Greg Tate: Flyboy 2

Here what I wrote about Greg Tate’s first book: “Never mind the ill-designed cover (horrendous use of typography and colors), Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America is packed with Greg Tate’s ingenious criticisms ranging from music (jazz, funk, punk-rock and hip-hop) to book to film.” Typeset in Chaparral Pro, designed by Carol Twombly, Flyboy 2 is a huge improvement. If you’re fan of Tate’s insightful writing and thought-provoking criticism, Flyboy 2, a collection of his influential, critical essays in the past thirty years, is a delightful treat. Many topics he wrote, people he interviewed, and works he analyzed in this book I have never heard of; therefore, I will be re-reading it again and again in the future.

Mat Marquis: JavaScript for Web Designers

Like many beginner’s book on JavaScript, this one offers clear explanation of the basics including data types, conditional statements, and loops, but doesn’t provide practical exercise on how to use them in actual webpages. The only chapter that does that is on DOM scripting; therefore, I don’t find the book to be useful. If you want to learn the basic concepts and then put them to use with step-by-step instructions, I recommend John Pollock’s JavaScript: A Beginner’s Guide instead.

Aaron James Draplin: Draplin Design Co.

With Helvetica text set against different colored background, the book is a little hard to read. Once I get past that readability issue, I quite enjoy Draplin’s stories, especially how he got into design. Like the man himself, his work is filled with personality, particularly his logo designs. If you haven’t listened to Draplin on podcast, I highly recommend checking him out. He curses like a motherfucker, but a very kind heart. I have tremendous respect for him.

Digital Design Theory

I love the design of this book. Helen Armstrong, who is the editor of the book, had done a wonderful job designing it. The text is set in Seria by Martin Majoor and combined with Interstate by Tobias Frere-Jones. The essays, on the other hand, are not always exciting for me. I liked some, but not all of them.

Biz Stone: Things a Little Bird Told Me

In this illuminating and inspiring book, Biz Stone reveals the success behind Twitter. It boils down to two words: empathy and humanity. As a designer and co-founder, Stone helped shaped the culture at Twitter by placing empathy and humanity before technology and money. It’s a recommended read for designers.