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14 Inspiring Design Books You Should Read

posted by Beatriz Camargo July 24, 2017

If you are looking for inspiring design and creative books, here’s an updated list of our favorite ones. In this article, you’ll be able to find a range of exciting publications with techniques ranging from paper folding to embossing or just motivational books for when you fail in different situations. We hope you’ll them enjoy as much as we do.

(In alphabetical order)

An essay on Typography
Author: Eric Gill

Interested in typography? Eric Gill’s argues that ‘a good piece of lettering is as beautiful a thing to see as any sculpture or painted picture’. This book explores the place of typography in culture and is also a moral treatise celebrating the role of craftsmanship in an industrial age. It is indispensable to anyone interested in the art of letter forms and the presentation of graphic information.

Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order)
Author: Bridget Quinn

Broad Strokes brings to light the astonishing work, fascinating lives and important legacy of 15 seminal women artists from the Renaissance to the present day. Unfortunately, these women have not received the same attention from the art world establishment as their male counterparts have. Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.

Creating a Brand Identity
Author: Catherine Slade

Creating a brand identity requires practical design skills and creative ambition as well as an understanding of marketing and consumer behaviour. Case studies throughout the book illustrate brand identities from all over the world, including a varied range of industries: digital media, fashion, advertising, product design, packaging, retail and more. This book is filled with tips from researching to testing. This is essential reading for students, graduates and professional designers exploring this area for the first time.

Cut and Fold Paper Textures: Techniques for Surface Design
Author: Paul Jackson

This book will show you inspirational ways in which paper can be used to create textured and relief surfaces. These techniques are generally intuitive and easy to make, requiring no origami or paper engineering knowledge. These are methods that can be used by professional designers, design students in disciplines from textiles to interior design and anyone with an interest in paper craft.

Deluxe: Foil Stamping, Embossing and Debossing in Print Design
Publisher: SendPoints

Printing and graphic design often go alongside, as a precise print job can transform a good design into an attractive physical asset. Deluxe offers readers a full understanding of some of the most widely-used printing techniques: foil stamping, embossing, and debossing. It demonstrates how these techniques can enhance a variety of designs, including restaurant branding, food packaging, event invitations, book design, business cards, hotel identities, and more.

Design as Art
Author: Bruno Munari

Bruno Munari is widely considered one of the most inspirational designers of all time, described by Picasso as ‘the new Leonardo’. Munari insisted that design was beautiful, functional and accessible, and this enlightening and highly entertaining book sets out his ideas about visual, graphic and industrial design and the role it plays in the objects we use every day.

Failed it!
Author: Erik Kessels

A fun and fabulous take on the art of making mistakes. Erik Kessels celebrates imperfection and failure and shows why they are an essential part of the creative process. It includes the best and most hilarious examples of imperfection and failure across a broad range of creative forms, including art, design, photography, architecture and product design, to inspire and encourage creatives to embrace and celebrate their mistakes.

Making and Breaking the Grid
Author: Timothy Samara

For designers working in any medium, layout is arguably one of the most basic and important aspects of effective communication. Making and Breaking the Grid will make you understand how the rules work and then making sense of contradictory practices by seeing them in action in everyday circumstances. Choosing to follow the rules, or break them, depends entirely on your understanding of what they can accomplish.

Risomania, the New Spirit of Printing
Author: John Z. Komurki

Risography is the most prominent technique in the new wave of cutting-edge contemporary design, one that is also recovering forgotten technologies such as the Gestetner and the mimeograph. Risomania is the first book to document and discuss this groundbreaking global scene, looking at the history, present and future of Riso, as well as featuring a range of artists, design studios and print shops who use it.

Simplicity, the Charm of Minimalism
Author: Wang Shaoqiang

The smaller the number of graphic elements, the stronger the impact of each element. This book explores the simplicity of forms by decreasing the number of graphic elements and increasing the significance of each one. It aims to serve as an indispensable guide for designers who want to achieve a sophisticated yet simple style.

The Art of Creative Thinking
Author: Rod Judkins

If you are looking for a book that will inspire you to think more confidently and creatively this is the perfect one. The art of Creative Thinking reveals how we can transform ourselves, our businesses and our society through a profound understanding of human creativity. You’ll realise why you should be happy when your train is cancelled and learn why, in the twenty-first century, it’s technically illegal to be as good as Michelangelo.

The Politics of Design
Author: Ruben Pater

The Politics of Design explores the cultural and political context of the typography, colours, photography, symbols and information graphics that we use everyday. This book examines cultural contexts and stereotypes with visual examples from around the world. It demonstrates that communication tools are not neutral, and encourages its users to rethink global cultural understanding.

The Secret Lives of Colour
Author: Kassia St Clair

This book tells the unusual stories of the 75 most appealing shades, dyes and hues. From the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, from Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls as Lascaux. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tells the vivid story of our culture as St Clair turned her lifelong obsession with colour into a unique study of human civilization.

Ways of Seeing
Author: John Berger

Ways of Seeing is one of the most inspiring and influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the Sunday Times critic commented: ‘This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he (Berger) will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.’

Beatriz Camargo

Beatriz Camargo

Author at People of Print
Beatriz Camargo

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