David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.

Design by Nature

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Maggie Macnab has just released Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principals in Design.

“Design by Nature is a revelation. It is both a book and a bible of sorts. Maggie demonstrates how the design process embodies and defines the human species. She reveals how we have transformed energy and matter into tangible and useful inventions. And she proves how, at its best, design allows us to perceive and refine large patterns into fundamental meanings and relationships.”
— DEBBIE MILLMAN

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

“The golden ratio embedded in the Apple logo design. The graphic has been recreated from one circulating the Web. There are several associations to the golden ratio, but the Apple logo is not proportioned perfectly with this ratio. Notice there is not a perfect fit for the number 13 and 2 circles.”

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

Catch an author interview here, and watch a two-part video interview here.

Design by Nature, Maggie Macnab

If you liked Maggie’s previous book, Decoding Design, you’ll love this. Design by Nature includes plenty of exercises to get your creative juices flowing, and features guest designer studies from Stefan Sagmeister, Von Glitschka, Erik Spiekermann, Debbie Millman, Ellen Lupton, and many more. It takes an in-depth look at relationships between nature, design, economics, geometry, and art. Well-worth a read for designers and creatives of all types.

“This book is a reminder that there is no system more powerful, more creative, or more truthful than nature. Acknowledge it. Appreciate it. Use it. It belongs to you, and you belong to it.”
— MAGGIE MACNAB

For more spreads and a few extras, visit the Design by Nature website.

Get the book direct from publisher Peachpit or pick-up a copy:

on Amazon.com
on Amazon.co.uk
on Amazon.ca

A few other recommended books here (ideal Christmas presents, obviously).

My second book on Amazon

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14 appreciated comments about “Design by Nature”

  1. Looks very good, though stepping on the toes of an idea I have for a book somewhat… I better get writing before another one of my ideas is done by someone else first!

  2. Hi Hamish—as we have individual interactions with and interpretations of nature, I can assure you your book will be different than mine. Please write it! There is never too much acknowledgement of nature or good design!

  3. I read Decoding Design and it inspired me a lot. Maggie’s books show that design is not just a matter of taste or knowledge of the program, it is much deeper. And you can learn and improve when it is deep — this is the beauty of speciality.

  4. Looks good. Though not quite related, I did some academic research on vision (function of the eye and the cognitive process) and some curious ties to nature kept arising. I found how contrast is created or masked and how focal points are created in nature to be very interesting from a scientific point of view and in how I could relate that to visual communication. Will have to see if this is touched on in anyway here.

  5. Todd, to answer your question, Design by Nature is a far more experiential book than scientific one, but I did include an intriguing idea from psychologist Wolfgang Metzer in the section about Gestalt principles. Metzer suggests all perceivable objects have a perceptual center that allows us to register them as an object. A central focus provides context to the relationships of an entity, making it a thing in its own right. Interesting, no?

  6. Thanks for the book recommendation. Logo Design Love is on its way in the mail, and I can’t wait to read this one as well. Thanks for all the helpful resources for young designers.

  7. Thanks for the reply Maggie. I should have stressed the, “Though not quite related,” a bit more. The stuff I was looking at had more to do with vision that nature, and I was drawing the only parallel I could. Anyway, I’ll check this video out now that I’m home. Take care

  8. Maggie,

    I loved both the class and workshop that I took with you, and will be getting your new book.

    - Just a shout out from a former student. Stay well!

    Sarah

  9. Great recommendation. I really look forward to reading it!

  10. This reminds of First thing First manifesto.

  11. Quick update: Maggie has just launched the Design by Nature website, showing a few additional spreads and some extras.

    David, thanks very much for the order!

  12. Thanks very much for the site plug, David, and thanks all for your comments!

  13. Hi Maggie, This book is superb. Really inspiring for a designer like me. Thanks both of you, David and Maggie, for sharing.

  14. Ordered via Amazon. Great book! Thank you very much for recommendation!

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