The web or graphic business is an industry that undergoes constant changes. Although designers must keep up with the continuous developments in the industry, they need to stick to the best design practices to have a successful career.
To bring out the best in what they do, designers are encouraged to read the most recommended web and graphic designer books. These provide fresh and time-tested ideas and approaches to help readers how to come up with a great design.
Since there are a lot of resources out there, we’ve come up with the top 10 designer books that you should sink your teeth into if you’re really serious in improving your design chops.
1. Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
by Timothy Samara
This book makes a comprehensive explanation on how to break the rules of grid-based design by knowing what this is all about and learning the rules surrounding it. Through this understanding, a designer would be able to apply the principles in his work. Some historical overviews and projects have been included to provide examples and further explanation.
2. How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
by Adrian Shaughnessy
Known as a one of the favorite designer books , How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul was written by a designer who wanted to address the concerns of every artist like himself. It has practical advices and philosophical teachings to provide guidance for beginners. The book also has interviews from top designers like Andy Cruz of House Industries to give aspiring designers a better view on what lies ahead.
3. Thinking with Type: A Primer for Designers: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
by Ellen Lupton
If you are always wondering on what font to use when working on your design, then this book can be your guide along the way. Ellen Lupton has provided ideas and useful information to improve typographic skills. The book has three sections discussing how to have an easier and more creative project when working on letter, text, and grid. Examples from famous practitioners are also added to give you a better idea on how to execute your work.
4. The Elements of Typographic Style
by Robert Bringhurst
This is another example of a book that shows how to be more creative when working on typography. It shows the right steps on making the ideal typeface with the right combination of the design’s parts. The book would also take you to the historical and practical view of the type families being used today.
5. CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions
by Cameron Moll
Although CSS has been around for quite some time now, this reading is worth the keep especially when you’re just starting as a designer. It is equipped with all the basic up to expert advices on how to work with CSS without a problem. Be guided on how you can master CSS and fight the bugs or errors that may come your way when designing a website.
6. Bulletproof Web Design: Improving Flexibility And Protecting Against Worst-Case Scenarios With XHTML And CSS
by Dan Cederholm
Dan Cederholm through his writing shared ideas on how you can create standard-based designs that would provide greater benefits for you, your site, and your customers. He provided ten strategies on how to use the key components for a successful and engaging website. The techniques given in the book showed how you can use CSS and turn traditional designs into a modern and improved work.
7. Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design
by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler
This book is regarded as the first cross-disciplinary reference of design made by great authors. Concepts provided are backed up with visuals to further explain the techniques in making a great design. A hundred models are presented here which would definitely keep you interested and could encourage you to improve your work. Some of these are the 80/20 rule, baby-face bias, storytelling, and more.
8. The Big Book of Layouts
by David E. Carter
As the title suggests, this is an educational reading that will guide you in improving your work’s layout. It has a collection of the latest layout designs and concepts that can definitely help both starters and experts. With over 750 examples, you won’t get tired in learning new styles to execute your work since these include traditional and modern concepts.
9. The Elements of Color
by Johannes Itten
Using the right colors for a web design requires a keen eye in selecting the right element. In Johannes Itten’s book entitled The Elements of Color explains the color principles that designers must take note of. It gives a better look on how to understand the effect of each shade through Itten’s color circle and color contrasts. When in doubt on what hues to use, this is a must read.
10. A Designer’s Art
by Paul Rand
Paul Rand is one of the most renowned designers who have been an inspiration for many. In his book, A Designer’s Art, he talks about his work and passion which can become an eye opener for designers on what to expect in this field. He also tries to give the readers a glimpse on how he balances every part of his work and the relationship that he builds with his clients.
In every industry, there is always a collection of web and graphic designer books that are worth the read. These are just some of those which impart a lot of ideas and information in the graphic industry. If we missed out some of your favorites, then don’t hesitate to share your thoughts here!