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B. Simmonds (Bristol, England)

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The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
by John Maeda
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so simple after all..., 8 Mar. 2009
John Maeda devoted 6 years of his research at MIT to the study of simplicity in technology and design, this book (along with his blog) organise his thoughts on the subject.

The Laws Of Simplicity is a gentle thoughful, elegantly designed book, undaunting (light?) at only 100 pages.

John offers insight into the thought processes behind product/interface design - particularly the i-pod wheel. More examples would have been nice here though. We also get a window into how John integrates the theme of simplicity into his own life (as he matures, he confesses to listening to less and less music, instead favouring the soundtrack of the world surrounding him).

Maeda encourages us to focus on some of the more humble yet powerful tools of simplification and organisation (organisation being one of the 'laws') for example, the power of the tab-key / the space bar / the return key within information organisation.

There is an attempt to find the 'one law to rule them all' which for me is unconvincing, unnecessary and frankly (I found) clumsily made, however this is an insightful book which throws in a nice mix of practice, theory, biography and philosophy on the subject.

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
by Scott McCloud
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.78

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in visual communication and story-telling, 1 Mar. 2009
I devoured this book. This isn't about drawing, it's about mastering:

* Story-telling - what triggers empathy, what persuades, how to hold attention
* Explicit / implicit - the balance between what is said & shown, and what the reader must bring to fully render the scene
* Words and images - and their delicate relationship
* Character creation / world creation
* Mastering expressions, gestures, body language
* Clarity vs intensity

... and then there's all the technical stuff about which tools and mediums to consider. AND he throws in a healthy dosage of philosophy, culture, the history of visual commuication.

This books covers a massive terrain, but does so with delightful clarity. The medium truly is the message here; with every point made Scott makes the best choice of framing, gestures, balance of words/images, symbols, pacing...

By the way, I never even liked comics.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2011 6:26 PM GMT

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