A good survey design achieves the geophysical objective while minimizing the cost and time of acquisition and processing. Basic components of the seismic method of hydrocarbon exploration are acquisition, processing, and interpretation. These three rather compartmentalized areas are inextricably related. No amount of clever processing can overcome some deficiencies in acquisition. No magical insight by the interpreter can remedy some acquisition and processing mistakes. Survey design is most effective when processing and interpretation are considered in the design. Emphasis in the pioneer stage of seismic exploration was on acquisition. Later, emphasis shifted to data processing. More recently, interpretation workstations have been a focus of development. Acquisition and the advent of 3-D seismic surveys have created renewed interest in survey design because of the potential extra time and costs of surveying in three dimensions. Considering some history of survey design before considering the mechanics of 3-D surveys is constructive.