Alexander Haldemann

Academic; Executive / Brand Design / United States / MetaDesign

References and New Discoveries: Alexander Haldemann’s Book List

Some of the books I selected had an influence on me professionally. Other books were formative for me personally—either books I read growing up (and now share with my children), or books that have moved me as an adult. What they have in common is that they were all lying around piled on top of the books on the shelves, which suggests they are either important to me and I reference them often, or new discoveries, or both. They also trace my international journey from Switzerland to San Francisco. Next stop: Australia.

3 books
David McCandless

Living in a world of information overload, infographics are an important way of making data accessible and understandable. It is one of the many duties of design to reduce information to an understandable level, and Information Is Beautiful gives a wonderful overview about how to do this. The book shows convincingly that to master the sheer complexity of data you first need a solid understanding of the issue at hand. By thoroughly understanding the data, a beautiful and simple design is more likely to emerge.

Bruno Munari

Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture is a book that describes what you can’t learn about Italian in the dictionary. This book is important to me because I grew up on the border of Switzerland and Italy next to Lago Maggiore, a lake that is shared by both countries. Italian is my second language, but I learned very quickly that, when it comes to understanding Italian, gestures are extremely important in communicating and telling stories. This insight has carried over into my work: brands, much like languages, are multi-sensory. To truly understand both people and brands, you have to go deeper than the surface and look at them from a different perspective.

Stop Stealing Sheep is an introduction to typography for non-designers. The book makes typography accessible to someone who has not studied design but who works in the design industry. From Stop Stealing Sheep I learned that typography really matters and has an unbelievable impact on the expression of a brand. The book shows you that with typography, small things matter. Likewise, the true power of a brand is in the details.

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