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Design is everywhere and plays a critical role in today’s informative and connected world. It is the bridge between creativity and innovation. Design not only able to differentiate products, services and experiences according to users’ needs, wants and desires, but also discover new opportunities.

The available literature in Design in the library includes monographs, journals, reference materials, reviews, artists’ works, exhibition catalogues, animation guidebooks and design catalogues. This Design Subject Guide serve as a quick guide or introduction to finding relevant information on a given topic.

Feel free to reach me if there are topics that you would like us to compile a guide on.

Topics/Course Guides

Resource Guide for Brand Design

Brand design covers many areas, which include the following areas: Brand, history, theories and strategies (Keyword: branding) Logo Design (Keywords: logos, logo design; Call number range NC1002 - NC 1003) Brand identity and 2D design visuals (Keywords: corporate...

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The List of Lists for Design

Here are some curated resources on design. I have organised into the following: The 3-Re book list A bunch of authorities in Singapore International big brothers Websites that inspire and keep you up-to-date The lists are still being populated. Drop a comment to...

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Guide to Infographics

The design of information is actually nothing new. From the earliest form of communication, i.wthe cave paintings done more than 37,000 years ago, to Egyptian hieroglyphics, to modern-day data visualisations, we have always been using some sort of graphical...

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Resource Guide on Typography in Context

Letters, alphabet and signs played an fundamental role in communication and make it possible to transport information. Today, typography seems to be everywhere today from posters to signages, films, art and architecture. Below are resources that explore how typography...

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Resource Guide on History of Product Design

The following books were specially compiled by lecturer, Ash Yeo, for the History of Product Design (DR 2003) class. The list is accompanied by some relevant AV titles. Books Design revolution : 100 products that are changing people's lives Pilloton, Emily. Thames &...

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Selected Resources


Of all the different types of resources that we have in the Library, books constitute the largest number. They are a good source of information, which range from general to in-depth coverage of topics to suit your needs.


Browsing the Collection

The books in the library are classified under the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and arranged by call numbers. For your convenience and quick browsing at the shelves, I’ve listed the LC Classes for design related topics, in the table below.

Search Terms LC Class
Visual Arts N
Drawing, Design, Illustration NC
Print media NE
Decorative arts. Applied arts. NK
Arts in general NX
Visual Communication P93.5
Computer graphics T385
Product Design TS171
Packaging Design TS195
Graphic design (Typography) Z246

Searching for Books

Use the Library Catalogue if you need to search or browse for books. You may do a simple search by using a keyword, an author’s name, title of the book or the other categories shown below. You may also use the Advanced Search where you can specify more options for your search.

Selected Book Lists by Subjects

My Picks are:

Graphic Arts
  1. Graphic design school: the principles and practices of graphic design by David Dabner Call No.: NC997.D114G
  2. Graphic design theory: readings from the field, edited by Helen Armstrong Call No.: NC997.G766C
  3. The big book of graphic design, edited by Roger Walton Call No.: NC997.B592BB
  4. World graphic design: contemporary graphics from Africa, the Far East, Latin America and the Middle East by Geoffrey Caban Call No.: NC997.C112
  5. Contemporary graphic design by Charlotte Fiell Call No.: NC997.C761
  6. Design issues: how graphic design informs society, edited by DK Holland Call No.: NC997.D457
  7. Graphic design as communication by Malcolm Barnard Call No.: NC997.B259
  1. Introduction to two-dimensional design: understanding form and function by John Bowers Call No.: NC703.B786 2008
  2. Design: the key concepts by Catherine McDermott Call No.: NK1510.M134
  3. Overlooking the visual: demystifying the art of design by Kathryn Moore Call No.: NK1505.M822
  4. Design as art by Bruno Munari Call No.: NK1505.M963
  5. Design through discovery: an introduction to art and design by Marjorie Elliott Bevlin Call No.: NK1510.B571 1994
  6. Designing for the 21st century: interdisciplinary questions and insights, edited by Tom Inns Call No.: NK1510.D457D
  7. Elements of design: Rowena Reed Kostellow and the structure of visual relationships by Gail Greet Hannah Call No.: NK1510.H243
  8. The nature of design: how the principles of design shape our world–from graphics and architecture to interiors and products by Peg Faimon Call No.: NK1510.F161
Design History
  1. The elements of design: the development of design and stylistic elements from the Renaissance to the postmodern era by Noël Riley Call No.: NK1175.E38
  2. History of modern design: graphics and products since the industrial revolution by David Raizman Call No.: NK1175.R161
  3. Design: history, main trends, major figures by Anne Bony Call No.” NK1370.B719
  4. Pioneers of modern design: from William Morris to Walter Gropius by Nikolaus Pevsner Call No.: NA682.M63P514
  5. The Bauhaus ideal, then & now: an illustrated guide to modernist design by William Smock Call No.: N332.G33S666
  6. Towards post-modernism: decorative arts and design since 1851 by Michael Collins Call No.: NK1370.C712

Other Book Lists by Subject Headings

  1. Design Packaging
  2. Visual Communication


Other Book Lists from Thematic Book Displays

  1. Image of Sound


Our library doesn’t have a particular book?

Recommend it! For Students, please email to us at with as much details about the item as possible – Title, Author/editor, Place of publication, Publisher or producer, Date of publication, ISBN, Edition and Price. For Staff, please use the StaffLink, under Resource Request — Library Services — Book Recommendation. You may refer to the New Title Recommendation for more details.


E-books or electronic books are the digital version of print books, designed to be read on a personal computer with internet connection or on an e-book reader. They are very convenient as you don’t have to go to the library to borrow the books you want.



How to search for E-books?

You may use the Library Catalogue to search for e-books subscribed by our library. The steps to access e-books are found at the E-books page.

My Picks

  1. The Oxford dictionary of art
  2. A Dictionary of Modern Design
  3. Inside/Outside: From the Basics to the Practice of Design, Second Edition
  4. Materials and Design – The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design (2nd Edition)
  5. Product Concept Design: A Review of the Conceptual Design of Products in Industry
  6. Design: History, Theory and Practice of Product Design

Browsing by E-book providers

You may find e-book providers in our library webpage, under Databases. My pick is Safari Books Online, where you can find many relevant books, including software manuals.

Reference Works

A reference work can be a dictionary, encyclopedia, map, handbook, etc, from which you can obtain authoritative and comprehensive information about a subject. Listed below are some reference materials that you might find useful:




  1. The Thames and Hudson dictionary of design since 1900 Call No. : NK1390.J94T
  2. The Thames & Hudson dictionary of graphic design and designers Call No. : NC997.L786
  3. The visual dictionary of graphic design Call No. : NC997.A496
  4. The Thames and Hudson dictionary of art terms and techniques. Call No. : N33.L937
  5. The digital designer’s jargon buster : the ultimate illustrated dictionary of design, print and computer terms Call No. : NC1000.C187


  1. The Design Encyclopedia Call No. : NK1370.B993
  2. Encyclopaedia of typefaces Call No. : Z250.J39 2008
  3. Graphic design : a user’s manual Call No. : NC1001.S533G
  4. Disney A to Z : the official encyclopedia Call No. : PN1999.W27S645
  5. The artist’s illustrated encyclopedia: techniques, materials, and terms Call No. : N8510.M596


  1. Atlas of world art Call No. : N5300.A881


  1. The artist’s handbook of materials and techniques Call No. : ND1500.M468
  2. The handbook of art and design terms Call No. : N33.E26

Library databases are online resources that provide access to published information such as journals, e-books, encyclopedias, and newspapers. They may provide full-text articles, which are entire articles, or abstracts, which are summaries of articles. They also provide citation information which includes title of the article, author(s), and name and issue number of the journal where the article is printed.


Core databases

  1. Grove Art Online Grove Art Online covers all aspects of visual art from prehistory to the present day, offering online access to the entire text of the 34-volume Dictionary of Art. The kinds of information available are :
    • articles
    • subject entries
    • biographies
    • bibliographic citations
    • images
    • links to images from galleries and museums around the world and
    • entries from the Oxford Companion to Western Art, the Concise Dictionary of Art Terms, and Oxford’s Encyclopedia of Aesthetics.

    The topics covered include archaeology, architecture, art, design, costume, landscape design, and photography from all world cultures and all time periods. View its Database information page.

  2. Material ConneXion Material ConneXion is a global resource for new materials and a knowledge base for information about new and innovative materials as well as materials like polymers, glass, ceramics, carbon-based materials, cement-based materials, metals, natural materials and natural material derivatives. It provides all disciplines of design development: product, packaging, architectural, interior, apparel and more. View its Database information page.
  3. Project MUSE Project MUSE is a unique collaboration between libraries and publishers, providing full-text, online access to a comprehensive selection of prestigious humanities and social sciences journals. The journals are heavily indexed and peer-reviewed, with critically acclaimed articles by the most respected scholars in their fields. MUSE is also the sole source of complete, full-text versions of titles from many of the world’s leading university presses and scholarly societies. View its Database information page.
  4. CAMIO® CAMIO, OCLC’s Catalog of Art Museum Images Online, is a growing online collection which documents works of art from around the world, from prehistoric to contemporary times. It covers a wide range of expressive forms:
    • photographs
    • prints
    • sculpture
    • paintings
    • decorative arts and utilitarian objects
    • drawings and watercolors
    • costume and jewelry
    • textiles
    • architecture

    View its Database information page.

  5. The Oxford Dictionary of Art This unique and authoritative reference work contains around 2,000 clear and concise entries on all aspects of modern and contemporary art. Its range of terms includes movements, styles, techniques, artists, critics, dealers, schools, and galleries. There are biographical entries for artists worldwide from the beginning of the 20th century through to today’s globalized art world.Formerly the Dictionary of 20th Century Art, the text has been completely revised and updated for this major new edition. Over 300 entries have been added and it now contains entries on photography in modern art as well as the new media such as installation and Performance. Further reading is provided at entry level to assist those wishing to know more about a particular subject. In addition, this edition features recommended web links for many entries. View its Database information page.
  6. Arts and Humanities Citation Index The world’s leading citation database with multidisciplinary coverage of over 10,000 high-impact journals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities, as well as international proceedings coverage for over 120,000 conferences. The index provides access to bibliographic information and cited references.This database is part of the Web of Science set of citation indexes. View its Database information page.
  7. WGSN-HomeBuildLife WGSN-HomeBuildLife is a global trend forecasting service and online product design and development tool, which focuses on the needs of the home and interiors industries. The site can be accessed by the following key categories:
    • Inspiration & Design Discover inspirational content in key areas such as creative direction, colour, materials and design.
    • Insight and Analysis Explore consumer insights and business-focused content, such as trend analysis, news and marketing reports.
    • Product Categories Browse specialised content across 18 product categories, such as accessories, interiors, print and graphics, textiles and jewellery

An Advanced Image Search is also available to search for high-resolution images and photographs across different fields.

Related databases

  1. ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) ERIC is the national education information system that provides America’s schools, communities, scholars, and the public with ready access to the most current educational information, including critical research results, evaluation studies, policy papers, exemplary curricular and instructional materials, educational databases, and statistical information. View its Database information page.
  2. JSTOR The Scholarly Journal Archive JSTOR is a not–for–profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive of over one thousand academic journals and other scholarly content. View its Database information page.

The Library subscribes to many periodical titles and they are available in print as well as electronic formats. There are a couple of ways to look for journal articles at the library:


1. NTU Library Subscribed E-journals A-to-Z list

If you have a specific journal in mind, you may like to look for an electronic copy in the NTU Library Subscribed E-journals A-to-Z list first. There are four ways to search the A-to-Z list:

  1. Browse the index of e-journal providers (if you are familiar with the journal publishers like Wiley, Elsevier and etc)
  2. Search for titles subscribed by the library. E-journal title search can be Title Name, Publisher Name, ISSN, Subjects or all of the above
  3. Browse by subjects
  4. Browse a list of free e-journals

The search result will present the databases that the journal can be found in and the period covered. Select the database title with the appropriate period to proceed.

2. Print Journals

To look for a print journal, search or browse the Library Catalogue by entering a keyword and restrict your search to journal title as shown below: Important Note: Articles titles are not searchable in the library catalogue. You can only search for journal titles.

Samples of Journals in the ADM Library

Current periodicals are located beside the E-Payment kiosk (turn right once you enter ADM Library) and bound periodicals (i.e. older issues) are located beside the Reference book shelves in the black area of the library. You may browse the shelves to see what are available. Moreover, many older issues of journals are yet to be available in digital format. Therefore, it is good to know how to find them. Some of the Design journals available in the library are:

  1. The Design Journal Call No.: NK1.D457 The journal contains timely research from across the globe and is the prime source of information for practitioners and academics in design, branding and marketing communications.
  2. Design Week Call No.: NK1443.D457 Design Week is a UK-based magazine, reporting on various aspects of the design industry, such as news, commentaries and design jobs, and showcasing the best new international work.
  3. Harvard Design Magazine Call No.: NA1.H339 Harvard Design Magazine typically explores issues and realities significant to the built environment and the quality of life connected to it.
  4. IdN Call No.: NC997.I19 IdN magazine is an international publication for creative people on a mission to amplify and unify the design community in Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world.
  5. How Call No.: NC1000.H847 The magazine provides a practical mix of essential business information, up-to-date technological tips, the hows behind noteworthy projects and profiles of professionals who are influencing design.
  6. Curve Call No.: NK1160.C981 Curve is a design and product development magazine featuring industrial design and the latest innovations in product manufacturing.
  7. Interni Call No.: NK1700.I61N Interni is the monthly magazine that selects and presents the most significant production of Italian and international design trends and reflecting on new projects.
  8. DDN Call No.: TS171.D457DD DDN is an international magazine on the design world which focuses largely on industrial and interior design and its applications in today’s living.
  9. Creative Review Call No.: NX1.C912 Creative Review aims to inspire, inform and stimulate debate among readers in graphic design, advertising, digital media, illustration, and photography.
  10. Print Call No.: Z119.P957 Print is a magazine about design that places contemporary visual culture in its social, political, and historical contexts.

The ADM Library houses about 3,000 audio-visual titles. It has an extensive collection of feature films, documentaries, TV series, tutorials, music and etc. Audio-visual materials are also available at the Business Library & the Asian Communication Resource Centre (ACRC). Staff and Masters/PhD students may borrow the titles home while undergraduate students may approach the service desk to borrow a title and view it within the library.



Searching for AV materials

Use the Advanced Search of the Library Catalogue if you need to search or browse for an AV title. In the format box, choose “Audio-Visuals” as shown below:

Recommended AV Materials

Listed below are some design-related AV materials. Click on the titles to access their catalogue records and check their availability.

  1. The genius of design: the compelling five part series on designs that shaped our lives Call No.: NK1175.G331
  2. Objectified Call No.: TS171.B12
  3. Behind the design Call No.: NC1001.B419
  4. Elements and principles of design Call No.: NK1505.E38
  5. Design: elements and principles Call No.: NC703.D457
  6. Future by design Call No.: TA140.F8435F996
  7. Designing with wood Call No.: TA666.D457W
  8. Sustainable design Call No.: TA174.S964
  9. Computer aided design Call No.: TA174.C738CAD
  10. Structures (The young designer – science & technology series) Call No.: TD195.C54S926
Web Resources

Here are some selected web resources on Design :


Associations & Organisations

  1. DesignSingapore Council is the national agency for design and is a part of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.
  2. The Design Society, the voice for Singapore design and initiator of dialogue and exchanges with the worldwide design community.
  3. Designers Association Singapore – Singapore’s only multi-disciplinary design association
  4. Design Council Search or browse current or back issues for current events, lead stories, case studies from this UK non-departmental public body, as well as easy access to a directory of Web resources pertaining to all aspects of design. Check out their dedicated section ‘About design’.
  5. Tanoto Foundation Centre for Southeast Asian Arts at NAFA is a resource centre for the study and research of Southeast Asian arts.

General Resources

  1. The IDE Virtual Design Museum Famous Designers Archives by Delft University Of Technology, Netherlands. It provides an excellent archive of ‘famous designers’, including images of their work as well as brief biographies. Also includes a small directory of international design firms and designers.

Resources on Fonts

  1. Microsoft Typography is a site arranged by topics like “About Fonts,” “Developing Fonts,” and “Tools & Utilities”. It also includes articles, information, and instructional guides on typography.
  2. Typography Served is a collection of sites that showcase category-specific content from the Behance Network, a leading platform for creative professionals across all industries.
  3. 1001 Free Fonts Download font packages from this extensive free resource. Search by name or browse the alphabetic list.
  4. Typofile is an on-line magazine that includes new typefaces, Web fonts, techniques, technology, opinions and essays.

Online Journals

  1. Journal of Design Communication by Virginia Tech. Browse articles from this scholarly journal which seeks to promote communication among educators and researchers in the design disciplines involved with teaching and research in design communication in the areas of sketching, drawing, verbal and written communication, Internet, multimedia, etc.
  2. Visible Language by Rhode Island School of Design. Only a few articles are available by clicking “Feature Articles” although an index of all issues is available. It deals with issues in typography, design, hypertext, psychology of reading.

News & Magazines

  1. ArtDaily The first Art Newspaper on the Internet.
  2. The Art NewsPaper
  3. About Design is produced by R.BIRD, a New York identity and design consulting firm.
  4. Tech Head Stories offers extensive information graphic, print, and dynamic media design in the form of news, reviews and featured articles.
  5. Designboom features competitions, interviews, works on art, architecture & design and also offers online courses.


Use the search box for keyword searches within these lists of designers’ Web sites :

  1. Google Directory for Business — Business Services — Design
  2. Google Directory for Arts

Reserve / RBR titles / Red-spot books & videos are the recommended textbooks and videos selected by your lecturers for your course modules.



Accessing the Reserves collection

Reserve book titles for Art, Design & Media are located in the Reserves shelves behind the Service Desk of the Art, Design & Media Library (ADM Library). Take note that you may borrow only one Reserve title at any one time, for two hours. Do borrow them with your student card at the Service Desk and return them on time as overdue fines are set at S$0.50 per hour. Reserved AV materials are marked as “Non-circulating. Reserved for class use only” in the Library Catalogue as shown below. You may request for these AV materials at the Service Desk and view them with the viewing facilities in the ADM Library.

Searching for Reserves

You can retrieve Reserves titles via their Course Codes from the Library Catalogue. At the Library Catalogue:

  1. Click the Reserves tab on the top right-hand side
  2. Key in the course code
  3. Click Lookup Items on Reserve by Course Number

As seen in the diagram below.

A printed list of reserve books & audio-visual materials is also available at the Reserves shelves.

Student Works

Students’ Works, like theses, work attachment reports and final year project reports are available in Digital Repository, DR-NTU (Restricted Access). You would need to login using your NTU network user name and password to view the full reports. You may have noticed DR-NTU on the library website. Here is where you will find more information.


To access ADM students’ works, browse by “Communities & Collections” and choose School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) under the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences. Or view the Collection Page of the ADM Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI), as shown below. Enter your search terms and click Go. Alternatively, you may browse by title, author, subject and date.

Staff Publications

The publications of NTU faculty, consisting of journal articles and conference papers, are available in the Digital Repository, DR-NTU (Open Access). This collection is searchable in Google.



ADM Staff Papers

Browse through the ADM staff papers. Many publishers allow self archiving of publications in institutional repositories. Faculty staff may refer to the copyright policies and archiving guidelines from Sherpa Romeo for submitting articles in the DR-NTU (Open Access). If you would like to submit your journal articles or conference papers for inclusion into the ADM collection, please follow the instructions for submissions to DR-NTU.

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