Document design and usability of documents

Not the usual typography and information design books, but specifically on designing documents from a user-centred point of view.

Burke, C; Black, A; Stiff, P; Waller, R (1992) Designing business documents. Surrey, UK: Monotype Typography Ltd

Hartley, J (1994) Designing instructional texts (third edition).
London: Kogan Page

Schriver, K A (1997) Dynamics in document design: creating texts for readers. New York: John Wiley & Sons

Twyman, M (1985) ‘Using pictorial language: a discussion of the dimensions of the problem’, in Duffy, T M and Waller, R, Designing usable texts. London: Academic Press 245–312

Waller, R H W (1982) ‘Text as diagram: using typography to improve access and understanding’ in D Jonassen (ed), The technology of text
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 137–166

Waller R H W (1999), ‘Making connections: typography layout and language’, Proceedings of the 1999 Autumn Symposium, American Association for Artificial Intelligence

Typography and book design reading list

Typography manuals

Baines, Phil and Andrew Haslam (2002)
Type & typography
New York: Watson-Guptill

Bringhurst, Robert (1997)
The elements of typographic style
Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, Publishers

Felici, James (2003)
The complete manual of typography: a guide to setting perfect type
Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press

Hochuli, Jost (2008)
Detail in typography: letters, letterspacing, words, wordspacing, lines, linespacing, columns
London: Hyphen Press

Kane, John (2002)
A type primer
New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Lupton, Ellen (2004)
Thinking with type: A critical guide for designers, writers, editors & students
New York: Princeton Architectural Press

McLean, Ruari (1980)
The Thames and Hudson manual of typography
London: Thames and Hudson

Middendorp, Jan (2012)
Shaping text: type, typography and the reader
Singapore: Page One Publishing


Burke, Christopher (2007)
Active literacture: Jan Tschichold and New Typography
London: Hyphen Press

Kinross, Robin, editor (2002)
Anthony Froshaug: typography & texts
London: Hyphen Press

Kinross, Robin (1992)
Modern typography: an essay in critical history
London, England: Hyphen Press 1992

Poyner, Rick (2003)
No more rules: graphic design and postmodernism
New Haven: Yale University Press

Classic texts

Gill, Eric (1988)
An essay on typography
New York: D R Godine

Ruder, Emil (2001)
Typographie (seventh edition)
Sulgen, Switzerland: Niggli

Tschichold, Jan, translated by Ruari McLean (1995)
The new typography: a handbook for modern designers
Berkeley: University of California Press

Tschichold, Jan; translated by Hajo Hadeler (1991)
The form of the book: essays on the morality of good design
London: Lund Humphries

Theory, research and discourse

Beier, Sofie (2012)
Reading letters: designing for legibility
Amsterdam: BIS Publishers

Heller, Steven and Philip Meggs, editors (2001)
Texts on type: critical writings on typography
New York: All Worth Press

Jury, David, editor (2001)
TypoGraphic Writing: selected writing from thirty years of TypoGraphic, the journal of the International Society of Typographic Designers
Stround, England: ISTD

Spencer, Herbert (1969)
The visible word
London: Lund Humphries/Royal College of Art

Swanson, Gunnar, editor (2000)
Graphic design & reading: explorations of an uneasy relationship
New York: All Worth Press

Unger, Gerard (2007)
While you’re reading
New York: Mark Batty Publisher

Walker, Sue (2001)
Typography and language in everyday life: prescriptions and practices
Harlow, England: Pearson Education

Book design

Bartram, Alan (2001)
Five hundred years of book design
New Haven: Yale University Press

Birdsall, Derek (2004)
Notes on book design
New Haven: Yale University Press

Haslam, Andrew (2006)
Book design: a comprehensive guide
London: Laurence King

Hochuli, Jost and Robin Kinross (1996)
Designing books: practice and theory
London: Hyphen Press

Hochuli, Jost (1993)
Book design in switzerland
Switzerland: Arts Council of Switzerland

Williamson, Hugh (1983)
Methods of book design (3rd edition)
New Haven: Yale University Press

Tschichold, Jan (1991)
The form of the book: essays on the morality of good design
Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, Publishers

Calligraphy, lettering and type design reading list

Calligraphy and lettering

Harvey, Michael (1975)
Lettering design: form and skill in the design and use of letterforms
London: Bodley Head

Harvey, Michael (2002)
Creative lettering today: calligraphy in the graphic arts, drawing and design, digital letterforms, carving letters in stone and wood
New York: Lyon & Burford Publishers

Johnston, Edward (1977)
Writing & illuminating & lettering
London: Adam & Charles

Mosley, James (1999)
The nymph and the grot: the revival of the sanserif letter
London: Friends of the St Bride Printing Library

Neuenschwander, Brody (1994)
Letterwork: creative letterforms in graphic design
London: Phaidon Press

Noordzij, Gerrit (2005)
The stroke: theory of writing
London: Hyphen Press

Noordzij, Gerrit (2000)
Letterletter: an inconsistent collection of tentative theories that do not claim any other authority than that of common sense
Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, Publisher

Pott, Gottfried (1995)
Schrift, klana, bild / The music of lettering
Mainz: Verlag Hermann Schmidt

Type design

Bartram, Alan and James Sutton (1988)
An atlas of typeforms (2nd edition)
Hartfordshire, England: Wordsworth Editions

Berry, John D, editor (2002)
Language, culture, type
New York: ATypI

Blackwell, Lewis (1998)
Twentieth century type (remix)
London: Laurence King

Carter, Sebastian (2002)
Twentieth century type designers (new edition)
Aldershot, England: Lund Humpheies

Frutiger, Adrian (1980)
Type, sign, symbol
Zurich: ABC Editions

Haley, Allan (1998)
Type: hot designers make cool fonts
Gloucester, Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers

Howes, Justin (2000)
Johnston’s Underground type
Middlesex, England: Capital Transpor

Littlejohn, Deborah editor (2003)
Metro letters: a typeface for the twin cities
Minneapolis: Design Institute, University of Minnesota

Middendorp, Jan (2004)
Dutch type
Rotterdam: 010 Publishers

Re, Margaret (2002)
Typographically speaking: the art of Matthew Carter
Baltimore: University of Maryland

Smeijers, Fred and Robin Kinross (2011)
Counterpunch: making type in the sixteenth century, designing typefaces now (second edition)
London: Hyphen Press

Tracy, Walter (1986)
Letters of credit: a view of type design
London: Gordon Fraser

Wayfinding reading list

Arthur, P; Passini, R (1992)
Wayfinding: people, signs and architecture
New York: McGraw-Hill

Barker, P; Fraser, J (2000)
Sign design guide: a guide to inclusive signage
London and Harpenden, Hertfordshire: JMU and Sign Design Society

Bechtel, R B; Churchman, A (eds) (2002)
Handbook of environmental psychology
New York: John Wiley

Berger, C (2009)
Wayfinding: designing and implementing graphic navigational systems
Hove: Rotovision

Calori, C (2007)
Signage and wayfinding design: a complete guide to creating environmental graphic design systems
New York: John Wiley & Sons

Gibson, D (2009)
The wayfinding handbook: information design for public places
New York: Princeton Architectural Press

Lynch, K (1960)
The image of the city
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Mijksenaar, P (2008)
Wayfinding at Schiphol: on the how and why of signage at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Amsterdam: Mijkensaar

Miller, C; Lewis, D (2000)
Wayfinding in complex healthcare environments
Information Design Journal, 9(2/3), 129–160

Miller, C; Lewis, D (1999)
Wayfinding: effective wayfinding and signing systems: guidance for healthcare facilities
London: HMSO

Mollerup, P (2005)
Wayshowing: a guide to environmental signage: principles & practices
Baden: Lars Müller Publishers

Smitshuijzen, E. (2007)
Signage design manual
Baden: Lars Müller

Uebele, A; Schmidt-Friderichs, K. (2007)
Signage systems & information graphics: a professional sourcebook
London: Thames & Hudson

Chinese typography reading list


Chi, Chia-fen; Cai, Dengchuan; You, Manlai (2003). Applying image descriptors to the assessment of legibility in Chinese characters. In Ergonomics, volume 46, number 8, 825–841.

Ho, Chung-wing 何松榮 (1994). 中文的直排與橫排——中文報紙內文排列的研究 [Horizontal versus vertical Chinese typesetting – a study on the typesetting of text in the Chinese newspapers]. In Lee, Paul S N and Leung, Kenneth W Y, eds. 香港傳播研究 [Communication research in Hong Kong]. Hong Kong: Department of Journalism & Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. 57–76.

Miles, W R; Shen, Eugene (1927). Photographic recording of eye movements in the reading of Chinese in vertical and horizontal axes; methods and preliminary results. Journal of Experimental Psychology 10, 158–183.

Stallings, W (1976). Approaches to Chinese character recognition. Pattern Recognition 8, 87–98

Sun, Fuchan; Morita, Michon; Stark, Laurence W (1985). Comparative patterns of reading eye movement in Chinese and English. Perception & Psychophysics 37 (1985) 502–506.

Wang, An-Hsiang; Chen, Cheng-Hsun (2003). Effects of screen type, Chinese typography, text/background color combination, speed, and jump length for VDT leading display on users’ reading performance. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 31, 249–261.

Wong, Paul Yiu Chung and Hsu, Siu Chi (1995). Designing Chinese typeface using components. IEEE 0730-3157/95, 416–421

Zhang, Bing; Li, Ying; Suen, Ching Y; Zhang, Xuemin (2011). Discovering legible Chinese typefaces for reading digital documents. 2011 International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition, IEEE, 962–966.

Zhang, Jun-Yun; Zhang, Ting; Xue, Feng; Liu, Lei; Yu, Cong (2007). Legibility variations of Chinese characters and implications for visual acuity measurement in Chinese reading population. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, volume 28, number 5, 2383–2390.


Heijdra, Martin J. (2004). Technology, culture and economics: movable type versus woodblock printing. Studies of Publishing Culture in East Asia: Niwatazumi. Tokyo: Nigensha. 223–240.

Heijdra, Martin J. (2006). A tale of two aesthetics: typography versus calligraphy in the pre-modern Chinese book’. Ming, Wilson and Pierson, Stacey, eds. The art of the book in Chinese (colloquies on art & archaeology in Asia no. 23). London: University of London, Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, School of Oriental and African Studies. 15–27.

Heijdra, Martin J. (2004). The development of modern typography in East Asia, 1850–2000. The East Asian Library Journal 11, no. 2. 100–168.

Li, Mingjun 李明君 (1996). 中国美术字史图说 [An illustrated history of artistic calligraphy in China]. Beijing: People’s Fine Art Publishing House.

Li, Shaobo 李少波 (2011). 中国黑体字源流考 [In search of the origins of Heiti typefaces in China]. In 裝飾 [Zhuangshi], 2011, issue 3.

Li, Shaobo 李少波 (2008). 黑體字研究 [The research on Heiti type] (PhD thesis). Beijing: Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Minick, Scott and Ping, Jiao (1990). Chinese graphic design in the twentieth century. London: Thames and Hudson.

Shi, Xuan 时璇 (2012). 视觉: 中国近现代平面设计发展研究 [Visual: research on the developments of modern graphic design in China]. Beijing: Culture and Art Publishing House.

Wood, Frances (1985). History of printing in China. In The Monotype Recorder, new series, number 5, September 1985. 1–9.

Zhang, Shu 张抒 (2013). 美哉宋体字 [Beautiful Songti]. Chongqing, China: Chongqing University Press.

Zhang, Soumin 张秀民 (2006). 中国印刷史 (插图珍藏增订版) [History of printing in China, illustrated collectable expanded edition]. Hangzhou: Zhejiang Ancient Books Publishing House.

Chinese type design and typography

Cao, Hongkui 曹洪奎 (1975). 铅印排版技术 [The techniques of typesetting with lead type]. Beijing: People’s Publishing House.

Chen, Dunhua 陳敦化 (1972). 印刷設計 [Designing for printing]. Taipei: Wei Xin Shu Ju

He, Jizheng 何繼曾 (1959). 排字淺說 [An elementary introduction to typesetting]. Beijing: Commercial Press.

Kan, Tai Keung 靳埭強 (2016) 字體設計100+1 [Type design 100+1]. Hong Kong: ET Press.

Ke, Zhije and Su, Weixiang 柯志杰、蘇煒翔 (2014). 字型散步:日常生活的中文字型學 [Type walk: typography in everyday life]. Taipei: Faces Publishing.

Lu, Xiaoqing and Tang, Ting (2016) ‘Elements of Chinese typeface design’. In Dyson, Mary C and Suen, Ching Y, eds. Digital fonts and reading. Singapore: World Scientific. 109–130

Man Kwong Publishing 文光出版社編輯部 (1988). 中文字造形設計實例 [Chinese character formation design]. Hong Kong: Man Kwong Publishing

Nan, Tianjian 楠天健 (1995). 电子排版技术 [Digital typesetting techniques]. Beijing: Tsing Hua University Press.

‘Photosetting Chinese – a world-first for Monotype’. In The Monotype Recorder, new series, number 5, September 1985. 10–13

Tam, K (2018) ‘Hanzi’, in Wittner, B; Thoma, S; Hartmann, T, eds. Bi-scriptual: typography and graphic design with multiple script systems. Salenstein, Switzerland: Niggli, 204–211

Tse, Tak Lung 謝德隆 (1992). 設計與印刷的橋樑 [The bridge between design and printing]. Hong Kong: Keyline Publishing Co.

Punctuation standards

Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (2011). 中华人民共和国国家标准GB/T 15834–2011: 标点符号用法 [National standards of the People’s Republic of China GB/T 15834–2011: General rules for punctuation, ]

Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan) (2009). 重訂標點符號手冊, 修訂版 [Revised handbook of punctuation, new edition].

Multilingual typography

Takagi, Mariko (2014) Hanzigraphy: a typographic translation between Latin letters and Chinese characters. Hong Kong: MCCM Creations.

Xiaofeng Wang 王小枫 (2013) 中西文字并排设计 [Chinese & Latin typography]. Dalian, China: Dalian University of Technology Press.

Sadek, G. and Maxim, Z. (1997) Typographia polyglotta: a comparative study in multilingual typesetting (2nd edition). Association Typographique Internationale, New York, USA.

Wittner, B; Thoma, S; Hartmann, T, eds (2018) Bi-scriptual: typography and graphic design with multiple script systems. Salenstein, Switzerland: Niggli

Language and information processing

Crystal, David (2010). The Cambridge encyclopedia of language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Gu, D W (1994). The standardisation of Chinese Characters. Chinese World 36, 33–36.

Lewis, M. Paul, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2016. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, nineteenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Online version:

Lunde, K. (2009). CJKV information processing, 2nd edition. O’Rilley, Sebastopol, CA, USA.

Wang, W S Y (1973). The Chinese language. Scientific American 228, 50–60.

Information design reading list

Theory, discourse and research

Black, Alison; Luna, Paul; Lund, Ole; Walked, Sue (2017)
Information design: research and practice
New York: Routeledge

Horn, Robert E (1988)
Mapping hypertext: analysis, linkage, and display of knowledge for the next generation of on-line text and graphics
Arlington, VA: The Lexington Institute

Horn, Robert E (1998)
Visual language: global communication for the 21st century
Bainbridge Island, WA: Macro VU, Inc.

Jacobson, Robert (1999)
Information design
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press

Frascara, Jorge (2015)
Information design as principled action: Making information accessible, relevant, understandable, and usable
Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing

Mijksenaar, Paul (1997)
Visual function: an introduction to information design
Rotterdam: 010 Publishers

Pettersson, Rune (2002)
Information design: an introduction
Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins

Wurman, Richard Saul (2001)
Information anxiety 2
Indianapolis, Ind.: Que


Baer, Kim (2008)
Information design workbook: graphic approaches solutions, and inspiration + 30 case studies
Beverly, Mass.: Rockport

Institute for Information Design Japan (2005)
Information design source book (second edition)
Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser

Mijksenaar, Paul and Piet Westendorp (1999)
Open here: the art of instructional design
New York: Joost Elffers Books

Rice-Lively, Mary and Hsin-Liang Chen (2006)
Scenarios and information design: a user-oriented practical guide
Oxford: Chandos

Visocky O’Grady, Jenn & Ken Visocky O’Grady (2008)
The information design handbook
Cincinnati, Ohio: How Books

Wurman, Richard Saul (1996)
Information architects
Zurich, Switzerland: B. Martin Pedersen


Kindel, Eric; Walker, Sue; Burke, Christopher (2013)
Isotype: design and contexts 1925–1971
London: Hyphen Press

Neurath, Marie (2009)
The transformer: principles of making Isotype charts
London: Hyphen Press

Neurath, Otto (1980)
International picture language: a facsimile reprint of the [1936] English edition
Reading, UK: Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading

Neurath, Otto (2010)
From hieroglyphics to Isotype: a visual autobiography
London: Hyphen Press

University of Reading (1975)
Graphic communication through ISOTYPE
Reading, UK: University of Reading

Edward Tufte

Tufte, Edward R (1990)
Envisioning information
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (1997)
Visual explanations: images and quantities, evidence and narrative
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (2001)
The visual display of quantitative information
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (2003)
The cognitive style of PowerPoint
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (2006)
Beautiful evidence
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press