A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design

Introducing our beautifully designed and illustrated guidebook to the often unnoticed yet essential elements of our cities. Pre-order your copy today on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop or Indiebound (internationally: the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia). Also: signed editions are available at Barnes & Noble in the United States, Amazon in Canada and coming soon to a number of independent booksellers!

Update: We are offering special edition book-based challenge coins to fans who pre-order The 99% Invisible City. To claim yours, have your bookstore order number ready and fill out this form. Coins are available internationally while supplies last. After ordering, click here to get your coin (note: shipping & handling fees apply). We minted 10,000 of these coins but less than 1,000 are left, so get yours soon!

Designed by MUCHMORE with imagery adapted from 99pi book art by Patrick Vale (photos by Michelle Loeffler)

The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars & Kurt Kohlstedt

Have you ever wondered …

… what those bright, squiggly graffiti marks on the sidewalk mean?
… why you don’t see those iconic metal fire escapes on new buildings?
… how car dealerships became home to those dancing inflatable figures?

99% Invisible is a big-ideas podcast and website about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive on, and sidewalks we traverse. The show celebrates design and architecture in all of its functional glory and accidental absurdity, with tales of exceptional designers but also everyday designs.

Now, in The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, show host Roman Mars and producer Kurt Kohlstedt zoom in on the key details about how our cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs.

Published by HMH with beautiful line drawings throughout by artist Patrick Vale and a dynamic design by Raphael Geroni, The 99% Invisible City will captivate devoted fans of the show and anyone curious about design processes, urban environments, and the unsung marvels of the world around them. Stay tuned for special offers and more by signing up for our newsletter — and see listings below for live tour dates.

Live book tour events with authors Roman Mars & Kurt Kohlstedt

Playlist