The Design of Everyday Things
Donald Norman

Theme: Behavioral psychology, Ergonomics, Design

My design philosophy comes from this mans ideas. A best-selling book by cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald Norman about how design serves as the communication between object and user, and how to optimize that conduit of communication in order to make the experience of using the object pleasurable.
On lend to: Maria Salvatore

THE Elements of Typographic Style
Robert Bringhurst

Theme: Typography, Design

Design bible. A history and guide to typography, it has been praised by Hermann Zapf, who said “I wish to see this book become the Typographers’ Bible.” Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones consider it "the finest book ever written about typography," according to the FAQ section of their type foundry's website.


Corporate Diversity

Theme: Swiss Graphic Design, Advertising, Geigy

The design studio of J. R. Geigy AG was the launching pad for one of the great periods of Swiss graphic design, in the 1950s and 1960s. The open-minded corporate culture of the chemical company in Basel combined product and company advertising in an exemplary way. The resulting works reveal a modernist formal idiom without being indebted to a specific, formulaic look.

Grid Systems in Graphic Design
Josef Müller-Brockmann

Theme: Grid System, Layout, Design

From my favourite designer. He is one of the reasons I am so inspired to be working in Switzerland. From a professional for professionals, the definitive word on using grid systems in graphic design. Though Muller-Brockman first presented his interpretation of the grid in 1961, this text is still useful today for anyone working in web or print design.



Lateral thinking
Edward De Bono

Theme: Psychology, Creativity, Ideation

I love Edward De Bono for discussing topics like thinking about thinking. For a designer, this is by far his best book. Lateral thinking explains what happens in the mind during the creative process. It also teaches problem solving methods with indirect and creative approaches to reasoning divergent from traditional step-by-step logical thinking.

This means this This means That
Sean Hall

Theme: Semiotics, Signs, Symbolism

An approachable work in the field of semiotics. This book is full of visual examples and clear descriptions of technical terms in the discipline. Although the subject is not technically under the category cognitive psychology, the interpretation of written & visual language is closely related. Semiotics can help designers communicate intuitively.


Robert B. Cialdini

Theme: Psychology, Persuasion, Marketing

A dive into the dark arts of psychology. Full of insightful information on human behaviour. This is a must read for anyone working in marketing or advertising. It is also interesting for the average consumer to learn how they are emotionally exploited by these psychological techniques in order to spend their money.
On lend to: Marianne Sauter


Theme: Psychology, Philosophy

This book describes the mental and physical state of total absorption while performing a task. I am familiar with this state while performing creatively challenging tasks. The has methods to intentionally reach this state. It also prescribes life practices that can effect your happiness and way of living in the zone.  Not a light read, but worth the effort.




Theme: Street Culture, Contemporary Art

This book was also made into a documentary movie. With artists featured like Ed Tempelton, Barry McGee, Thomas Campbell to name a few, it explores the world of skateboarding & street culture that expanded into contemporary art galleries. Many of the artists were active in the Bay area while I was growing up and have informed my attitude towards creating things. 



Theme: Street Art, Politics, Satire

Some incredible examples of creative thinking at work. Banksy has helped elevate street art and managed to remain anonymous. His work reflects the disaffected generation growing up in the disjointed communities of urban cities. I enjoy Banksy as an artist for his daring, relentless, unapologetic work full of humour and wit. He is the George Louis of graffiti.