Over time I got quite a lot of e-mails asking me about design books. To be honest a lot of them come from young designers asking me about books where they can learn design. I don't think I've seen a good book that would be a step-by-step manual on how to become a good designer. I think design books are there like pieces of puzzle. You go through many of them to find clues, solutions and inspiration and then you have to put a whole picture in your head.
I am that type of person who loves buying design books. I have them all over my apartment and I constantly get back to them swiping pages and leaving bookmarks. I don't like books with just pretty trendy pictures, the ones you can find yourself on Pinterest. I like books that are more editorial, have bigger substance and beautifully designed.
This is a list of books that I really enjoyed over time. Something I would recommend to both skilled and beginner designers.
Working on so many news websites over the course of last couple of years I really enjoyed this book. Great case studies on newspapers design for both print and digital. Very interesting examples of designing and organizing editorial layouts in general. Would recommend it to anyone who is working with large amount of content.
An Alphabetical Book About Nokia Pure
Amazing book! Technically this book is a manifesto to Nokia Pure - a typeface designed for Nokia. You wouldn't expect anything amazing judging by the title, but in some ways this is a how-to manual on creating a custom typeface. I learned so much about typefaces from this book, much more than from more common ones, such as "Type Matters". Also the layout of this book's pages is a pure joy to flip through.
Grid Systems in Graphic Design
I discovered this book around this summer and up until then I thought I knew grids. Though this book is purely about creating grids for print (books) there are many parallels you can draw with web/digital. I really enjoyed the reading part of this book and the way author explains grid systems and where to break it. Great source for people who present a lot of work to clients or people who are not familiar with grid systems.
A collection of work from one of my favorite industrial designers Naoto Fukasawa. This book unveils a lot of thinking and process behind Fukasawa's work. You'll see sketches, very interesting ways of describing and explaining ideas as well as almost full body of work by designer.
Graphic Design: Now In Production
I still have hard time wrapping my head around what was the criteria of selecting work for this book, but it has an insane amount of awesomeness. I see this book more like a FFFFound in print form. It has print, digital, editorial even motion design in. In any way, this one is a must.
Turning Pages: Editorial Design for Print Media
I mean, let's agree, that any book coming from Gestalten is a pure piece of art. Turning pages is a fantastic collection of editorial designs for print and media. You can come across some really rare work that you haven't seen before. Book's layout is something to experience as well.
Lingua Grafica: Major Reference Work for Image Language - buy on Amazon
Lingua Universalis: Global Wordless Understanding - buy on Amazon
Mutabor: I'm Going to Change - buy at Amazon
When I think of icons and symbols, I think of Mutabor. I own couple of their books for many years now and it is totally worth it. Each icon shape, curves, composition and balance is so perfect and through out. Would highly recommend to anyone who is into drawing symbols, signs and icons.
I bought this book on a flea market in Tokyo, Japan. Basically it illustrates every single Leica camera and lens in an amazing technical drawing/illustration. It is all in Japanese so I don't really know what it says, but there's no much text in it anyway. I think if you are into cameras you would definitely appreciate this one.
I remember I bought this book right after I saw it's author Khoi Vinh (former design director at New York Times) giving a talk at one of the conferences. If you are an experienced designer you won't learn a whole new way of building a grid for web. But back then I really enjoyed the way it is written and grid explained in a very digestible way. So it helped me to explain and presents grids to the clients in a better way when it was needed.
This one is a Japanese magazine. I own couple of issues that I purchased over time in Zakka (by the way the best design book store in New York). I would't subscribe for it as it's pretty pricy here in New York, but occasionally I buy some issues when I see them. Great body of works, exposure to Japanese graphic designs that would be hard to stumble across just by browsing web.