Be it any art form- Dance, Painting, Literature, Music or Designing, each one of them has a large chunk of history and for every artist out there, history is their first mentor.
In order to find your unique individuality, you must need to learn and understand about the people that have come before you. History helps you in discovering your own unique self.
It tells you what makes people so influential and powerful at the same time. As an artist, everyday there's a new challenge for us and we have to prove ourselves continuously. By taking things from our predecessors, we try to make a unique space for ourselves by adding new things to the board.
It is important for an artist to become technically proficient and this can only happen when they have an in-depth knowledge of the history associated with their art.
When I started with the graphic design, I understood, as a designer, you should always look for various opportunities to make yourself grow. There’s nothing in the world that can fill the lack of creativity.
Designers like you and me, constantly need a dose of inspiration and if you would ask me one of the best ways of making yourself and your art better is to spend some time in knowing and learning about the designing space of other artists.
The perfect way to get started with this is to read a book. There are tons of records available by professional Graphic designers across the globe.
That being said, I have made a list of my absolutely all-time favourite books that every designer should read and re-read.
It doesn’t really matter if you have just dipped your toe in the ocean of designing or if you are a professional designer. While professionals can read these books to brush up their skills, beginners can get their hands on these books to understand the fundamentals of this industry.
Let’s begin with the sequence.
1. How to by Michael Bierut
Written by the world’s leading graphic designers, Michael Bierut, the book records the covers of the creative process that goes into his well-known projects. The books help you to explore your own creative vision by looking over things with different perspectives.
This is the first monograph written by the Bierut and talks about his noteworthy projects for well-recognized brands like The New York Times, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Yale School of Architecture and many more.
The book also touches a bit upon his own career and puts various thoughts about the industry in one place. He talks about his perspective and philosophies related to graphic design.
Not only the book talks about success stories, but it also shares a good portion of struggles and ways to overcome it.
2. How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy
This volume is an essential part of learning adventure for every new designer who just arrived in this arena. The book does all the justice to the designing field. Adrian gives an insight into his thoughts and career in the simplest way.
From how to begin with the creative process, how to gain employment, how to pitch clients and how to work as a freelancer, the book has stored everything for you.
The book offers interviews from famous artists so with his ideologies, you get to know about so many other artists too. Along with other well-known designers like Neville Brody, John Warwicker and Andy Cruz, the author has stored some great advice for beginners.
3. 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design by Steven Heller
One idea can change your entire perspective and here are 100 ideas that will change your perspective of looking at the world. The book has stored the most influential ideas which will help you in shaping your design thoughts.
This book not only shares the ideas but also records the entire process and journey of that idea. From its evolution to its impact on the world, the volume has presented each of 100 ideas using text and visuals.
The 100 entries in the book are chronological order ranging from technical printing issuer to stylistic methods.
4. The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
Words matter a lot in design as it sets the mood of the design. A renowned graphic designer and typographer bring a stunning book for us. The book smartly talks about the practical, theoretical as well as historical aspects related to the art of typography.
The book serves as a master guide for typography styling. If you want to learn the art of choosing a perfect typeface that blends perfectly with the design, then this book is a must-read for every designer.
The book has remained the standard in the industry since it was published. It also covers many Typefaces and its families, offers knowledge about common typographers, type foundries and a glossary of typography terms.
Art director Sara Lai, says
"It packs in the whole 360 degrees of typography, and has come in handy for practically everything I’ve worked on."
5. A Designer's Art by Paul Rand
Paul Rand was the most influential graphic designer and artist of his America of the twentieth century. Widely recognized as Father of Modern Branding, Paul Rand has contributed to the literature with his fantastic collections. Paul Rand’s book is a perfect option to learn more about his art and creative thinking.
In a very simple format, Paul talks in-depth about the graphic design, its importance, what impact does it leave on society, what you should avoid and what you should prefer to do in the industry.
The book not only talks about the history of graphic designing but also records the important information about the modern and contemporary design.
6. The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher
Alan Fletcher’s the Art of Looking Sideways in extraordinary book for visual awareness. The book is an inexhaustible guide of images, quotations, facts, and information beautifully presented through 72 chapters. It demonstrates the use of type, colors, space, images in an expressive way in the designs
He has recorded his experience and journey of a lifetime in a witty form. The book revolves around various subjects which are the essential parts of design like color, proportion, ideas, pattern, style, aesthetics and values.
7. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
Whether you are a professional Graphic designer or a layman, this book will certainly change your perspective the way you perceive the written word.
As a graphic designer, fonts and typefaces hold a special position in our designs and heart. We are trained to choose better fonts for designs and this book will bring us a little closer to the rich history of Typeface and fonts.
The book, just my type takes us on a tour that explore the hidden power of fonts. The author subtly talks about the modern mysteries of typographic art. He also mentions about how Helvetica, what makes the Trajan most used font on bad movies posters.
8. Logo Modernism by Jens Muller
One of the most preferred books by modern contemporary designers, the books offers a spectacular read to its readers. Logo Modernism is one of the most appreciated books of Jens Muller.
He brings over 6000 trademarks, logos registered between the period of 1940-80. He talks about how modern culture has given rise to corporate identity branding.
The book is divided into three major categories, including, Geometric, Effect and Typographic based. The book is a great source of inspiration for budding as well as professional graphic Artists and logo designers.
9. Graphic Design for… by Andy Cooke
This Guide by Andy Cooke explores the creative ways in which designers can collaborate with other professionals of the industry as well as of other sectors. The book contains some of the best campaigns across the globe and works as an indispensable guide for modern budding artists.
The book talks about creative visual designs and reveals the inner process of the designs. Each of the examples used in the books is a perfect illuminating example of notable campaigns.
Through this book, you will also learn the technique of working with other creative minds in the field.
10. Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman
Each font has something to share and has a different story to tell about. They add new confidence to the design and when we got our final font, designs become easier to create.
The book by Sarah opens up the door to new imagination and experiences. It talks about how and why fonts leave a particular impact on the mind of the viewers.
The book also covers also how fonts influence and dominate the style of design.
11. Graphic Design: A User's Manual by Adrian Shaughnessy
Another one from the excellent writer. Adrian makes it again in the list. This User Manual by Adrian is everything a designer will need. This interesting book deals with professional advice from a well-known & recognized artist.
12. How to Have Great Ideas: A Guide to Creative Thinking by John Ingledew
This book serves as an essential guide for budding professionals and enhances their creative thinking ability. Covering the major portion of advertising, communications and design theory, the book helps you to unlock your creative potential.
It also strategically teaches its readers about various projects and shows some great examples of unique fresh and modern product design, industrial design, car design, furniture design,
13. Keep Going by Austin Kleon
This short and sweet book is my personal favorite. This book helps me whenever there’s a creative struck in my head. Keep Going is a perfect book to fuel up your creativity and will help you to think in a better light and perspective.
The author beautifully takes on how to be a creative personality with fun drawings and diagrams
14. The Graphic Language of Neville Brody by Jon Wozencroft
This book is on every designer’s reading list. Neville Brody was one of the most influential modernist designers who left a long-lasting impact of contemporary graphic designs.
The book is a tribute to this influential graphic designer. Neville has transformed the typography with his new visual language. The book has some best-known works
15. 100 Best Typefaces Ever by Various Writers
Another type-related book in the list and this book is from various writers. The book has a list of some of the best fonts ever created. If you want to make your typography knowledge strong, this book is a must read.
These were a few recommended books and every designer should make some space for them on their desk.
For more such informative blogs, get in touch with our blogs’ series. We will come back with another interesting piece of content soon. Till then Keep exploring!