TOP FIVE GRAPHIC DESIGN BOOKS FOR NEW DESIGNERS

Top Five Graphic Design Book Header

 

Where would we be without knowledge? Graphic designers gain their knowledge from attending higher education or being self taught but no matter how one is taught a graphic designer must understand the fundamentals of design.

Below are what I believe to be the top five most important books to read to understand graphic design methods and train yourself to think like a graphic designer. If you have read any of the books listed below or there are other books you read that are just as important please feel free to comment down below.

Graphic Design School Book CoverGRAPHIC DESIGN SCHOOL: THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF GRAPHIC DESIGN

WRITTEN BY DAVID DABNER, SANDRA STEWART & ERIC ZEMPOL

If you take some time and search Graphic Design School on the internet chances are that you will find plenty of people talking very highly of this book. You got to start some where and if your are someone just getting started in the graphic design field this is a must read. The book describes itself as a “foundation course for graphic designers working in print, moving image and digital media” which I couldn’t have said it better!

The book is full of examples from magazines, websites, and other books. Graphic Design School touches on everything a new graphic design should learn on their jouney into the wonderful world of graphic design such as research, composition, typography, color theory, photography, preparing files for print and interactivity.

Take a look at Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design on Amazon

Design Elements Color Fundamentals Book CoverDESIGN ELEMENTS, COLOR FUNDAMENTALS: A GRAPHIC STYLE MANUAL FOR UNDERSTANDING HOW COLOR AFFECTS DESIGN

WRITTEN BY AARIS SHERIN

Every graphic design needs to understand how color effects the mind and the thoughts each color provokes. The “Design Elements, Color Fundamentals: A Graphic Style Manual For Understanding How Color Affects Design” is a great resource for learning how to create timeless designs and communicate a message to the intended audience successfully.

The book will teach your how to communicate with color theory, learn the basic rules for working with color and when it can be ok to break the rules because after all some rules are meant to be broken. The book has many visual examples, illustrations of effective color combinations and color theory working in real world situations.

Take a Look at Design Elements, Color Fundamentals: A Graphic Style Manual for Understanding How Color Affects Design on Amazon

Mastering Type Book CoverMASTERING TYPE: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO TYPOGRAPHY FOR PRINT AND WEB DESIGN

WRITTEN BY DENISE BOSLER

Typography is just as important as visual representations in graphic design and marketing when it comes to conveying a message. MASTERING TYPE: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO TYPOGRAPHY FOR PRINT AND WEB DESIGN is an absolute must have guide for using typography in visual communication.

The book breaks does typography into several pieces, letter, word, sentence, paragraph page and screen. Denise Bosler a renowned graphic designer provides a unique perspective of type for both print and web. Mastering Type has real world inspiration for new and experience designers. The book dives into the importance of typography alone or joined with other design elements. If your looking to strengthen your skill set and correctly convey your message this book is an addition to your library your just can’t live without.

Take a Look at Mastering Type: The Essential Guide to Typography for Print and Web Design on Amazon

Logo Design Love Book CoverLOGO DESIGN LOVE: SECOND EDITION

WRITTEN BY DAVID AIREY

I remember this being the first book I read when I decided to take my learning process outside of just school and the internet. The second edition has everything that I believed made the first edition a great read and adds elements for getting the job done right the first time.

In “LOGO DESIGN LOVE” you will learn how to design iconic brand identity using actual client case studies from the worlds most prestigious  graphic designers, creating an effective design brief, idea process and how to charge for your work. If your looking to learn from a proven designer then take a look at this book where David writes on his own experience, showcases sketches and presents the end result.

Logo Design Love:a Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities (Second Edition) (Chinese Edition)

Art Direction Explained At Last Book CoverART DIRECTION EXPLAINED, AT LAST!

WRITTEN BY STEVEN HELLER & VERONIQUE VIENNE

It is important to have direction in any career path you choose and this book dives into what art direction is as well as what an art director does. Art Direction Explained At Last covers the role of an art director in many different settings and it also touches on the qualities that make a successful director. Get insight on what makes things go right and what actions can make things turn for the worst.

The book has examples of different cases of successful art direction, thoughts on typography, illustration and photography. This is a great book that will give you insight on the way your art director think and why they do things they way they do. I recommend this book especially to those who have decided to become a freelance graphic designer and the reason is being as a freelance design we need to understand the inner works of art direction because we are alone in the whole process with no guidance.

Art Direction Explained, At Last!

HONORABLE MENTION

Now I have mentions what I believe to be the top five books all new graphic designers should read but there is on book that all graphic designer should read which is title How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul (New Expanded Edition) and you will find this book on most people list of recommendations. The book combines rational advice and emotional guidance to help new designers get started a successful graphic design career. Become aware of professional skill sets, the all important creative process and worldwide trends.

 

October 23, 2016 Salvatore Jenkins Jr. Uncategorized 6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Joshua Thomas

    January 30, 2017

    Thanks this was very helpful! I’m just getting into the world of frontend development but I’d like to branch over into logos as well if I can. These books all seem pretty solid. Though it’s a little off the beaten path, Art Direction Explained has me intrigued (especially since my wife does Fine Art). I’ll definitely be checking a few of these out. You have my gratitude.

    • Salvatore Jenkins Jr. author

      January 30, 2017

      Thanks I’m glad you found the books in this list helpful and good luck with the frontend development.

  2. Mike

    February 2, 2017

    Hi Salvatore,

    Thanks for the reviews, really useful overview of the five books. As someone just starting out and trying to juggle all aspects of setting up a buisness, would you be albe to recommend one of these for me above the others? I want something that can really help me grasp the basics quickly and effectively. Would love to get your thoughts.

    • Salvatore Jenkins Jr. author

      February 3, 2017

      It’s hard to recommend one of these books over the other because they are all essential to anyone looking to learn the fundamentals of graphic design but if I had to mention one to start with I would recommend “Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design”…

  3. Linda

    February 5, 2017

    Hi! I have read the book Graphic Design School and must agree with you, its a must read! I think typography is a bit hard and theoretical and had some problems finding books that I manage to read, they are all heavy reading, interesting to read about “Mastering type” and that you recommend it, thanks!

    • Salvatore Jenkins Jr. author

      February 7, 2017

      Mastering Types is a good read for someone looking to hone their Typography skills, it’s full of visual examples and easy to understand. There is also interviews with designer included in the book that further help the reader understand the fundamentals of type and well mastering it. As designers we know how important type is when trying to convey a message in your design and this is a definite read if you want to convey the message properly to your intended audience.

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