Foreword Reviews

How Design Makes Us Think

And Feel and Do Things

Design is ubiquitous: urging us to buy, suggesting how we should behave, and saying how we should think and feel. However, aside from designers, marketers, and psychologists, few are aware of this constructed messaging in human-built environments. Sean Adams strips off the blinders to deconstruct the design process with clear, clean visuals and snappy prose.

With chapters focused on emotions and intended design messages, prefaced by succinct descriptions of the science underlying human responses to various imagery and stimuli, the book’s lively, opinionated writing and bountiful illustrations demonstrate how successful designers communicate ideas, with examples traversing numerous design disciplines, cultures, styles, and eras.

Brilliant analysis of how humor is used to disarm and engage target markets shows that humans enjoy solving visual puzzles, and thrill at “getting the joke,” so that designers can inject humor into sometimes difficult design challenges, like vegetable-themed condom packaging, and whimsical wine labels with anthropomorphic corks.

A playful, edifying addition to any design bookshelf, How Design Makes Us Think is an inspirational resource for beginning designers or graphic design firms. Reading it is like donning a pair of magic spectacles that empower non-designers to decode and critique the hidden messages that surround us.

Reviewed by Rachel Jagareski

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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