A way for designers to keep up-to-date on the latest trends is to read graphic design books! Luckily, there are many affordable and quality design books to choose from.
Let’s highlight a few books that designers should get their hands on. Not only are they informative, they are also quite interesting. And best of all, they cost less than $25!
Author: Ellen Lupton & Jennifer Cole Phillips
Price: About $24
This book by Ellen Lupton is a great revisit to the basics that designers often overlook. Through visual representations, the writer encourages designers to abandon the cut and paste mentality and instead offer something unique. What I liked most about the book was the brief commentary that demonstrates design fundamentals. Both professionals and students can benefit from this book.
Author: Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith & Fred Gerantabee
Price: About $24
I just love some of the dummy guides! They are especially great for new designers and students. This one is a must-have for graphic designers who have are learning to use Adobe’s Creative Suite or are currently exploring its various individual programs. This book essentially contains essentially 8 books in one and reviews each program of Creative Suite individually. If you are a beginner with using Adobe Creative Suite then this is one book you do not want to miss out on!
Author: David Sherwin
Price: About $16
This book has the right inspiration for turning ideas into designs. Designers that want to experiment with new ideas and concepts to impress clients will find this book a great read. It is full of exercises that graphic designers can use as homework to broaden their skills.
The 80 challenges are essentially mini-design projects that are meant to challenge designers to think outside the box and to also give them a taste of real life design projects. Each exercise includes visual solutions from other designers, including their background experiences to further enhance the reader’s creative arsenal.
Author: Bryony Gomez-Palacio
Price: About $24
To get a better grasp of things, it is always better to get a good understanding of its history which is the objective of this book. Designers will find historical moments in graphic design arena and landmark projects in this book. They will also get to meet some of the gurus of the graphic design industry. There are over 2000 design projects mentioned in the book, thus there’s a lot to learn from!
The author has divided the book into four sections including: Principles (discusses graphic design ideas and concepts), Knowledge (lists resources, online and off, related to graphic design), Representatives (designers, graphic gurus) and Practice (illustrates practical, real life design examples).
Author: Debbie Millman
The author of this book, Debbie Millman has been in the design industry for over 25 years. How do successful graphic designers think? What skills do they have and how they acquired them? This book peaks inside some of the most creative minds in the business. It is filled with detailed interviews of prominent design gurus such as David Carson and Milton Glaser. They both share their thought process, design approaches, opinions and experiences. This is an invaluable guide for any designer.
Author: Adams Morioka
Price: Under $15
Not many books talk only about colors; most that do only devote a couple of chapters to it. Adams Morioka saw the need and put together an entire book on this very important subject. Graphic designers need to understand color concepts from the very beginning. Topics like color theory, color index, color mixing and color composition should be all too familiar to them. In this book, the reader gets a detailed account of all things related to color including the foundation concepts.
Author: Adam Judge
Flipping through the pages of this book, readers will find specific design principles shared by the author along with some common client issues that designers run into. For example, the book talks about client’s persistence on things they may not be familiar with it. This book will help to explain these types of situations, which is something all graphic designers can relate to.
There are a multitude of inexpensive design books and we could go on forever discussing them. No matter the book, the thing to take away is the practical experiences mentioned along with the in-depth technical explanation. These have broadened by mind and I am sure readers will feel the same way. Bottom line, you will be a better designer after reading these books.