Information Design, information architecture

susancita25's picture

Hi everybody! I'm looking for an information design book, or someone who can tell me what finally means information design, i'm very confused right now.

I need a book that show the right way or the principles to design forms, documents, letters, financial documents, Bills & statements, Customer letters, etc... I have the examples in these URL:

I've been looking on the internet, and the only thing I find are old books, and i want something newer, between 2003 & 2005. Also any good book of information architecture (for web design).

Thanks very much!!!!!

Miguel Hernandez's picture

Hi Susan!

Nice to see that you live in Peru, i love the Inca culture so much..pretty cool place to live.

If you speak and read spanish, check this link:

Architecture information in Chile.

This are links. Very interesing links and information about for your research.

Best Regards,


Jackson's picture

here's the best place to start

david_fung's picture

You might want to check out this book, Mapping, An Illustrated Guide to Graphic Navigational Systems.


In terms of Edward Tufte, I would suggest checking out Envisioning Information. Although most people would recommend his first book, Visual Display of Quantitive Information, Envisioning Information has the most in terms of maps.

susancita25's picture

Thanks very much for all your help.

I have found this book:

User Interface Design and Evaluation (Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies) by Debbie Stone

Have anyone seen or heard about it?? It's new realease and doesn't have reviews. It is expensive and I really need some advice...


susancita25's picture

Hi Miguel,
Thanks for your help, and your comments about living in Peru. I'm very proud of the culture in my country.

So, where are you from, where do you live? Your name seems to be latinamerican. Are you from Chile?


beccabob's picture

I bought a book from the David Hockney Gallery (Uk) called Mapping by Roger Fawcett Tang and its been a great source of inspiration in terms of presenting information graphics.

I can only reiterate what has been said about Edward Tufte and that all his books especially visual explanations are very concise but beautiful to look at...well I think so anyway ;)

Joe Pemberton's picture

Bumping this to 'handpicked.' {0_o}

Miss Tiffany's picture

Here are a few books which I can recommend on the topic of Information Design:

Mapping: An Illustrated Guide to Graphic Navigational Systems by Robert Fawcett-Tang, William Owen, Roger Fawcett-Tang

Information Graphics: Innovative Solutions in Contemporary Design by Peter Wildbur, Michael Burke

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte

Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative by Edward R. Tufte

Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte

Information Graphics: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference by Robert L. Harris

Digital Diagrams: How to Design and Present Statistical Information Effectively by Trevor Bounford, Alastair Campbell

Information Visualization by Robert Spence (Author), ACM Press (Author), ACM Press

Information Anxiety by Richard Saul Wurman, David Sume, Loring Leifer

The Grammar of Graphics by Leland Wilkinson

Visual Information for Everyday Use: Design and Research Perspectives
by H. J. G. Zwaga (Editor), Theo Boersema (Editor), Henriette C. M. Hoonhout (Editor), Henrietta Hoonhout (Editor)

How Maps Work by Alan M. MacEachren (Author)

Information Design
by Robert Jacobson (Editor)

Visual Function: An Introduction to Information Design
by Paul Mijksenaar

Open Here: The Art of Instructional Design by Piet Westendorp

Information Visualization : Perception for Design by Colin Ware

Martin LAllier's picture

All the books mentionned above are great information design references and sources of inspiration. But none is specific about the aspect you write about: forms.

I recommend: Dynamics in Document Design by Karen A. Schriver.

albertoxic's picture

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition
Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
By Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville

Must read!

mica's picture

I have also been looking for form-specific information, and I'm looking forward to picking up Schriver's book, Martin. Thanks!

Martin LAllier's picture

What is Information Design?
One of the most satisfactory definition I found so far, is the one proposed by Nathan Shedroff

Information Design
Information Design is a field and approach to designing clear, understandable communications by giving care to structure, context, and presentation of data and information. As a field, its principles relate to all communications products and experiences, regardless of medium (print, broadcast, digital, online, etc.). Information Design is, primarily, concerned with clarity (instead of simplicity) and understanding.

A good introductory book is: Information Graphics by Michael Burke and Peter Wildbur.

Miguel Hernandez's picture

Hi Susanita,

Yes, i am from Chile ;)

-Que alegría encontrarme con una vecina en typophile!-

I like too much the peruvian culture that lately i spend most of my free time designing inca inspired typefaces forms. I like to drink Incacola too :)
My favorite local rock band is of course an inca-rock one; Los Jaivas from Chile.

-Un abrazo fraternal desde Concepción, Chile.-

Miguel Hernández.

inverse's picture

Ellen Shapiro, author of the book "Clients and Designers" says Massimo Vignelli helped coin the word "Information Architect". However, according to what I've heard around and read on the web,the word "Information Architecture" seems to have been coined by Architect and consequentially lauded graphic designer, Richard Saul Wurman.

Take care while selecting your books as IA is usually specific to the medium and technology it is meant to be applied to.

Here are a few classics suggested by Ellen Shapiro on grid design for print, which follows closely the principles of IA for print.

Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newspapers, Magazines and Books. By Alan Hurlburt.

Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Visual COmmunication Manual. By Josef Muller-Brockmann.

I haven't read either, so do let me know how you fond them incase you do! :D

mica's picture

I absolutely love Schriver’s book. It's a rare gem of design and rhetoric. I've read only about a quarter of it, and find her approach to document design refreshing. Excellent for those of us who need to make the mundane wonderful.

Thanks again, Martin!

rusty's picture

Try a book titled

Massive Change

By Bruce Mau

A very interesting book and I think it is of some merit if you want material related to information design. I may have spelled the author's name wrong, but I am pretty sure its spelled Mau.

~ Rusty

oldnick's picture

You might also consider The Meaning of Meaning by C. K. Odgen and I. A. Richards: it's not a design book by any means, but it contains a wealth of insight on how we humans communicate (and miscommunicate, as well).

maratz's picture

Hi, I might be too late, but on IA, I'd recommend Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web

edwh's picture

I find this book to be very informative:
Universal Principles of Design

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