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.
- “How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul,” by Adrian Shaughnessy. A revealing look at the serious side of graphic design.
- “The 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.
- “Megg'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.
- “Caffeine 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.
- “How 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?