Jan V. White

Finally, be confident in your design decisions. Learn the missing “why’s” of page layout, typography, infographics, color and more from award-winning designer Jan V. White.

Over his forty-year design career, Jan V. White wrote twelve books on grids, page layout, typography, designing charts and graphs, the use of color, and other aspects of information design. Now, eight of his classic design books can be yours, free.

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Learn the fundamentals of typography and page layout with Graphic Design for the Electronic Age.

Read GD4EA online. Download GD4EA in PDF.

Learn more about GD4EA.

Before we called them infographics, Jan V. White called it “statistical storytelling.” Design visual narratives that help your readers understand your numbers with Using Charts and Graphs.

Read UC&G online. Download UC&G in PDF.

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As indie print publishing resurges, learn the techniques of producing print publications circa the late ’70s and early ’80s in Mastering Graphics.

Read MG online. Download MG in PDF.

Learn more about MG.

Use color effectively in any medium: for visual clarity and for impact, not to satisfy trends. Learn the creative, controlled use of color with Color for the Electronic Age.

Read C4EA online. Download C4EA in PDF.

Learn more about C4EA.

“Gosh, C4EA is over 200 pages.” Read the concise, 97-page version as Color for Impact.

Read C4I online. Download C4I in PDF.

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In quick-reference format, Great Pages provides the basic skills and essential guidelines that help readers think through a publication from concept to execution.

Read GP online. Download GP in PDF.

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See the value in “editing by design” with before-and-after case studies, describing the specific problems and reasons why the solutions took the form they did, in Designing for Magazines.

Read D4M online. Download D4M in PDF.

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Xerox Publishing Standards was perhaps the first modern style guide, covering everything from tone and voice to page layout and printing. Jan V. White worked on this book for years with Paul Doebler, editor, and innumerable Xerox staff. (Provided courtesy of Xerox Corporation.)

Read XPS online. Download XPS in PDF.

Learn more about XPS.


Editing by Design, 3rd edition is a compendium of everything… I thought (and still believe) is worthwhile for people to find out about [design]… reworked and re-illustrated… it is a collection of single, though interrelated, units of advice. Each was culled from some place else in my old books, pamphlets, handouts from lectures, notes, and some even inside my skull. If the investor in EbyD3 has the patience to dig inside there, they can find all the info in organized fashion and as concise as I know how to word it…”

— Jan V. White

“Look Inside” EbyD3 at Amazon. Buy EbyD3 at Amazon.

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“The most popular and beloved of all of Jan’s books is the Graphic Idea Notebook, a collection of more than 2,000 illustrations and line art that visualize the abstract problems that page editors encounter. The images are arranged in five groups that reflect the key concepts of design: mime (body language, pointing, showing, displaying), time, place, type, and idioms. …it’s a still groundbreaking book, almost 30 years after its release.”

— Shauna Haider

“Look Inside” GIN at Amazon. Buy GIN at Amazon.

Learn more about GIN.


“Where are the ePub, Kindle, iBooks or HTML versions?”

— You

The Internet Archive automatically produces ones, but they’re not ideal, so we haven’t linked to them here. Design books should be examples of good design, so we’d like to make the electronic versions into the best possible examples of modern, digital books.

We also hope these first eight works, having been dedicated to the public domain, will live on in new web sites and in new formats, and go on to serve as the foundation for new design books, new design classes, and even uses we can’t imagine right now.

If you’d like to know when ePub, Kindle, iBooks or HTML versions come out, or when other interesting things happen around these books, with this site, or with Jan V. White, we’d love to let you know via an occasional email. (We will never use it for anything else.)

“How can I help?”

— You?

Donate to the Internet Archive. Their efforts enable the preservation and distribution of books like these worldwide, but they can only scan and preserve books as fast as they can afford to pay for staff. Please donate to the Internet Archive.

If you are interested in supporting Jan V. White, buy his two books still in print. He will receive a royalty, and we’ll know how many orders came specifically through this site via the Amazon referral tracking.

If you’d like to support the site, write a letter to the editor with what you have in mind.

If you are a designer, a student, a teacher, a professor, an editor, a publisher, an ebook developer, or are otherwise interested in redistributing, rewriting or remixing these first eight of Jan V. White’s works, we’d especially like it if you signed up for a separate list just for those putting in the effort, so we can tell related projects about each other and reduce any duplication of labor.

This collection of Jan V. White’s life and work could not have been possible without the contributions of many kind, patient individuals. Thank you, all, and thank you, dear reader, for your attention.

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If you have any other questions about the site, these works, or to would like to let us know about a project you’re working on with them, please write us.

Write a letter to the editor.