11 Books All Graphic Designers Should Read
Friday 7 October 2011 | Keith J. Hamilton4 Comments
Graphic design is a lifelong learning process, not something you can learn by heart in a couple of months. All designers, whether professionals or newbie, are students who learn something new every day – from their own experience or that of others.
One of the best ways to learn is by reading. This is why I decided to compile a list of 11 of my favorite graphic design books. I believe these books are an asset and all designers should read them. Ready? Get set, smarten up!
1. Don’t Make Me Think
Author: Steve Krug
Category: Web site Design, Usability
What’s it about? This conversational book actually makes you think about the simplest things we tend to ignore when creating design. Most of us are so wrapped up in the design process that we over look some of the very basic elements that could make or break a website. Steve Krug provides examples of usability testing of a website. He also mentions the hit and miss instances that most of us end up ignoring. Don’t Make Me Think makes for a good read with lots of information with a bit of humor thrown in.
2. Layout Workbook
Author: Kristin Cullen
Category: Graphic Design, Theory
What’s it about? A well rounded book for graphic design students and professionals alike, Layout Workbook provides an abundance of information. The topics covered range from project briefs to client interaction to grids, typography and conceptualization. For those seeking inspiration, Kristin Cullen has included a broad range of categories elaborating what it takes to create an exceptional design in this book. However for those who may think this book is literally a workbook, you will be a little disappointed. Layout Workbook is not an ‘exercise’ book but an excellent presentation of design information.
3. Unlimited Freelancer
Author: Mason Hipp, James Chartrand
Category: Freelancing, Business, Tips
What’s it about? Easy to understand and to the point, Unlimited Freelancer is an eBook that is genuinely helpful for freelancers that want to make it big. If you are a freelancer with the potential to grow and want to make lots of money creating amazing things, this book is your practical guide to the right freelancing path. Unlimited Freelancer book offers strategies and understanding of the freelancing business that will help you to save money and deliver high quality work.
4. 1000 Graphic Elements: Details for Distinctive Designs
Author: Wilson Harvey
Category: Marketing Collateral, Inspiration
What’s it about? This book will inspire you in a thousand ways! Exploring various graphic design categories, 1000 Graphic Elements explores artistic pieces. This book also shows how the simple design elements can give any product and whole new look.
5. Dos Logos
Editors: Nicholas Bourquin, Robert Klanten
Category: Logo Design, Trends
What’s it about? A treasure chest of contemporary logos and graphic designs, Dos Logos is a great resource that contains category based classifications for logo trends. This books contains logos ranging from the 60s hippie era to the disco style of 70s and continues through the techno 90s. Dos Logos is frequently purchased with Los Logos and Tres Logos.
6. Graphic Designer’s Guide to Clients: How to Make Clients Happy and Do Great Work
Editors: Ellen M. Shapiro, Allworth Press
Category: Graphic Design, Business
What’s it about? Helping designers understand what clients want and providing examples from personal experience, Ellen Shapiro’s book offers techniques of keeping clients for novice and experienced designers. However, for those of you seeking guidance and hoping to find practical ways to deal with client related issues – prepared to be a little disappointed! The book contains interviews and derives from personal experience of designers with big names.
7. Breaking into Graphic Design: Tips from the Pros on Finding the Right Position for You
Author: Michael Jefferson
Category: Graphic Design, Inspiration
What’s it about? If you want to know everything there is to know about stepping into the real world as a graphic designer – you MUST read this book! Whether you are a new graphic design graduate or a freelance designer, this book will answer all your questions! Breaking into Graphic Design contains information regarding cover letters, interviews, job related questions etc. I had a great time reading this book and Michael Jefferson’s style is humorous. You will not be bored for even a second.
8. Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design
Author: Steven Heller
Category: Graphic Design, Trends, Theory
What’s it about? Insightful is how this book can be best described! This is not your every day comprehensive history course. Steven Heller has compiled a thoughtful list of case studies providing an interesting perspective on the usage of design, originality and trends.
9. The New Big Book of Logos
Editor: David E. Carter
Category: Logo Design, Inspiration
What’s it about? By offering a collection of hundreds of logo designs from international designers, this book inspires you to create. The New Big Book of Logos contains over 25,000 logos, it is colorful and a very valuable book; it is a delight to designers everywhere.
10. Legal Guide for the Visual Artist
Author: Tad Crawford
Category: Visual Arts, Theory, Usability
What’s it about? Legal Guide for the Visual Artist covers legal information aimed for the visual arts. Whether you take photographs, draw, sculpt or design, Tad Crawford has covered the legal information you need in this book. Legal Guide for the Visual Artist comes in handy if you are looking for info regarding legal issues that happen to artists including copyrights, insurance, tax income, ownership and more. There are even legal forms for quick reference.
11. The Savvy Designer’s Guide To Success: Ideas and Tactics for a Killer Career
Author: Jeff Fisher
Category: Graphic Design, Freelance, Tips
What’s it about? The witty and bluntly honest style of Jeff Fisher grabs your attention right away. He brings you to understand the foundation of your career, education, communication and professional presentation. The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success is a highly recommended book for graphic designers, students and new professionals alike. It offers a fun mix of anecdotes and extensive research which will be helpful in taking your career to the next level.
Well, this is it from my side for today. Have you read a great book that you would like us to add to our library? Do tell us so we can add it to our reading list.
Until next time – Happy Reading!