding this was a perfect conduit through which to understand the most important principle of design: that form is a product of a mixture of intention, culture, and technology.
I spent my final semester of college once again locked in my room. I read Chappell , Tschichold , more Tschichold , and of course Bringhurst. I conducted experiments in typography, color, and geometry, repeatedly rearranging the words from a bottle of deodorant. I gained new sensitivity not only for letters, but even more so for the tiny bits of space that surrounded them.
Seeing typography in a new way, I was forced to rebuild my entire portfolio. A convergence This obsession slowly converged with my love for computers and the internet. I used the web space that came with my AOL account to make my first website in Then came writing. I never liked writing growing up. In fact, I hated it. That made no sense to me. At that point, it made some sense. Responding to an irresistible internal force I started my blog in I think I mostly wanted a playground on which to improve my coding skills.
A little more than a year later, I was whisked away to Silicon Valley by a startup. Discovering the entrepreneur What I found in California once again rocked my world. It was refreshing to be surrounded by optimism, technological savvy, curiosity for solving problems, and a culture based upon merit. This had not been my environment when growing up in Nebraska.
I was thirsty for the energy of The Valley. Coders got together for all-night software development parties SHDH , and some startups consisted of a group of 12 guys crammed into a 3-bedroom apartment Meetro.
I rode CalTrain up to San Francisco to go to tech events — only to take the slow midnight train back to San Jose so I could go to work the next day. Suddenly, I was surrounded by people that made sense to me.
I was beginning to discover: I was an entrepreneur, and there was nothing I could do to resist that. Independence Day: starting the journey Once I was free from employment, I vowed to never work for anyone else again. In the summer of , I cashed out some Google and Apple stock that I had bought a few years prior, and began a long road of exploration. I wanted to remind myself that I was really good at something. I felt that if I really trusted my passions, I would eventually be able to create something of value.
I wanted to recreate that feeling I had when I was alone in my room, drawing — so engrossed in what I was doing that I would skip meals. I met up with other entrepreneurial wanderers at cafes in SF, where I now lived.
We would explore random projects, helping each other with what we could, for 12 hours a day. I remember many times, leaving a cafe with the realization that I had not made a penny all day — but feeling great about the work I had done.
I wanted cheap rent, my own space, and a few cold winters to force me to really dig into my psyche, and hopefully find something good. Chicago was the logical choice. At this point, I had gotten enough personal projects and my savings out of my system that I was ready to do some client work. I set up Kadavy, Inc. Entrepreneurs who make money Additionally, I was sharing space with entrepreneurs that actually made money.
The Valley had taught me to believe in myself, and had unlocked creativity; but finally I was learning the nuts and bolts of business. I learned how to incorporate, invoice clients, and really how to earn my keep. Eventually, I gained enough passive income more about that in the future , that I could comfortably pursue my creativity without being too concerned about keeping steady client work.
This freed me up to explore the love for writing that had developed over the years. There was something exciting to me about packaging concepts into approachable and entertaining bits — like a chef mixing together unlikely ingredients to present bites with an overarching flavor, underlying notes, and a surprising finish.
As always, I wrote about what I knew: a problem I had recently solved , or something so basic that I took it for granted. Eventually it dawned on me that the one obsession that had persisted throughout my life was probably the subject on which I was best equipped to write.
One blog post later, I had a book deal. The book is here today So, here it is, a lifetime and six months later. Everything that I know about what really makes great design great has been condensed into a few hundred pages. Here it is, printed brilliantly in full color. Proportion and Geometry: How can you establish a grid that is suitable for the device on which your design with be displayed?
Size and Scale: How can you create clean design just by choosing the right type sizes? White Space: How can you use it elegantly to communicate clearly?
Composition and Design Principles: How can you use them to make your designs more compelling? Spreading design literacy I see this book as much more than the product of lifelong obsession: I hope that it will be part of a turning point for mankind. I hope that it will contribute to the revolution of design literacy. What do I mean by design literacy? Feb 19, John rated it it was ok. I picked this up on a whim.
There are better books with fewer words that teach you to look at things - Picture This by Molly Bang comes to mind. It's good to recognize historical and technical influence on design but I found the treatment here surprisingly flat. View all 3 comments. Mar 23, John rated it liked it. This wasn't as good as I hoped, but I think a lot of that was because my aesthetic sense is completely non-existent.
He gave very clear examples of what looked good and what looked bad, and I couldn't even guess which was which. I'll stick to coding.
Mar 30, Dmitry Boichenko rated it really liked it. Wow, business books can be written. Nov 16, Shayne rated it liked it Shelves: Jun 12, Daniel Spajic rated it really liked it Shelves: Explains most concepts fairly well and in simple terms. Aug 04, Liam rated it it was amazing.
It's really hard to find books on design theory in a context that's relevant to non-designers. I have designed many things over the years for screens with a little success. I was able to reflect on my past design choices and struggles in a way that either a professional designer or someone who's never designed anything wouldn't be able to do.
A professional designer has heard everything in this book already, and someone with zero experience is unable to contextualize the teachings and tid-bits g It's really hard to find books on design theory in a context that's relevant to non-designers. A professional designer has heard everything in this book already, and someone with zero experience is unable to contextualize the teachings and tid-bits given in the book.
Overall, I now believe that I would be much more confident in designing more competently than before. The section on spacing was very light, but I believe that experimentation in this regard is key. My favourite sections are the ones that discus typography and proportion, as well as typically beautiful ratios.
I highly recommend this book to any software developer who either cannot afford to pay a designer to do work for them, or simply wants to know more about what goes on in the brain of their designer buddies.
Feb 12, Ondrej Sykora rated it liked it. A nice book covering the basic principles of design, with special focus on typography, composition and color theory. Overall, I'd say the book is a good introduction and a quite nicely designed one too, but with all the hype, I've expected more. I have three main reservation. First, I could use more practical examples and explanations of the design decision.
Second, some examples of different approaches to design change more parameters in one step so it is difficult to compare the effects of indi A nice book covering the basic principles of design, with special focus on typography, composition and color theory. Second, some examples of different approaches to design change more parameters in one step so it is difficult to compare the effects of individual changes.
This is especially notable for the examples of building a hierarchy by changing font and composition. The third reservation is that many of the examples in the sections on typography are so small that the differences are difficult to spot. All in all, I do not regret downloading and reading the book, but it's a pity to see minor flaws that could be fixed easily.
Mar 24, dorthrithil rated it liked it. When you are designing self taught for a few years, a lot of the stuff a quarter to maybe a half mentioned in the book will seem trivial to you.
So this is more like an absolute beginners book. The rest is really useful! I also liked the typeface related history parts. Why I have subtracted two stars: You read a sentence and two sentences later there is basically the same sentence again.
This is ann When you are designing self taught for a few years, a lot of the stuff a quarter to maybe a half mentioned in the book will seem trivial to you. This is annoying! The same applies for all the sidenotes Also he is referencing his own book quite too often "As I explained in chapter 3, Oct 28, Kawai rated it it was amazing Shelves: Critics have been mentioning that everything in this book is presented elsewhere, and as such, this isn't necessarily an original or "necessary" book.
I'd contend that what this book does--and does well--is to visit different sources of design, and compile those into a thoroughly readable and comprehensive reference book.
While you won't receive in-depth treatment of any one subject, as a whole the book presents some of the most important concepts from several major facets of design, including ty Critics have been mentioning that everything in this book is presented elsewhere, and as such, this isn't necessarily an original or "necessary" book.
While you won't receive in-depth treatment of any one subject, as a whole the book presents some of the most important concepts from several major facets of design, including typography, graphic design, and communication theory. While it might not be a definitive guide, it's succinct and comprehensive, and will definitely be one of my go-to references for general design. Aug 08, Jose Manuel rated it it was amazing. Author sets the basics on design for structured minds.
As a professional software developer, I need a bit of design skills for my job. The book focuses on three main topics: Since composition is easier to undersand for developers by the use of maths, color and fonts have been my main interest.
Fonts chapters are a bit wider than expected, but interesting. You can feel a strong influence from Apple and Jobs, but not disturbing. Recomended for IT Professionals willing to Author sets the basics on design for structured minds. Recomended for IT Professionals willing to learn basics on design. A great book for anyone interested in how visual design works. Although the title says it's " Kadavy does a great job explaining the inner workings of design in an easy to understand fashion, paving the way for additional reading and serving as a foundation to gain more knowledge in this very interesting world of visual design.
Mar 13, Benjamin Kasavan rated it it was amazing.
It is a book I would recommend to anyone interested in learning about design. I am a teen who had basically no knowledge on design Tending towards Comic Sans , who was interested in building a website, and decided to read the book.
After readin git, I changed many things about the layout of my site, and got all those kinks I couldn't tell why it looked badly, out. It is an excellent overview for people interested in a working knowledge of design, with little theory. Furthermore, it is an easy read It is a book I would recommend to anyone interested in learning about design. Furthermore, it is an easy read anyone can understand, and even enjoyable with plenty of examples. Nov 26, Kyle rated it liked it Shelves: Overall, mediocre.
Some examples were insufficient. For instance, the examples with n's in different fonts.
I can stare are those three, and hardly see any differences between them. I needed a few dozen more examples, maybe with a grid overlaid on top, just to learn to see differences. Much of this book felt dated. Screenshots were years old and css properties were current at least four or five years ago.
Surprisingly, there was very little in this book about mobile considerations, and almost no Overall, mediocre. Surprisingly, there was very little in this book about mobile considerations, and almost nothing about UX. Jan 14, Jordan rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was a great book. If you're the type of person who wants to understand the WHY behind design choices, this is for you.
He also discusses color and what makes a design both beautiful and useful - and puts it all into context for modern designers.
Instead of a how-to list of good design ideas, th This was a great book. Instead of a how-to list of good design ideas, this book will shift how you look at and think about design. Highly recommended. An excellent book for its titular audience. Many reviewers have commented that a particular section felt too long, although they don't seem to be consistent in these findings. For me, it was the middle section on shapes; it just seemed to repeat itself, and draw lines to support conclusions.
After getting through this, though, I returned to being pleasantly educated. Of particular note is that most principles are accompanied by examples, and when those examples are websites, they're reproduced in An excellent book for its titular audience.
Of particular note is that most principles are accompanied by examples, and when those examples are websites, they're reproduced in the book which is important for future-proofing. This greatly helps comprehension. Nov 16, David rated it liked it Shelves: I didn't finish all the appendixes in this, but read most of it. There were several things that I already knew or had picked up along the way, but there were also few things that helped me understand how a designer approaches a problem.
I read this with my eyes actually via the O'Reilly Safari bookshelf that work gives us. I don't think it exists as an audiobook and anyway obviously has lots of graphics that are important to the book.
This for me was a very quick read with a lot of things I already knew but some very special things I didn't know. I was familiar going in with Kadavy's work and thoughts and his online course that matched this, but his sections on typography were pure bliss for me and my favorite portions.
The color portion was also good for me in showing examples of what he was discussing, which is what I had been missing previously, and coming up with a grid. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. Goodreads is hiring! If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you. About David Kadavy. David Kadavy. David Kadavy kadavy is a bestselling author, blogger, podcaster, and speaker.
Through his blogging at kadavy. David's writing has appeared in Quartz, Observer, Inc.
He has spoke David Kadavy kadavy is a bestselling author, blogger, podcaster, and speaker. Books by David Kadavy.
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