Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design” as Want to Read:
Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This update to the first book to provide explicit case histories of the successful marriage of form and content in graphic design explores more than 125 classic and contemporary works-30 of them brand new-explaining why they are aesthetically significant and how they function as good design. These thought pieces offer a vast taste of the aesthetic, political, historical, a ...more
ebook, 783 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Allworth Press (first published August 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Design Literacy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Design Literacy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 437)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Inggita
Aug 07, 2007 Inggita rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: art historians
this is more a history book on design - there are more stories than there are pictures.
Rob Adey
Interesting survey of design history through landmark examples. Really suffers from a lack of images, though - one per (admittedly very short) chapter isn't really enough for this kind of thing.
Mariana
Nov 02, 2010 Mariana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: designers, design students
Much like his Looking Closer series, this is a book for what should be a redundancy but seems more like an oxymoron every day: the thinking designer. This is not an eye-candy book, full of pretty pictures and not much substance. It is a (brief) primer on design history and evolution. If Design Literacy and Meggs' History of Graphic Design had a baby, that would be the definitive book on the origins, development, and understanding of graphic design.
Kristen
the book has a ton of design history information. I only got a through the first section and half the second. Which may be a shame but I just wasn't into it right now. Maybe I'll give it go at a later date and could give more attention to the reading. I found it just be okay so far.
Aimee
read this book for the chapter on magazine cover design alone, and it is worth your time.
Stuart.teicherhotmail.com
Couldn't finish it- needed some consistent narrative. It's too choppy for me.
Tim McGrath
I haven't found a book by Steven Heller that i've hated. Great book.
Tam Mckenzie
Engin & Sciences - NC998 .H45 1999
Annie Wang
Oct 02, 2007 Annie Wang rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: graphic designers
Still reading, very much learning.
Betsy
Fantastic book about modern design
Mika
Mika marked it as to-read
Dec 19, 2014
Kevin Luddy
Kevin Luddy marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Jordan
Jordan marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Mary
Mary marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Vanessa Costa-massimo
Vanessa Costa-massimo marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
Dennis Dake
Dennis Dake marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
Neko McEvil
Neko McEvil marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2014
Michelle
Michelle marked it as to-read
Dec 08, 2014
Marie Ortiz
Marie Ortiz marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2014
Andreea
Andreea marked it as to-read
Dec 05, 2014
Jordan Devos
Jordan Devos marked it as to-read
Dec 05, 2014
Viktoriya Tsoy
Viktoriya Tsoy marked it as to-read
Dec 03, 2014
Jenny
Jenny marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Design Writing Research
  • Meggs' History of Graphic Design
  • Graphic Design: A Concise History (World of Art)
  • The New Typography
  • Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005
  • The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics
  • Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works
  • 79 Short Essays on Design
  • Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
  • Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field
  • How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer
  • The End of Print: The Graphic Design of David Carson
  • Type: The Secret History of Letters
  • Typographic Design: Form and Communication
  • Visual Grammar
  • Graphic Design: A New History
  • Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design
  • How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
5726
Steven Heller writes a monthly column on graphic design books for The New York Times Book Review and is co-chair of MFA Design at the School of Visual Arts. He has written more than 100 books on graphic design, illustration and political art, including Paul Rand, Merz to Emigre and Beyond: Avant Garde Magazine Design of the Twentieth Century, Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design Second Ed ...more
More about Steven Heller...
100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design Typography Sketchbooks Paul Rand New Vintage Type: Classic Fonts for the Digital Age Stylepedia: A Guide to Graphic Design Mannerisms, Quirks, and Conceits

Share This Book

“the method is still the same: appeal to weakness, bolster myth, and massage fantasy.” 0 likes
More quotes…