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Essential reading on Visual Thinking

September 29, 2011

Books on visual thinking

1. Solving problems with picturesAuthor: Dan Roam

Nice animated videos explaining Dan’s ideas on solving problems with pictures. I highly recommend his book, The Back of the Napkin. In fact I was fortunate to get a preview of his next book Blah Blah Blah, should be releasing on 11.1.11, which is simply outstanding.

SS Viewpoint: This is the first book, I’ve come across which provides a solid framework for solving problems and selling ideas with pictures. It gives you a solid grounding on the basic fundamentals and does so in a very easy to understand fashion.

2. Unfolding the Napkin – – Author: Dan Roam

Once you’ve read the above book, you’ll be irresistibly be drawn to his second book. So do yourself a favour and buy them both together if a discount bundle is available Smile

Both books are gold.

P.s. I’m also reading a very old classic book called: Thinking with a Pencil by Henning Nelms, it’s extremely fascinating. Will update once I finish reading it completely.


Online Resources

i) Author: Dave Gray

SS Viewpoint: Extremely interesting introduction of visual thinking from a different perspective.

1. Forms, fields and flows

Description of link from author’s site: In this short video (about seven minutes) I introduce some basic principles of visual language: Forms, fields and flows. I think of this as the “alphabet” of visual language. This set of principles is the primary set of marks you need in order to create visual meaning.

2. Some basic rules for napkin-sketching

Description of link from author’s site: An introduction to some basic principles for making better napkin-sketches.

3. Drawing facial expressions

Description of link from author’s site: Here’s a quick video on drawing facial expressions. You might also want to check out a related post from Communication Nation in 2005. You can also see a larger version of the video here.


ii) Author: BigPictureVideo

SS Viewpoint: Series of 7 videos introducing their version of visual language, it’s definitely interesting. I especially also like the fact that they emphasize the importance of color, interestingly both Dan Roam or Dave Gray don’t stress on it. I for one feel it’s very important.

1. (People)
2. (Places)
3. (Process)
4. (sPeech)
5. (Color)
6. (Effect)
7. (Icons)


Visual Bloggers with interesting content updated frequently

http://theoatmeal.comMatthew Inman


I think I should turn this post into a resource page and keep updating it. Hmmm… maybe down the line, once I’ve got more stuff into it.

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