Smashing Book 2 Rings In The New Year

  • News
News | Yves Peters | January 11, 2011

This past summer I received a request for an interview from Vivien Anayian of Inspiration Bit (which is currently on hiatus). Vivien is a web and graphic designer who runs VG Universe Design and teaches at CapU. I was amongst a list of type people who were asked their opinion about the emerging web fonts. Our answers would be repurposed in a chapter of the upcoming Smashing Book 2 titled The Future of Web Typography. The weird thing was that I didn’t see myself as being the best person to ask. I have a good grasp of the concept and basic principles of web fonts, but I am in no way an expert like my colleague FSI FontShop International marketing manager Ivo Gabrowitsch. However this seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to do some thinking about the subject. Because I was pretty much a novice in this field and felt rather insecure, I tried to do a thorough job (Vivien told me afterwards I was one of the only two people on her list who answered every single one of her questions). As the interviews were only used as source material for the chapter, Vitaly Friedman – publisher of Smashing Magazine and the Smashing Book – allowed me to post my interview on The FontFeed, as well as the one with my ex-colleague and partner-in-font-geekery Stephen Coles. Let me first introduce the Smashing Book 2, and in a next post I will publish those interviews.

A couple of days ago Smashing Magazine announced that a new Smashing Book is on its way. Even more, the book will be an annual event. In summer 2009 I indirectly contributed to the first Smashing Book. Parts of my presentation cum article on the selection of type was incorporated in the chapter Web Typography: Rules, Guidelines and Common Mistakes by Alessandro Cattaneo, edited by Jon Tan. The publishers were the first to admit the Smashing Book 1 had its flaws, yet they learned from their mistakes. The Smashing Book 2 should be better than its predecessor in every respect: the hardcover book will cost exactly as mush as the first one, but it will have more pages and much better binding, and will be more comprehensive and of higher quality overall.

The Smashing Book 2 is already in the final stage of production; it is expected to start shipping by February at the latest. The pre-order period will be much shorter than the one with Smashing Book 1. If you pre-order your copy today you get a 20% discount off the regular price.

What’s In The Book?

Like its predecessor, the Smashing Book 2 is a printed book about best practices in modern Web design. This book shares valuable practical insight into design, usability and coding. It provides professional advice for designing mobile applications and building successful e-commerce websites, and it explains common coding mistakes and how to avoid them. The reader will explore the principles of professional design thinking and graphic design, learning how to apply psychology and game theory to create engaging user experiences. The book also features interviews from experts on the future of Web typography and describes how you can publish a book on your own.

Well-respected professionals have worked with the publishers to provide exciting and comprehensive chapters:

  • The Principles of Great Graphic Design, Matt Ward and Alexander Charchar,
  • Visible vs. Invisible Design2, Francisco Inchauste,
  • Designing Mobile User Experiences, Mike Rundle,
  • Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping, Janko Jovanovic,
  • Red Flags in Web Development, Christian Heilmann,
  • The Future of Web Typography, Vivien Anayian,
  • Game Design Techniques Applied to UX Design, Christoph Kolb,
  • When They Click: Psychology of Web Design, Susan Weinschenk,
  • Design Patterns on E-Commerce Websites (A Study), Steven Bradley,
  • How to Make a Book (Like This One), The Smashing Magazine Team.

Although there are similarities with Smashing Book 1, on a broad scale this second book covers different areas of design. Book 1 presents coding and layout techniques, colour theory and UI design, while Book 2 covers psychology, designing for mobile devices, graphic design, wireframing, and book production. They complement each other very well but are also distinct enough for standalone reading. Smashing Book 2 is a completely new book, with content written from scratch, specifically for the book. You can read a sample chapter – Visible vs. Invisible Design (PDF, 5.6 MB) by Francisco Inchauste – for free.

Yiying lovingly cares for her cat on the wall. You can see this illustration in the chapter Visible vs. Invisible Design, written by Francisco Inchauste.

The Smashing Book 2 features exclusive full-page illustrations for each chapter. Those were created by the talented Australian illustrator Yiying Lu, who is well known as the designer of Twitter’s famous Fail Whale3. She has designed an exclusive new series called “Smashing Animals” for this book, which you can purchase as wall art on Yiying’s website. The book is typeset with TheSans Bold for headings and Adobe Garamond Pro for body copy

Like I mentioned in the introduction Stephen and I were but two names in an interesting list of people who were interviewed on the topic of web fonts. Here is everyone who generously gave some of their time and expertise for this chapter.

Free Bonus eBook

Initially, the book was supposed to contain more chapters. Because most of the contributors delivered (much) more content than the book’s size could accommodate, not all of them could be included. Four chapters will be released as a free bonus eBook, called The Lost Files. This eBook will be available in PDF, ePUB and Mobipocket formats. In February, every registered customer will be able to download the book, even if they haven’t bought the Smashing Book 2. So, make sure to check out the Smashing Shop in February.

Here are the pieces that will be presented in the free bonus eBook:

  • The Ultimate Web Design Questionnaire and Checklist, Kat Neville,
  • Plagues in Web Design and How to Deal With Them, Speider Schneider,
  • Interviews: Expert Tips From Renowned Designers, Steven Snell,
  • Web Design Community: Where Are We Going?, Paul Scrivens (Drawar).

And to conclude, below is a quick overview of the lovely chapter pages of the Smashing Book 2.

Tags: , , ,


  1. Have ordered this can’t wait to get it!!

    Posted by Graphic Design Derry on Jan. 11, 2011
  2. The cover reminds me of The Incredibles; specifically, the scene where Mr Incredible goes to Syndrome’s board room and there is a big S on the table. It looks exactly like that.

    Posted by Jacob Degeling on Jan. 12, 2011

Post a comment:


The FontFeed

The FontFeed is a daily dispatch of recommended fonts, typography techniques, and inspirational examples of digital type at work in the real world. Eat up.

  • Meow
  • Biwa™
  • Zin Slab
  • Melts Script
  • Diploma Script
  • Jasan™
  • Beaga
  • Core Gothic E
  • Merry Christmas Color
  • Atlantica
  • Dracula™
  • Juno
  • Zing Sans Rust™
  • Macella
  • Civic Sans
  • Zing Script Rust™
  • Zing Rust™
  • YWFT Victoria
  • YWFT Valley
  • Trix
  • Thang™

Popular Fonts

  • Morl
  • Merlod
  • TT Backwards
  • TT Travels
  • Proxima Nova
  • Nexa Rust™
  • Rosella™
  • Brandon Grotesque
  • Heading Pro
  • Bourton
  • Cenzo Flare
  • Helvetica Neue®
  • Nexa
  • TT Norms
  • Aromatica
  • Selfie
  • Gilroy™
  • Avenir®
  • Moments
  • Viva Beautiful
  • Good Karma