How Design Makes Us Think: And Feel and Do Things

Graphic designer Sean Adams walks us through the power of design to attract attention and convey meaning. The book delves into the sociological, psychological, and historical reasons for our responses to design, offering practitioners and clients alike a new appreciation of their responsibility to create design with the best intentions. How Design Makes Us Think is an essential read for designers, advertisers, marketing professionals, and anyone who wants to understand how the design around us makes us think, feel, and do things.


“From posters to cars, design is everywhere. While we often discuss the aesthetics of design, we don’t always dig deeper to unearth the ways design can overtly, and covertly, convince us of a certain way of thinking. How Design Makes Us Think collects hundreds of examples across graphic design, product design, industrial design, and architecture to illustrate how design can inspire, provoke, amuse, anger, or reassure us.” – Dexigner.

“Good Energy makes it clear that a net-zero and energy-positive design isn’t around the corner; it’s available now.” – Landscape Architecture Magazine.

“Sean Adams strips off the blinders to deconstruct the design process with clear, clean visuals and snappy prose….A playful, edifying addition to any design bookshelf, How Design Makes Us Think is an inspirational resource for beginning designers or graphic design firms. Reading it is like donning a pair of magic spectacles that empower nondesigners to decode and critique the hidden messages that surround us.” – Foreword Reviews.

How Design Makes Us Think
How Design Makes Us Think

About the Author

Sean Adams is the chair of graduate and undergraduate graphic design at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. An AIGA Medalist and former AIGA National President, he is coauthor of Graphic Design Rules and the author of The Designer’s Dictionary of Type and The Designer’s Dictionary of Color.

How Design Makes Us Think: And Feel and Do Things. Paperback: 256 pages. Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (February 23, 2021).

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