By - RazzmatazzIcy5451
A few classics of the top of my head are;
[Emil Ruder's Typographie](https://www.amazon.com/Typographie-Manual-Design-Emil-Ruder/dp/3721200438)
[Josef Müller-Brockmann's Grid Systems](https://www.amazon.com/Grid-systems-graphic-design-communication/dp/3721201450/ref=pd_sbs_1/137-0999167-8497822?pd_rd_w=oZhPQ&pf_rd_p=3676f086-9496-4fd7-8490-77cf7f43f846&pf_rd_r=TG3ZJZJJ6CYDNYV0X8AR&pd_rd_r=c591b379-49ff-43df-a276-f835ef09f2b5&pd_rd_wg=bDfYj&pd_rd_i=3721201450&psc=1)
[Robert Bringhurst's Elements of Typographic Style](https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Typographic-Style-Robert-Bringhurst/dp/0881791326)
[Karl Gerstner's Designing Programmes](https://www.amazon.com/Karl-Gerstner-Designing-Programmes-Typography/dp/3037785780)
[The Vignelli Cannon](https://www.rit.edu/vignellicenter/sites/rit.edu.vignellicenter/files/documents/The%20Vignelli%20Canon.pdf)
That's a super tiny list, and I'm more than happy to add more, but I think what's also really valuable is to look at books that aren't strictly about 'design'. Sometimes it's more helpful or educational to look at how a designer *does* their practice rather than how they talk about doing their practice—*not to discredit the design resources above, still definitely read books like them!*
An example is to look at someone like Irma Boom and her approach to the Cooper Hewitt ["Making Design"](https://www.cooperhewitt.org/publications/making-design/) book. It's a really rich reference in looking at how Irma has treated the construction of the book (from the physical architecture of the book to the composition on and between the pages and how that creates rhythm etc etc). It's also really interesting to see how she's handled such a huge amount of content, a challenge that we often have to deal with in design. And so from one book there's countless things to study; how she's handled indexing, the image scale, approach to typesetting and so on and so on.
I think my main recommendation with all of this is to just acquire a good mix of whatever you can. Whether it be books to learn theory and craft or just books you think are interesting. Everything will have different value to add. You might be working on a job and look at a book like Elements of Typography to double-check a convention of type and that's super useful. However, you might also look at [random book about weaving](https://www.moma.org/collection/works/110944) because it has a really interesting paper stock and binding that might work and apply to a project you're doing.
Hope that helps a little!
>Josef Müller-Brockmann's Grid Systems
[Making and Breaking the Grid](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/163159284X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1) is also a great book
These are classics and can read a little dry but they are basically the definitive bibles for graphic design.
Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton.
This is a great primer. One of my favourites, pretty sure it was on our reading list in uni
I'd recommend a subscription to Communication Arts. Not only will it keep you on top of trends, but there are excellent articles that explain the design thinking behind projects. There are also great articles interviewing specific designers or agencies.
I LOVED Communication Arts although once I got enough copies I felt like I couldn’t keep up or store them. Do you just recycle yours or have an overflowing collection?
I would take ones I didn’t want anymore and leave them at agencies I worked at since not everyone had them. They’re also great for making quick and creative collages when you’re feeling bored.
But yeah, I also have a box full of them in my closet that I dig into when I need to get inspired.
Definitely why I hung onto mine because they are just endless inspiration! I had to cancel the subscription though because it was more than I can handle.
I really enjoyed Colour Theory For Designers by Sean Adams
I'm a big reader but I'll admit I often find it hard to get through design books so I'm very interested in this thread 👀
My personal gripe is that they sometimes have so much information and get so technical that I can only read a few pages at the time and feel like I'm missing the 'bigger picture'.
I am quite fond of design websites and podcasts though. Those often have a good mix of practical advice, design thinking, trends discussions, etc. and it's refreshing to hear designers from different backgrounds share their thoughts.
Any particular sites or podcasts you would recommend?
I recommend MTIV: Process, Inspiration, and Practice for the New Media Designer by Hillman Curtis, it has a lot of great advice but manages to stay engaging with firsthand experiences and examples.
If you're looking for a really solid go-to on UI/UX design, check out [Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services](https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/3880458-designing-for-the-digital-age) by Kim Goodwin and Alan Cooper.
I was an intern at a successful UI/UX company, and this was basically their bible.
Another good one: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/641593.Meggs_History_of_Graphic_Design
I actually read most of this massive book. It mostly reads like a magazine, not too bad!
The one every freelance designer should have is "[Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines](https://www.amazon.com/Graphic-Artists-Guild-Handbook-16th/dp/0262542390/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?crid=3PP1O9UD9P8MV&keywords=pricing+and+ethical+guidelines+handbook+2021&qid=1637775534&sprefix=Pricing+and+e%2Caps%2C166&sr=8-2)."It provides a ton of explanation of legalities, process, and formatting along with pricing rubrics for just about any project you might come across. All of the prices are from sifted data from freelancers and design firms around the US. It's pretty fantastic.
The other book I would recommend is "[The Psychology of Graphic Design Pricing](https://www.amazon.com/Psychology-Graphic-Design-Pricing-confidence/dp/1794390146/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?crid=1T50Z4GN45TUT&keywords=Michael+Janda&qid=1637776239&sprefix=michael+janda%2Caps%2C129&sr=8-4)" by Michael Janda. It's easy to read, has some really great thought and examples from his experience owning a design firm, and worksheets/checklists if you want to try his methods out. I would check out his content first on [Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/morejanda/) or YouTube to get a good idea of what he shares in the book, but it was well worth it to me. "50/50 Billing Sucks!" is the one that he discusses in detail that completely changed how I go about billing clients.
Micheal Janda has a great book called “Burn Your Portfolio” that helped me a lot.
Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works
by Erik Spiekermann
Lots a great books in this thread, I have almost all of them and they have helped a lot, my favorites are those that focus on grids. When I'm working on a project, logolounge, behance and looking through of my favorite agencies's work ([pentagram](https://www.pentagram.com), [guerrilla suit](https://guerillasuit.com), [Lmnop](https://www.lmnopcreative.com), [Landor and fitch](https://landor.com), etc) can help. Also, it's not a substitution for having books dedicated to specific aspects of design, but there are lots of instagram accounts dedicated to specific fields of design that post infographics or small chunks of information that can be pretty helpful. I've learned a few really good tips that way.
Ultimately, I guess what I'm trying to say is, along with education, absolutely fucking surround yourself with design, especially other people's work.
I "enjoyed" The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. Not exclusively about graphic design but good for getting into the mindset.
A librarian friend recently asked me for a list of beginning graphic design texts to add to a library. I sent these:
Go - A Kidd’s guide to graphic design
ISBN-10 : 076117219X
ISBN-13 : 978-0761172192
Exploring Typography (2nd Edition)
How to - Revised and Expanded Edition
ISBN-10 : 0063141574
ISBN-13 : 978-0063141575
Now You See It and Other Essays on Design
ISBN-10 : 1616896248
ISBN-13 : 978-1616896249
Graphic Design: A User's Manual
by Adrian Shaughnessy
ISBN-10 : 1856695913
ISBN-13 : 978-1856695916
Paul Rand: A Designer's Art
ISBN-10 : 9781616894863
ISBN-13 : 978-1616894863
The Non-Designer's Design Book, The 4th Edition
How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul
ISBN-10 : 1568989830
ISBN-13 : 978-1568989839
White Space Is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner's Guide to Communicating Visually Through Graphic, Web & Multimedia Design 3rd Edition
Kim Golombisky, Rebecca Hagen
Design School Reader: A Course Companion for Students of Graphic Design
ISBN-10 : 1621536904
ISBN-13 : 978-1621536901
Make It Bigger
SBN-10 : 1568985487
ISBN-13 : 978-1568985480
Meggs' History of Graphic Design
Philip B. Meggs and Alston W. Purvis
Design Is Storytelling
ISBN-10 : 194230319X
ISBN-13 : 978-1942303190
Illustration that Works: Professional Techniques for Artistic and Commercial Success
ISBN-10 : 1580934471
ISBN-13 : 978-1580934473
Advertising by Design: Generating and Designing Creative Ideas Across Media (3rd edition)
There's a lot of great books in here but I also recommend buying books for things YOU, PERSONALLY, are interested in outside of graphic design. So I have art books for video games where I really liked the environmental design or character design. I own books that are like about Special Effect artists, just a book on mid-century furniture, Surfer Magazines, Classic Artist books, extremely cool-looking Cookbooks. I think it's nice to get a selection of just books and magazines you think look good or use colors you didn't expect because I often reference these more than [Information Graphics](https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/graphic_design/all/44653/facts.information_graphics.htm?change_user_country=US&gclid=CjwKCAiA4veMBhAMEiwAU4XRr_SsNtWV9tKpC8inp-oDYNCZpC289DksZprmRvU9LOiaerYA_BykFxoCgE8QAvD_BwE). It also helps you see where you might have bias, or what you wanna design like. But also these help you build on the skills you have because you train yourself to figure out how did they make that grid, these fonts look cool, oh that's the way this rule is broken properly, this reminds me of that.
But that's obviously very personal. I've found Taschen is really good for finding that inspiration outside of design. I also recommend [Steal Like An Artist](https://www.amazon.com/Steal-Like-Artist-Things-Creative/dp/0761169253/ref=asc_df_0761169253/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312143020546&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14159135843428247787&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031092&hvtargid=pla-433865185845&psc=1). It talks a lot about how to reference and be inspired, stay sane etc.
Grid Systems by Kimberly Elam https://www.amazon.com/Grid-Systems-Principles-Organizing-Design/dp/1568984650
Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Muller-Brockmann
Principals of Form and Design by Wucius Wong
Gavin Ambrose has a series of books that are very practical, instructional with great examples. These books I can fully recommend:
Print and finish
There's a book I scooped up at a HOW conference back in 2008 by Stefan Sagmeister called *Things I have learned in my life so far* which is like getting an immediate glimpse into how a few of his projects up to that point went from start to finish and posits some interesting takes on design, but Sagmeister is in a completely different league.
The book(s) look pretty neat as well, where it appears to be a coffee table book, but it's more like a collection of design case studies.
I cant remember the name but there is a book by Herb Lubalin absolutely opened my eyes to the way type works in the design industry, the guy was well ahead of his time and has been probably the biggest influence in my design career.
Michael Johnson Branding in 5 and a half steps. He goes through loads of case studies of his company's work and shows the business strategy as well as the design process. Really recommend it, the design part was great and the business side was eye opening.
I found know your onions to be real good and was recommended to me,
logo design love was a good read
This one has 80 design prompts, which is cool for when you’re not super inspired. Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills https://www.amazon.com/dp/1600617972/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_YJABX6A0CT6P4PQ9NQ6R
I also love the Taschen books on different art movements. It’s cool to have a little reference library to flip through for inspiration, color palettes, typography trends, whatever.
If you’re just starting out, The Non-Designer’s Design Book helped me a lot. IMO it delved more into topics that we didn’t have time to go in-depth with at my school.
For freelancing, I always recommend Freelance, and Business, and Stuff by the Hoodzpah sisters. Breaks down the basics of freelancing, pricing, contracts, and client communication in a really fun and accessible way.
Graphic Design History: a critical guide
Published by prentice hall
*The Design of Everyday Things* (Revised and Expanded) by Don Norman
I feel like craft and the minutiae of design will be dependent on you observing and consuming the world around you, taking note of what’s good or bad and letting that inform your work.
Having your designs make a bigger impact will require you to understand the real world. What do stakeholders care about? They probably don’t care about your grid system or exactly what serif you went with. That’s important and needs to meet a threshold, but there are just so many other factors to consider and balance and the more you’re comfortable doing that and communicating why your design works to many different stakeholders, that’s when you can create things that look beautiful and work beautifully
What kind of design are you wanting to read about?
Generally, my favorites are the following:
Escaping Flatland by Edward Tufte
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Design as Art by Bruno Munari
Mismatch by Kat Holmes
How Design Makes Us Think by Sean Adams
Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler
Designing Design by Kenya Hara
The Crystal Goblet
Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
Powered by Design by Renee Steven’s
Thank you! I don't look for a specific topic, I just would like to find inspirational interesting books for this area :)
MTIV: Process, Inspiration, and Practice for the New Media Designer by Hillman Curtis
Creative Confidence by Tom & David Kelley
Graphic Design Manual: Principles and Practice by Armin Hofmann