Graphic Design Books: All Designer Should Read


It is an area where it is not enough to have talent. You need to constantly improve your skills, regardless of whether you are directly referring to the graphic design or the business side of it. You have to follow the competition.

The Internet is a great resource to improve your skills and showcase your work. But, there are some things that you can not easily find in the blog posts and in the forums. This is where graphic design books come into play. There are so many great books written by experienced designers, and we’ll try to go through some in this article.

Without further ado, here are the graphic design books you should read if you are looking for a career in graphic design.

Graphic Design Books

How To Become a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy

If you are looking to have a career in this field, you should definitely read this amazing work, which was published in 2005 but reissued in 2012 by Adrian Shaughnessy.

The book is not particularly focused on the technical and artistic aspect of graphic design, it is more on the commercial side of it. Adrian Shaughnessy is a freelance graphic designer himself, and he shows the less glamorous side of the estate and shares his advice.

If you do any kind of independent creative work, this is a must-read. There are excellent ideas from managing your business to the creative process.

Thoughts on the design by Paul Rand

Thoughts on Design is the grandfather of design books. Originally an essay published in 1947, it became the book we know today in 1970.

If you want to learn more about the cultural and historical context of the graphic design industry, this is a great and easy read.

Be sure to read other books by Paul Rand, such as the art and design of a designer, form and chaos.

Logo of modernism by Jens Müller

Published by TASCHEN, Logo Modernism by Jens Müller is an amazing resource for graphic designers. The book focuses on the most elegant and important logos created between 1940 and 1980.

There are about 6,000 brands in the book, and the modernist approach to creating a corporate identity is closely examined.

The book is divided into 3 chapters, which are geometric, Effective and typographical. And each chapter has subsections that go deeper in shape and style like alphabet, overlay, dots and squares.

Interaction of color by Josef Albers

The interplay of Josef Albert’s colour is thoroughly used in artistic education. Albers explains the complex principles of color theory, and it is considered the “last word” about color theory.

Designed as a textbook and teaching tool for artists, teachers and students, this very influential book with great examples is easy to read and understand.

If you want to learn more about color and improve the way you interact with it, this is a must.

Grid systems in graphic design by Josef Müller-Brockmann

Grid systems are crucial for graphic designers as a tool for organizing layout and content. This is the definitive word about the use of grid systems in graphic design.

It is a visual communication manual for graphic designers, 3D designers and typographers. The book is full of great conceptual examples and also shows you why a certain grid selection would work better in a given situation.

If you want to improve in this area, grid systems are something you can’t pass on easily.

Thinking with the guy by Ellen Lupton

Thinking With Type is a great book for anyone who works with type. It is especially useful for designers who have all the angles of printing on the screen.

The book begins with the explanation of the theory in 3 categories, letters, text and grid. After the theoretical introduction, practical exercises that you can apply immediately to follow. There is also a section that explains what you should not do.

Design of the brand identity of Alina Wheeler

This bestselling book by Alina Wheeler is all you are looking for about design in today’s day and age. Originally published in 2009, the book was updated for the fifth time in 2017 to cover all new technologies and practices.

The book covers a wide coverage of the Multi-Channel synergy of Social Media, crowdsourcing, SEO, experience, brand, Mobile devices, orientation and placemaking. The book consists of three sections on the basics of the brand, the basics of processes and matter studies. These matter studies include the best brands from various industries around the world.

If you want to learn more about identity design and branding process, you should definitely read this.

As a graphic designer, you need to constantly improve. There are so many things you can learn from iconic and famous illustrators to CG artists. And working on mastering your craft is not enough, remember to learn more about the commercial side.

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