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16 Books Every Graphic Designer Should Read

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As graphic designers, we are constantly looking to learn and refine our skill sets. The wealth of inspiration and knowledge that can be found in a good book is usually incomparable to the readily available content on the internet. Whether you are an established design professional or a beginner who is looking to learn new skills, we recommend this list of 12 inspiring graphic design books to fuel that creative spark.

1. How to be a graphic designer, without losing your soul by Adrian Shaughnessy.

This book is by Adrian Shaughnessy. This legendary graphic designer is able to provide his insights and valuable advice through this book. This book can be used as a guide to get you through this profession. It also covers a series of topics including how to establish your design career, insights into the creative process, how to run your business and on how to become a better designer.

2. Just my type by Simon Garfield

This book encourages you to take a look at typefaces with scrutiny. Understanding their rich history, learning about their power and how it can make or break a design are a few topics that are covered in this book

3. The art of looking sideways by Alan Fletcher

This book is one of Alan fletchers best-known work. He offers his take on how to think about everything from color to composition. His remarkable thought process is examined in this prose and it also includes a series of mind teasers, names and visual puns assembled from his personal notebook and diaries.

4. How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and every once in a while change the world by Michael Beirut

This book demonstrates the author’s eclectic approach to graphic design. Inspiring and informative, authoritative and liberating – it has become the graphic design bible for most designers today.

5. Multicolor by Viction:ary

This book looks at visual communication solutions based on a vibrant palette. Our eyes are naturally drawn to colors and they have the ability to invoke a broad range of emotions. Through a colorful showcase, this book is able to take the reader on a journey into what makes a color a powerful tool that is able to catch the viewers eye and create compelling sensations from near and far.

6. Why fonts matter by Sarah Hyndman

Fonts and typefaces are designed with tiniest details in mind. They have an emotive quality that is usually associated with its form and function. Just like an illustration is able to capture an intangible experience, fonts have personalities that create trust and confidence. This book by Sarah Hyndman talks about the science and art behind how fonts influence you and explains why certain fonts evoke particular experience or associations.

7. Don’t get a job … make a job: how to make it as a reactive graduate. Gem Barton


How do you forge your own path after graduation? This book delves deep into the various strategies that students and graduates are taking to succeed in their design careers. Available in both Kindle and hard cover.

8. I used to be a design student — frank Philippin

This book gives us a peek into the world of graphic design students and how they feel about their education and profession. About fifty influential designers share their experiences about their student and professional lives

9. Made in North Korea by Nick Bonner

This book offers a beautiful visual representation of the graphic culture from North Korea. Print materials from packaging to hotel brochures, luggage tags are showcased in this book. Nick Bonner is an avid collector of North Korean graphic ephemera and has collected thousands of items that provide a rare insight into the state-controlled graphics output.

10. Things I have learned in my life so far — Stefan Sagmeister

This book revolves around 21 thought-provoking phrases transformed into typographic works for clients around the world. Available in Kindle, hard cover and paperback.

11. The graphic design idea book: Inspiration from 50 masters

This book covers all the key elements that make a great design. It features work from designers such as Paul brand, Stefan Sagmeister, and Neville Brody. Available in Kindle and paperback.

12. Newspaper Design: editorial design from the worlds best newsrooms by Die Gestalten Verlaine

This book showcases the best of editorial and newspaper graphic design. In addition the beautiful display of editorial illustrations, this book discusses the daily challenges of journalists and editorial designers.

13. Graphics Alive 2

This book explores the power of graphic art and illustrations and its importance in our everyday lives. It is a compilation of T-shirt graphic, toys, shoes, signs, everyday objects and ephemera. The cover of the book itself draws the reader into the beautiful, special and intriguing graphic that is individually stickered by hand.

14. Super Graphic – A visual guide to the comic book universe

This explores comical questions and attempts to find ways to answer them via an array of graphical infographics. This book is adventurous and inspiring at the same time. It is filled with heroes and villains. This book offers a rare glimpse into the world of most popular and long-running comics and graphic novels out there.

15. Designer’s Art

This book delves deep into the process behind graphic design, its impact on society, what works, what doesn’t and most importantly why. It is a collection of Rands best graphical work from the thirties to the present. It starts with his thoughts on design moves on to his work with packaging, advertising, branding, and typography.

16.Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team

This book provides an in-depth analysis of the process of brand development and implementation. It is divided into three sections, covering topics about brand fundamentals, process basics, and case studies. This best selling guide to branding includes 100 branding subjects, checklists, tools, and diagrams, 50 case studies that describe goals, process, strategy, solution, and results and over 700 illustrations. Available in Kindle, hardcover and digital format.

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Written by Esha Nambiar

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