Unleash Your Creativity: Best Books on Graphic Design


“the best books on graphic design include ‘thinking with type’ by ellen lupton and ‘the elements of typographic style’ by robert bringhurst. These books are highly recommended for designers of all levels.”

Graphic design is an essential aspect of visual communication, and the demand for skilled designers continues to grow. As a beginner or seasoned graphic designer, it’s vital to have a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of typography, layout, color, and composition.

However, with countless resources on graphic design available, it can be challenging to determine where to start your learning journey. Fortunately, some books offer a solid foundation for aspiring designers who want to improve their skills or expand their knowledge. In this article, we will highlight the best books on graphic design that provide valuable insights, practical tips, and inspiration for graphic designers.

Unleash Your Creativity: Best Books on Graphic Design

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The Fundamentals Of Graphic Design

An Overview Of Books That Cover The Basics Of Graphic Design Principles And Theory

Graphic design is a complex field that can be challenging for beginners to navigate. Luckily, there are many informative books available that cover the basics of graphic design principles and theory. Here are two of the best:

The Elements Of Graphic Design By Alex W. White

The elements of graphic design is a comprehensive guide that covers all the fundamental elements of graphic design. Some of the key topics covered include line, color, texture, shape, volume, and depth. It also includes helpful tips on layout, typography, and composition.

This book is an ideal starting point for beginners who want to learn the basics of graphic design.

Here are some of the key points covered in the book:

  • Understanding the basic elements of design, including line, color, texture, shape, volume, and depth.
  • Learning how to use typography effectively in design.
  • Understanding composition and layout principles.
  • Getting a grasp on design theory and understanding how to use it in practice.

Graphic Design School By David Dabner, Sandra Stewart, And Eric Zempol

Another excellent resource for beginners is graphic design school by david dabner, sandra stewart, and eric zempol. This book covers everything from the history of graphic design to practical applications for creating designs for print and digital media. It also offers tips on how to create effective branding, logos, and other types of visual communication.

Here are some of the key points covered in the book:

  • Understanding the basics of design theory, including the principles of balance, contrast, and unity.
  • Learning how to use different software tools and techniques to create designs for print and digital media.
  • Understanding how to develop effective branding strategies.
  • Learning how to create powerful visual communications that communicate a message effectively.

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of graphic design or you’re a seasoned pro looking to refresh your skills, these two books are an excellent resource for learning the fundamentals of graphic design principles and theory. So grab a copy of each and start learning today!

The Evolution Of Graphic Design

The history of graphic design is a fascinating and important topic. Understanding how this discipline has developed over time helps designers appreciate the roots of modern design and see how it has evolved into the dynamic field it is today.

Here are some books that delve into the history and development of graphic design as a discipline:

A Discussion Of Books That Delves Into The History And Development Of Graphic Design As A Discipline

*graphic design: a new history* by stephen eskilson:

  • This book is a comprehensive look at the history of graphic design from the industrial revolution to the present day.
  • It covers various movements in graphic design such as art nouveau and postmodernism, among others.
  • The book examines how technological advancements have affected graphic design and how designers have responded to these changes.

*a history of graphic design* by philip b. meggs:

  • This book is considered a classic in the field of graphic design history.
  • It traces the evolution of graphic design from the invention of writing to contemporary design.
  • The book includes biographical information about important figures in graphic design, which gives context to the historical changes discussed.

Both books provide an excellent overview of the history of graphic design. They highlight how the discipline has evolved and remind us that design is never static but rather always changing.

Remember, understanding the history of graphic design provides a deep understanding of the roots of modern design, enabling you to approach your work with greater depth and appreciation.

Specializations In Graphic Design

Highlighting Books That Focus On Specific Areas Of Graphic Design

If you are a graphic design enthusiast, you might want to specialize in particular areas within it. Some popular areas of specialization in the industry include typography, branding, and web design. Here are some of the best books on graphic design that you can read to upskill at these specializations:

“Thinking With Type” By Ellen Lupton

Typography is a crucial aspect of graphic design, and this book delves deep into its nuances and intricacies. “thinking with type” is an excellent resource for both beginners and experienced designers who want to learn more about typefaces, their history, anatomy, and classification.

The author also covers typography in digital media and how it affects user experience, making it a must-read book for designers who specialize in web and app design.

Key points:

  • A comprehensive guide to typography for all levels of expertise.
  • Covers the history, anatomy, and classification of typefaces.
  • Discusses typography in digital media and user experience.

“Branding: In Five And A Half Steps” By Michael Johnson

If you are looking to specialize in branding, michael johnson’s “branding: in five and a half steps” is the perfect book for you. The author, who is the founder of johnson banks – a branding agency in london, offers practical insights and advice on brand strategy, identity, and design.

Johnson walks the reader through the branding process, outlining his agency’s methodology in five and a half steps. The book also features case studies of successful branding campaigns and highlights the importance of storytelling in branding.

Key points:

  • A practical guide to branding strategy, identity, and design.
  • Outlines a methodology of five and a half steps for the branding process.
  • Features case studies of successful branding campaigns.

“Don’T Make Me Think” By Steve Krug

Web design is a broad area of specialization, and steve krug’s “don’t make me think” focuses on user experience design. The author advocates for designing websites that are effortless to use, intuitively structured, and visually appealing. The book provides practical tips on how to design websites with the users in mind, ensuring that the user experience is always a top priority.

Krug’s humorous and conversational writing style makes this book an enjoyable read for both beginners and experienced web designers.

Key points:

  • Focuses on user experience design in web design.
  • Provides practical tips on designing websites that are easy to use, structured well, and visually appealing.
  • Written in a humorous and conversational style.

The above books are highly recommended for graphic designers looking to specialize in certain areas of the field. Read them to enhance your skills, gain new insights, and keep up with industry trends.

Contemporary Approaches To Graphic Design

A Review Of Books That Explore Modern Techniques And Trends In Graphic Design

If you’re interested in staying on top of contemporary approaches to graphic design, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of fantastic books out there that explore modern techniques and trends in graphic design. Below, we’ll take a closer look at two standout examples in the genre: “steal like an artist” by austin kleon and “drawn to business” by william beachy.

Steal Like An Artist By Austin Kleon

“steal like an artist” is a book that challenges the notion of originality in art and design. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, kleon argues that artists and designers should look to existing works for inspiration and then build on those ideas in creative ways.

Here are some key takeaways from kleon’s book:

  • Creativity is all about connecting existing ideas with new ones to create something entirely unique.
  • Embrace your influences and use them as a jumping-off point for your own work.
  • Don’t wait for inspiration to strike — start creating and see where it takes you.
  • The creative process is messy and non-linear, but that’s where the magic happens.

Drawn To Business By William Beachy

“drawn to business” is a must-read for anyone looking to turn their passion for graphic design into a successful business. Beachy draws on his own experiences as the founder of go media to offer practical advice and insights on what it takes to succeed as a graphic designer.

Here are some of the key lessons from his book:

  • Don’t just focus on your technical skills — also hone your business acumen by learning about marketing, sales, and finance.
  • Build a strong network of clients and collaborators by being reliable and communicative.
  • Don’t be afraid to specialize in a niche area of design — it can help you stand out and command higher rates.
  • Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and always be willing to adapt and evolve your approach.

Both “steal like an artist” and “drawn to business” offer valuable insights into the world of contemporary graphic design. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or practical business advice, these books are sure to be a valuable addition to your library.


Ultimately, learning graphic design is a continuous process, and the best way to keep up to date is by reading the top-rated books in the field. Investing in the best books on graphic design is a wise decision that can help designers acquire new skills and techniques, learn from leading designers’ experiences, and improve their work.

The books on this list cover several areas of graphic design, from typography and color to digital design and layout. They feature valuable insights from accomplished designers, beautiful illustrations, and practical tips for aspiring and seasoned designers alike. As the digital world continues to evolve and expand, the importance of graphic design persists.

Therefore, designers must stay informed and inspired through reading, experimentation, and seeking inspiration from many sources to create exceptional designs that leave lasting impressions.

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