Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated - William Lidwell, Kritina Holden & Jill Butler

Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated

Author: William Lidwell, Kritina Holden & Jill Butler

  • Publication Date: 2010-01-01
  • Category: Design
3 Score: 3
(From 23 Ratings)


Whether a marketing campaign or a museum exhibit, a video game or a complex control system, the design we see is the culmination of many concepts and practices brought together from a variety of disciplines. Because no one can be an expert on everything, designers have always had to scramble to find the information and know-how required to make a design work—until now.

Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated is a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary encyclopedia of design. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, it pairs clear explanations of every design concept with visual examples of the concepts applied in practice. From the "80/20” rule to chunking, from baby-face bias to Occam's razor, and from self-similarity to storytelling, every major design concept is defined and illustrated for readers to expand their knowledge.

This landmark reference will become the standard for designers, engineers, architects, and students who seek to broaden and improve their design expertise.


  • It’s fixed, and a great design reference!

    By .scot
    There is another version of this book avail in iBooks store… don’t get that one—it still has the issues this one used to have (I don’t know why the publisher doesn’t remove it). I won’t go into detail about the book itself… suffice to say it’s a useful book for anyone designing something to be used by others.
  • Book format is fixed now

    By johnfelix
    Book format is fixed and nicely done
  • Not created for iBooks

    By Slightlyprofessional
    Don't buy this for iBooks. If you want it get the hardcover. This thing isn't formatted for iBooks in any way whatsoever.
  • another disappointment from Rockport

    By 2D4T
    This book just like numerous other ebooks available from Rockport publishers is highly disappointing. This book is a great reference that every designer should have. Just don’t buy this version it is not formatted properly. Rockport seems to have a problem formatting their ebooks.
  • Do not buy this book. It's unreadable.

    By Jordan Millar
    This book is virtually unreadable in its current formatting especially on an iPad mini. Each page you have to zoom and move so that you can read it. It displays 2 pages at once and there is no way to change this. The content may be good but you honestly will give up after just a few pages. Incredibly disappointed by this sloppiness and generally inconsiderate design on a book that's supposed to be about good design. #ironyexplosion
  • Like the formatting and the book

    By bmc atx
    It is accurate that this iBook follows a formatting more similar to a PDF than the e-books typically available on iBooks. In doing so, it addresses a pretty major challenge for graphics intensive publications where the location of the graphics relative to text is quite important. Basically, to ensure that the supporting graphics are located in the proper context, the only options previously were to buy a print edition or somehow acquire a PDF file of the book. (A third approach is to do the book as an app; this was the approach of the Push Pop Press-issued Al Gore book. The downsides of that are that they don't go on your Books app, they may lack highlighting, bookmarking capability, etc., and the files can be very very large.) I am encouraged to see this book available on iBooks using an e-book file approach that is similar to that of a PDF. It won't be for everyone – I do recommend that people who are considering purchasing this book download it first as a sample. Also, I do agree that it is not as user-friendly to read it in the locked PDF style formatting as opposed to the standard, very user-friendly iBooks format. But some books simply don't lend themselves to the iBooks format for the reasons described above. My hope is, with the release of this very good book in this format, that other graphics intensive books, such as those by Edward Tufte and Steven Few, will begin to hear in iBooks as well.
  • Love the book. Hate the iBook.

    By egyptiankarim
    First and foremost, this is a review of the way this particular book is rendered and formatted by iBook, not a review of the book itself, which is fantastic. This book is formatted like a PDF and I'm highly disappointed that it doesn't follow what I thought was the standard for iBook publications. You cannot enlarge text like with other iBooks, but instead use the pinch/spread gestures to zoom in/out on various sections of the book. This is lame and robs you of the swipe through pages functionality unless you're zoomed all the way out. This significantly impacts the quality of the reading experience. For a book meant to be about design the publisher seemingly failed to consider the usability of this book in the iBook format in an iPad form factor. That's just lame. I wish I could get a refund. I love reading on the iPad but not when the books are formatted badly. I dislike paper books at this point, but I'd take the print option over this particular $15 (!!!) iPad option any day.