The internet is full of free resources, so why do you need to buy books you ask? Well, you don’t. The web has more resources than any library in the world. Combined.
But in order to get the relevant tips, images, stories and inspiration, you’ll need time. A lot of it.
So instead of subjecting you to the depths of the world wide web, we’ve compiled a list of must read design books that is sure to elevate your skill level.
What this book does: Layout is possibly the most rudimentary and important element to any website design. Making and Breaking the Grid is a comprehensive layout design workshop which believes, that in order to effectively break the rules of grid-based design, one must first understand those rules and see them applied into real-world projects. This book shows how effective layout is essential to communication and enables the end user to not only be drawn in with an innovative design but to digest information easily. Learn more.
What this book does: This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs to elicit responses from people be it to buy something, read more, or take action of some kind. With it you’ll be able to design intuitive and engaging work for print, websites, applications, and products that matches the way people think, work, and play. Read more
What this book does: The comic book universe is adventurous, mystifying, and filled with heroes, villains, and Cosplaying Comic-Con attendees. This book by one of Wired magazine’s art directors traverses the graphic world through a collection of pie charts, bar graphs, timelines, scatter plots, and more. Super Graphic offers readers a unique look at the intricate and sometimes contradictory storylines that weave their way through comic books, and shares advice for navigating the pages of some of the most popular, longest-running, and best-loved comics and graphic novels out there. From a colorful breakdown of the DC Comics reader demographic to a witty Venn diagram of superhero comic tropes and a Chris Ware sadness scale, this book charts the most arbitrary and monumental characters, moments, and equipment of the wide world of comics. Read more
What this book does: This book teaches the real-world practices, professional do’s and don’ts, and unwritten rules of business that most designers, photographers, web designers, copy writers, programmers, and architects only learn after putting in years of experience on the job. In this surprisingly funny, but incredibly practical guide, Michael Janda’s advice on teamwork and collaboration, relationship building, managing clients, bidding work, production processes, and more will resonate with creative professionals of all stripes. Read more
Know Your Onions – Graphic Design: How to Think Like a Creative, Act like a Businessman and Design Like a God
What this book does: Gain 20 years experience in how to think like a creative, act like a businessman, and design like a god. This book is practical and immediate, without being condescending or overly technical. Know Your Onions gives away the secrets of graphic design. Read more
If you missed our interview with the author Drew de Soto, head over here.
What this book does: The definitive guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen. This revised edition includes forty-eight pages of new content, including the latest information on style sheets for print and the web, the use of ornaments and captions, lining and non-lining numerals, the use of small caps and enlarged capitals, as well as information on captions, font licensing, mixing typefaces, and hand lettering. Read more
What this book does: An indispensable resource for graphic artists and those who buy graphic art. As the graphic art marketplace continues to evolve to meet the needs of both digital and print media, and as clients struggle with shrinking budgets in the current economy, the need for up-to-date information on business, ethical, and legal issues is greater than ever. Find it all here in the 14th Edition. Read more
What this book does: Have you ever struggled to complete a design project on time? Or felt that having a tight deadline stifled your capacity for maximum creativity? If so, then this book is for you. This book has 80 creative challenges that will help you achieve a breadth of stronger design solutions, in various media, within any set time period. Exercises range from creating a typeface in an hour to designing a paper robot in an afternoon to designing web pages and other interactive experiences. Each exercise includes compelling visual solutions from other designers and background stories to help you increase your capacity to innovate. Read more.
What this book does: It’s time to stop taking graphic design so seriously! This is an entertaining yet practical guide to the lighter side of the design profession. Inside you’ll find inspiration, advice and visual gags from comedy juggernauts The Onion, Comedy Central, Funny Or Die, MAD magazine, JibJab, Cheezburger, as well as dozens of top creative agencies, talented freelance designers and professional comedians. Read more
What this book does: Creativity is more than an inborn talent; it is a hard-earned skill, and like any other skill, it improves with practice. This book explores a variety of informal techniques ranging from quick, seat-of-the-pants approaches to more formal research methods for stimulating fresh thinking, and ultimately arriving at compelling and viable solutions. Directed at working designers, design students, and anyone who wants to apply inventive thought patterns to everyday creative challenges. Read more
What this book does: You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side. Read more