Design Resources

“I do believe that there are some universal cognitive tasks that are deep and profound – indeed, so deep and profound that it is worthwhile to understand them in order to design our displays in accord with those tasks.”
–Edward Tufte

As librarians, we are often called upon to create visual representations of information – library displays, Powerpoint presentations and handouts, just to name a few. But many of us have little experience with design. Fortunately, there are some resources out there to help.
With regard to library displays, there are a couple of resources out there that can help. Although a little out of date, Rita Cohn’s Experiencing Displays is a nice book for helping you think about design. Ideas about color, depth, shape, framing, texture and much more are discussed in this book. For a practical discussion on book displays, take a look at this article titled What Libraries Can Learn from Bookstores. The article discusses location, signage, lighting, and attracting the eye.
There are several good places to find ideas about good Powerpoint design. One of the popular and highly regarded ones is Edward Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within. The extended essay is excellent at helping you think about the representation information. A practical guide to creating effective powerpoint design is Satyajeet Singh’s “Designing Effective Powerpoint Presentations”.
Finally, taking a look into the world of museum studies, I found a couple interesting helpful resources. The magazine “The Exhibitionist” from the National Association of Museum Exhibition has many fantastic articles about exhibits and The interactive Design and The Elastic Mind from MOMA is a fascinating multimedia project about visual representation.

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This entry was posted in Library Displays, Inspiration and Design Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Design Resources

  1. Meg Martin says:

    I find I am motivated to upgrade my presentations by looking at the Presentation Zen blog by Garr Reynolds at http://www.presentationzen.com/. Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 is another rule of thumb to keep in mind when prepping a presentation too. Thanks for reminding me to consider design as I prep for AALL.

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