Five must-read graphic design books

August 3, 2009

What are the best graphic design books? Like any other published genre, that all depends on your style, your current knowledge, and what you can personally glean from any given book. Some designers like to flip through books on style, typography and logos; this individual column is not for you. It would be rather presumptive of me to contend that I know which of these books – and so many of them are beautiful – would be right for you.

Instead, I would like to present five books on graphic design philosophy – whether you agree with them or not, you're bound to find some entertaining tales and some thought-provoking tidbits that will lend a broader world view of graphic design and bring you closer to your industry colleagues.

  1. how-to-be-graphic-designerHow to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul,” by Adrian Shaughnessy. A revealing look at the serious side of graphic design.
  2. unlimited-freelancerThe Unlimited Freelancer,” by Mason Hipp and James Chartrand. This book is not limited to graphic design, but it is a great resource for taking your graphic design business to the next level and getting out of the freelance rut.
  3. meggs-history-designMegg's History of Graphic Design,” by Philip B. Meggs. A look at the incredible history of graphic design, from the ancients on. An enlightening look at our past, and how it continues to influence our future.
  4. caffeine-for-creative-mindCaffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain,” by Stephan Mumaw. The title says it all. Give it a shot and see for yourself.
  5. how-to-think-graphic-designHow to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer,” by Debbie Mullman. Think you've got what it takes to be a great graphic designer? You might, or you might not, or you might disagree 100 percent. No matter how you feel about the book, you can't miss this read!

Those are my picks. What are yours?

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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