Whether you are a seasoned designer, or currently in school aspiring to be one, there are quite the collection of books that you should read to lay the foundation for a future career or to improve your skill.
Books about design do not not exclusively have to be about design, per se, but can also be on other topics, such as city planning for example. The idea here is to get insights and new point of views that will, down the road, influence your thinking when it comes to design in general.
Written by one of the world’s leading graphic designers with the goal of demonstrating not a single ideology, but the eclectic approach that has been the hallmark of Michael Bieruts career. He provides Insight into the creative process, his working life as well as his relationship with his clients.
Author: Michael Bierut
First Published: 2015
An unrivaled resource for graphic designers, advertisers, and branding specialists, Logo Modernism is equally fascinating to anyone interested in social, cultural, and corporate history, and in the sheer persuasive power of image and form. This unprecedented TASCHEN publication, authored by Jens Muller, brings together approximately 6,000 trademarks, focused on the period 1940–1980, to examine how modernist attitudes and imperatives gave birth to corporate identity.
Author: Jens Muller, R. Roger Remington
First Published: 2015
Written by an expert of informational graphic, this book is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Recently published, this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair, adds color to other images, and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first edition.
Author: Edward R. Tufte
First Published: 1983
To get help understanding the principles of intuitive navigation and information design over 400 000 web designers and developers have already relied on Steve Krug’s guide “Don’t Make Me Think”. This book will provide you with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all–fun to read.
Author: Steven Krug
First Published: 2000
If your intention is to design anything with the intention of be used by humans this book is for you. It could forever change how you experience and interact with your physical surroundings, open your eyes to the perversity of bad design and the desirability of good design, and raise your expectations about how things should be designed.”
Author: Donald A. Norman
First Published: 1988
The best-seller author Ellen Lupton is now giving you The New Basics which explains the key concepts of visual language that inform any work of design from a logo or letterhead to a complex web site. The book is for anyone seeking a smart, inspiring introduction to graphic design.
Author: Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Cole Phillips
First Published: 2008
In Logo Design Love, Irish graphic designer David Airey brings the best parts of his wildly popular blog of the same name to the printed page.Written in reader-friendly, concise language, with a minimum of designer jargon, Airey gives a surprisingly clear explanation of the process, using a wide assortment of real-life examples to support his points. Anyone involved in creating visual identities, or wanting to learn how to go about it, will find this book invaluable. — Tom Geismar, Chermayeff & Geismar
Author: David Airey
First Published: 2009
If you are looking to broaden you design expertise this is the book for you. With 100 design concepts that are defined and illustrated this book gives you insight on how to make your design work. Universal Principles of Design is the first cross-disciplinary reference of design. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, this book pairs clear explanations of the design concepts featured with visual examples of those concepts applied in practice.
Authors: William Lidwell, Jill Butler, Kritina Holden
First Published: 2003
Want to get ahead on how to organize the letters on the screen? This book gives you guidance for learning or brushing up your typographic skills. Thinking with Type is divided into three sections: letter, text, and grid. Each section begins with an easy-to-grasp essay that reviews historical, technological, and theoretical concepts, and is then followed by a set of practical exercises that bring the material covered to life
Authors: Ellen Lupton
First Published: 2004
If you want to earn a living by doing expressive and meaningful work, but want to avoid becoming hired drones working on soulless projects, here you have your new book. The author combines practical advice with philosophical guidance to help young professionals embark on their careers.How to be a graphic designer covers just about every aspect of the profession, and stands as an indispensable guide for any young designer.”
Authors: Adrian Shaughnessy, Stefan Sagmeister
First Published: 2005
Josef Müller-Brockmann first presented his interpretation of grid in 1961, but the text is still usefull for anyone working with computer-assisted design. The book will give you definitive word on how to use grid systems in graphic design. It is written by a professional, for professionals.
Author: Josef Müller-Brockmann
First Published: 1996
Here you will get valuable advice on how to combine the power of design, social media, entrepreneurship, and DIY aesthetic to create a successful business and way of life. The book displays how much that goes in to the design, which is much more than just what appears on the page. With Draplin’s humor and pointed observations on the contemporary design scene, Draplin Design Co. is the complete package for the new generation of designers.”
Author: Aaron James Draplin
First Published: 2016
“Graphic Design which fulfills aesthetic needs, complies with the laws of form and exigencies of two-dimensional space; which speaks in semiotics, sans-serifs, and geometrics; which abstracts, transforms, translates, rotates, dilates, repeats, mirrors, groups, and regroups is not good design if it is irrelevant.
Graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vituvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambidge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates is not good design if it does not communicate.– Paul Rand
This book is both provocative and enlightening and written for anyone who is interested in the creative communication of ideas.
Author: Paul Rand
First Published: 1985
Are you a manager and want to lead your employees to new heights by knowing how to create a creative culture? Here you go. This book is a manual for anyone who strives for originality. Described by the one of the writters, this book is “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
Author: Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
First Published: 2009
With this masterful style guide, the renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst, brings clarity to the art of typography. This completely updated edition is a must-have for graphic artists, editors, or anyone working with the printed page using digital or traditional methods.
Author: Robert Bringhurst
First Published: 1992
Are your designs ready for the variety of screens it will be seen on? This book gives you the “how to” when it comes to thinking beyond the desktop. Ethan Marcotte will explore CSS techniques and design principles, including fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries. Showing you how you can deliver a quality experience to your users no matter how large (or small) their display is.
Author: Ethan Marcotte
First Published: 2011
Is design only the concept of creating nice looking things? or is it also the concept of solving a problem? This book is a direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. To grasp the philosophy of design, this is the book to get you started.
Author: Jane Jacobs
First Published: 1961