Jason Santa Maria's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Jason Santa Maria recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Jason Santa Maria's favorite book recommendations of all time.

1
Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

Jason Santa Maria📕 @mulegirl has a new book out about human-centered design and it’s really fantastic! Grab a copy of Conversational Design today: https://t.co/0bavOlwQwH (Source)

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2
Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.
Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world...
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Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

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3
What do primordial bacteria, medieval alchemists, and the World Wide Web have to do with each other? This fascinating exploration of how information systems emerge takes readers on a provocative journey through the history of the information age.

Today's "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation--nor even the first species--to wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information: from Ice Age taxonomies to Sumerian...
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Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, Stephen Baker, and 2 others.

Stephen BakerA whole history of information and what we, as humans, decide to keep in our heads. (Source)

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4
"Git’s model of version control makes it indispensable for collaborating on digital projects of all stripes. Get situated with Git as David Demaree guides you through the command-line workflow, the nuances of repositories and branches, the elements of a solid commit message, and more. Pick up common version-tracking tasks, along with advice on trickier scenarios. You’ll learn how to put Git to work for you—and work better with your team." - Mandy Brown less
Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

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5

On Web Typography

Achieving a thorough grasp of typography can take a lifetime, but moving beyond the basics is within your reach right now. In this book, we’ll learn how to look at typefaces with a discerning eye, different approaches to typographic planning, how typography impacts the act of reading, and how to choose and combine appropriate typefaces from an aesthetic and technical point of view. Through an understanding of our design tools and how they relate to the web as a medium, we can empower ourselves to use type in meaningful and powerful ways.

This book will be released Summer...
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Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, Veerle Pieters, and 2 others.

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6

While You're Reading

This book is about everything that happens while you’re reading – in front of your eyes and inside your head – and about what type designers, typographers and graphic designers bring to a page to make it happen.

Renowned type designer Gerard Unger distills decades of design experience into a playful, accessible text that reflects the range of his professional projects, from designing the fonts read daily by millions in USA Today to being responsible for the look of the highway and metro signs in the Netherlands.

For Unger, regardless of the application, designers...
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Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

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7

The Wire

Truth Be Told

Welcome to the critically acclaimed HBO drama series "The Wire," hailed as "the best show on television, period" by the "San Francisco Chronicle." "The New York Times" calls it "a vital part of the television landscape...unvarnished realism." "Time" declares that "The Wire," "like its underfunded, workaday cops, just plugged away until it outshone everything else on TV.""The Wire" stands not only as riveting drama but also as a sociopolitical treatise with ambitions beyond any television serial. The failure of the drug war, the betrayal of the working class, the bureaucratization of the... more
Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

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8
Palatino is probably the most widely known and used of all Zapf faces. Trace its development, with all its infinite permutations, and often invisible refinements, through a long and fascinating history. Included is an eight page letterpress signature, printed in one color directly from handset foundry and Linotype hot metal.If you want background, it is all here, in encompassing detail: a fully illustrated account of Palatino and its extended family. But beyond that, the book is an argument, and a convincing one, that artists who create letters can, and should, be judged by the same standards... more
Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

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9

Just Enough Research

Design research is a hard slog that takes years to learn and time away from the real work of design, right? Wrong.

Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It’s something every member of your team can and should do, and which everyone can learn, quickly. And done well, it will save you time by reducing unknowns and making sure you're building the right thing, in the best possible way.

In Just Enough Research, co-founder of Mule Design Erika Hall distills her experience into a brief cookbook of research methods....
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Mike MonteiroHello. @mulegirl’s revised, expanded, even more good edition of the world’s best research book, Just Enough Research, dropped today. Buy it for yourself, or buy it for everyone in your company, and you’ll make better things. https://t.co/7U4xcCu2ez (Source)

Daniel BurkaAwesome! @mulegirl's excellent new book, Conversational Design, is now available from @abookapart. My blurb even made it in! "This book cuts through the fluff and buzzwords to get straight to the point..." https://t.co/0oeD5J0OSH (Source)

Tim Kastelle“A large corporation is more like Australia: it’s impossible to see the whole landscape at once and there are so many things capable of maiming or killing you.” Just Enough Research by ⁦@mulegirl⁩ is a fantastic book - highly recommended. https://t.co/t11yOVeqNc (Source)

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10

The Shape of Design

"Hi. My name's Frank Chimero. I've spent the better part of the last two years writing and speaking on design and thinking about the topics that orbit the practice: storytelling, concept, craft, and improvisation. I want to take all of the ideas I've had and connected these past few months and capture them in a book format.

I've been teaching for the past 5 years, and I've always been a bit frustrated that there isn't a nice, concise book that overviews the mental state of a successful designer while they go through their creative process. For instance, many say that graphic design...
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Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

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Don't have time to read Jason Santa Maria's favorite books? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.
11

Design Sprint

A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products

With more than 500 new apps entering the market every day, what does it take to build a successful digital product? You can greatly reduce your risk of failure with design sprints, a process that enables your team to prototype and test a digital product idea within a week. This practical guide shows you exactly what a design sprint involves and how you can incorporate the process into your organization.

Design sprints not only let you test digital product ideas before you pour too many resources into a project, they also help everyone get on board whether they re team members,...
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Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, and 1 others.

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12
This show-all romp through design-world darling Jessica Hische's sketchbook reveals the creative and technical process behind making award-winning hand lettering. See everything, from Hische's rough sketches to her polished finals for major clients such as Wes Anderson, NPR, and Starbucks. The result is a well of inspiration and brass tacks information for designers who want to sketch distinctive letterforms and hone their skills. With more than 250 images and metallic silver ink printed throughout to represent her penciled sketches, this highly visual book is an essential—and entirely... more
Recommended by Jessica Hische, Jason Santa Maria, and 4 others.

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Don't have time to read Jason Santa Maria's favorite books? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.