The 7 Best Graphic Design Books to Read in 2020

Read, grow and improve by picking up one of these must-read books!

In the digital age, information is more accessible than ever before. Any information you want is just a few taps away on your smart devices. However, with this expanding library of references and information available digitally, many of us graphic designers have forgotten the beauty and excitement of holding an actual graphic design book in our hands. 

Not only are we missing this intimate relationship with our literature, but also losing out on the actual knowledge that is so easily accessible from them too. So, if you count yourself as a graphic designer, then you better fill up your empty bookshelves with these 7 amazing graphic design books that are sure to help you in your  journey!

#1. Just My Type

by Simon Garfield
graphic design book by Simon Garfield

A big part of graphic design are the fonts. Garfield’s deep dive into typography implores you to look closely at your beloved fonts and realize their major contribution to any piece of design. A good font can hide in plain sight and speak to an audience almost subconsciously, having the power to make (or ruin) any work. Pick out the right font for your designs using this book.

2. How To

by Michael Beirut
graphic design book

A protégé of design legend Massimo Vignelli, and having enjoyed one of the most successful graphic design careers ever, Beirut brings us this design manual. It is an absolute must-read for any designer out there. He reveals his philosophy of what graphic design is, and as the cover so explicitly states, how to use it to to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and – every once in a while – change the world! Featuring his work/creative process, relationship with clients and the struggles faced by designers, this graphic design book is a monograph from one of the greats himself!

#3. Interaction of Color

by Josef Albers
graphic design book by Josef Albers

For the color strategist in you, Albers delves into the principles of complex color theories. With a selection of over 50 case studies, this book is a ready reference guide of principles like temperature, color intensity, color relativity, vibrating and vanishing boundaries, the illusion of transparencies, and reversed grounds. Not just graphic designers, this book has served as a guide to painters and artists alike who have harnessed color strategy into their designs.

#4. Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team

by Alina Wheeler
graphic design book by alina wheeler

This book’s fifth edition is a guide in branding fundamentals for both designers and brand teams alike. An outstanding resource to understand branding through and through, Wheeler engages the reader with her in-depth guidance of a universal five-stage process for brand development and implementation. With everything from social media synergy to SEO and experience branding, this up-to-date resource is a must-have on your shelf.

#5. Graphic Design Visionaries

by Caroline Roberts
graphic design visionaries book

This book presents the story of graphic design through the ages. It features inspiring stories of the 75 most influential designers along with full-color reproductions of their horizon-expanding work. Showcasing individuals like Stefan Sagmeister, Wim Crouwel, M/M Paris, Studio Dumbar and many more, this informative visual masterpiece introduces you to the key identities of the design world you should know.


#6. Grid systems in graphic design

by Josef Müller-Brockmann
graphic design book

This legendary Swiss designer's graphic design book remains the definitive guide in mastering the essential principle of grid systems in any piece of graphic design. This visual communication manual is packed with information and detailed examples that are handy for any graphic designers, typographers and 3D designers out there and a resource you simply cannot go without on your reference shelf.

#7. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

by Austin Kleon

graphic design books

Creativity in the digital age is full of over-the-top optimism as well as crippling fear of not having an original idea. This New York Times bestseller by Kleon is an inspiring graphic design book/guide about creativity in today’s digital world, presenting 10 transformative principles to help you discover your inner artist and view things from a creative angle.

While our lives and our information have become increasingly digital, the importance of having good core resources readily available to fall back on cannot be overlooked. Successful professionals of every field always preach the virtues of growing your reading list whenever you get the time. A good place to begin your literature study is with the above 7 graphic design books as you steadily populate your bookshelf.

Cover Image by Nick Fewings, edited with Vectornator.

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Vikas Sharma
WRITTEN BY:

Vikas Sharma

Content and Social Media Manager
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