5 Information Design Resources

By Gillian Harvey, Assistant Professor, Design Studies (VCD), University of Alberta


If you’re like me this semester, you will be supplementing your course work with a lot of remote learning resources. Most of these resources have been compiled from a class Resources and Reading list that I give to my Information Design students. Many of them have been integral to the foundations of the Information Design pedagogy at the University of Alberta and can easily supplement any project-based work. In the years that I have taught information design, many of these resources have been made available as e-books and are online or available as downloads as full or partial pdfs, through campus libraries. 

Information Design: Research and Practice

Editors: Alison Black, Paul Luna, Ole Lund and Sue Walker

Published in 2018, at an impressive 766 pages, Information Design: Research and Practice includes case studies from professional practice written by leading information designers around the world. The editors, familiar with both research and practice in information design include rigorous, evidence-based case studies that are well illustrated. This book should be a reference for anyone interested or working in the field of information design or any of its related disciplines.  

An Introduction to Information Design

by Andy Ellison and Kathryn Coates


As a more general introduction to the discipline, An Introduction to Information Design provides a creative, informative and practical introduction to the general principles of information design. There are several introductory chapters which discuss designing for the audience, structure, legibility and readability, how to select the appropriate media and system design or multi-platform delivery. What I have used extensively in this book is the Further Reading / Curated Website links that are provided.
It is possible to download the book as a full pdf, or by Chapter at most institutions online.

Information Design as Principled Action: Making Information Accessible, Relevant, Understandable and Usable

Edited by Jorge Frascara

Published in 2015, this is a compilation of case studies that has been written by prominent, international information designers. Editor Frascara has been leading information design projects since the late 1980s and is one of academia’s prominent theory and practice based information designers. Case studies are written by design researchers and practitioners discussing user centre design approaches in the fields of healthcare, finance and government. In addition, it introduces information design as a way to affect behaviour change and as a catalyst for change. This book is inspiring and written with a rigorous research focus that would be perfect for a design issues or design seminar class.

Designing Information: Human Factors and Common Sense in Information Design

by Joel Katz

Published in 2012, this book has been a favourite of my students. Not only does it provide historical examples and additional resources and readings for the information topics that are discussed in depth, but It is highly visual and discusses not only information design solutions that work, but also why some solutions, more importantly, don’t work. 

Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations

by Isabel Meirelles, Affiliate Member

This book, published in 2013 focuses on Information Visualization which is often thought of as a discipline within Information Design. This book has become a resource for me when in my senior level classes we analyze a case study and discuss how history, theory and best practice has shaped the design solutions which are intricate and aesthetically pleasing in the book. As many of the case studies are interdisciplinary, this book also would appeal to other disciplines such as digital humanities, computer science, research creation and education. This book I was not able to access digitally through our Proquest database, but it is available as an e-book.