10 Essential Books for Graphic Designers

by . April 17th, 2014

Are your RSS and Twitter feeds cutting it for your Graphic Design inspiration? Trying to look for a way to resolve things with a messy client? YouTheDesigner list what we feel are 10 essential reads if you’re a Graphic Design practitioner.

01. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative – $06.46
Author: Austin Kleon (@austinkleon)

Austin Kleon pens out probably the best advice any artist can be given and condenses it into a terrific read. There are a lot of myths that classical art school training hammer into you, such as to be completely ‘original’ and Kleon makes the extra attempt to straighten things out. You can also listen to his TED Talk on this subject over here.

02. Design Is a Job – $32.99
Author: Mike Monteiro (@monteiro)

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered Mike Monteiro, and for good reason. You can check out an article we did based after his talk: ‘F*ck you, Pay me‘ at YouTheEntrepreneur.  Mike Monteiro stresses the importance of valuing ourselves in the industry. Mike Monteiro speaks strongly against Spec Work, and this is a primer that tackles some real truths about the industry.

03. The Shape of Design – $25.00 (available online)
Author: Frank Chimero (@fchimero)

Frank Chimero, I feel, is one of the voices of modern design that you should listen to because he tackles some really great truths about the creative workflow and process. The Shape of Design tackles about the importance of why instead of how. It’s something that should be required reading for upcoming graphic designers. You can also watch the shape of design here.

04. Milton Glaser: Graphic Design – $33.00
Author: Milton Glaser (@MiltonGlaserInc)

Personally, when talking about design – I always ask people to refer to the classics. Milton Glaser, Saul Bass and Paul Rand. Glaser, who is famous for the I <3 NY Logo, is a must read for trying to achieve a design that is truly memorable, iconic and timeless. We recently covered Milton Glaser’s craft beer packaging critique.

05. How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul (New Expanded Edition) – $19.30
Adrian Saughnessy (@AJWSaughnessy)

Adrian Saughnessy the questions that are a little on the thorny side. Such as how to find graphic design jobs, attributes needed to be a modern designer and setting up and running a studio. It’s a work that embodies the concept of for designers by designers.

06. Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) – $26.08
Author: Shell Perkins

What no one really talks about while you’re learning graphic design is the fact that there’s just as much business as there is creativity. Shell Perkins details why raw talent really isn’t enough when you don’t have the business sense to back it up.

07. AIGA Professional Practices in Graphic Design – $36.05
Editor: Tad Crawford (@tadcrawford1)

AIGA is such a good source regarding how we’re supposed to conduct ourselves in this industry. It’s quite the comprehensive guide that covers everything from Insurance for graphic designers, Marketing, Image Rights and managing client relationships.

08. Basics Graphic Design 03: Idea Generation
– $36.05
Author: Neil Leonard (@neilleonard)

AVA Books are a bit of a gem and it took all my self-control not to make a list of everything in this series. I feel like Ideation or Idea Generation is the biggest aspect of Graphic Design so I’ve chosen to feature this instead. Neil Leonard does a really thorough job about getting into the process of creation. Great stuff, no matter what side of the field you’re in.

09. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts – $11.26
Author: Simon Garfield (@simongarfield)

Just My Type is probably my favourite Typography book. It covers everything from the heart of typography, it’s history to font pairing. It tackles legibility vs readability and the reason why we hate comic sans (which we’ve also debated recently, please chime in to the discussion!)

10. Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities – $26.09
Author: David Airey (@davidairey)

LDL is an extremely informative blog on creative branding strategies, it’s certainly practically a house hold name when it comes to terrific design blogs. David Airey writes some really fantastic stuff about identity. You can catch a free chapter of the book on the website.

Did we forget anything or do you have something else for our reading list? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. You can also hit us up on our FacebookTwitter and Google+ profiles. Lastly, our RSS Feeds is open for subscription, so that you can stay creative.