Jonathan Barnbrook

Graphic Designer / United Kingdom / Barnbrook

Jonathan Barnbrook’s Book List

None of these are design books. I don’t read directly about design, but instead look to the philosophies and experiences found in literature to influence my work. To be a good designer, you need to understand human beings, and for me the novel is still the best way to understand how people experience, affect, and are influenced by the world around them.

2 books

Nothing is new and Plato proves it by showing that the basis of democracy that we try to live today is something that he understood the principles of 2,500 years ago. If you are looking to get a hook into ancient civilization and the similarity of principles between us now and humans in “ancient history,” you will find it in this book. It’s written in the style of a dialogue between two people, which makes the book much easier to get into than you might think. (Then move on to read Marcus Aurelius and Seneca as well.)

Iain Sinclair

By one of the main exponents of the awkwardly termed “psychogeography”—that is, how a landscape, town, or place can affect you emotionally. Sinclair is a dense writer who does extensive research on the locations he writes about. The texts are part autobiographical, part stream of consciousness, part social critique, part poetry, part factual observation. The author is a resident and lover of London, (similar to me in this respect). This particular book deals with a walk with his friends around a motorway  that encircles London—which doesn’t sound like a good starting point for a book, but it’s a wonderful, beautiful read. You learn history, the mundaneness of places with no identity, the possible future for us all, the alienation of the individual, and the emotional beauty of even the smallest details of your journey.

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