10 Essential Books for Every Graphic Designer - Pel Hughes print marketing new orleans

Graphic designers have the fortunate problem of having a wealth of literature at our fingertips. Whether you’re a design student or a seasoned professional, it’s always important to keep your skills current and find ways to constantly improve. While it can be difficult to sift through all of the material out there, we’ve done our homework and determined the 10 essential books that every graphic designer needs on their bookshelf. So without further ado, here is the list.   



  • Paula Scher: Works Tony Brook & Adrian Shaughnessy


Often referred to as the most influential female graphic designer of all time, Paula Scher provides a stunning monograph from Unit Editions. The 326-page book includes a long interview with Scher, and sections dedicated to her socially and politically motivated posters, New York Times Op-Ed illustrations and campaign work. 



  • How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul Adrian Shaughnessy


Design consultant and writer Adrian Shaughnessy draws on a wealth of experience to provide a career manual to guide graphic designers through the profession. How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul addresses the concerns of young designers who want to earn a living by doing meaningful work, and avoid becoming a hired drone working on soulless projects. The book provides straight-talking advice on how to establish a design career, as well as pointers for running a successful business and how to adapt to our digital culture.



  • Logo Modernism (Design) Jens Muller


Modernist aesthetics in architecture, art, and product design are familiar to many. In soaring glass structures or minimalist canvases, we recognize a time of vast technological advance which affirmed the power of human beings to reshape their environment and to break, radically, from the conventions or constraints of the past. Less well-known, but no less fascinating, is the distillation of modernism in graphic design. Logo Modernism is equally fascinating to anyone interested in social, cultural, and corporate history, and in the sheer persuasive power of image and form.



  • Just My Type: A Book About Fonts Simon Garfield


This is not just a font book, but more of a collection of intriguing stories. From the typeface of Beatlemania, to the graphic vision of the Obama campaign, fonts can signal a musical revolution or the rise of an American president. Just My Type looks at a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seemingly universal use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and what makes a font look male or female, or American or German. This one will forever change how you look at the printed word.



  • House Industries: The Process is the Inspiration Andy Cruz


This illustrated journey offers a personal perspective on the origin of ideas for creative people in any deign field. In it, Andy Cruz offers groundbreaking and inspirational ideas to help artists, designers, musicians and creative people in any industry develop their best work.



  • New Perspectives in Typography Scott Williams


Taking a comprehensive approach to contemporary type design, this book showcases the work of more than 100 designers – including David Peardon, Philippe Apeloig, and Anthony Burrill. In addition to providing a sourcebook for seasoned designers and educators, this book will encourage and inspire the next generation of designers as well.



  • Graphic Design Visionaries Caroline Roberts


Graphic Design Visionaries features 75 of the world’s most influential designers and presents the story of graphic design through the inspiring personal stories alongside large, full-color reproductions of their boundary-pushing work. The chronological book introduces many of the key designers every practitioner should know, and features the likes of M/M Paris, Wim Crouwel, Tom Eckersley, Stefan Sagmeister, Studio Dumbar, Irma Boom and more.



  • Women in Graphic Design 1890-2012 Gerda Breuer


In recent decades, female graphic designers have been working actively and successfully, but the longstanding identification of creative genius with masculinity has largely prevented women from receiving recognition in the official annals of design history. Even today, only a tiny percentage of female designers enjoy public acclaim. This extraordinary piece book takes a look beneath the surface and examines numerous contributions from design historians, programmatic texts and a comprehensive collection of biographies. It also offers interviews with internationally recognized female designers, including Irma Boom, Paula Scher, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Julia Hoffmann and Tina Roth Eisenberg, among others.



  • Type Hybrid: Typography in Multilingual Design Victionary


Type Hyrbid opens with a collection of 120 logotypes that feature synchronized multilingual details within a compact design before expanding to probe into 100 visual communication solutions. The book examines the increasing globalization of today’s society and discusses how the world is looking for a new-era language that can unite and identify with multiple cultures at once. This does not only come as a verbal challenge, but an intellectual one for designers to understand foreign values and communication systems to create an effective discourse.



  • How to Have Great Ideas: A Guide to Creative Thinking John Ingledew


An essential guide for students and young professionals looking to embrace creative thinking in design, advertising and communications, How to Have Great Ideas looks at strategies and practical projects showing how to unlock creative ideas in different ways. John Ingledew also provides numerous examples of innovative thinking in graphic design, advertising, photography, illustration, architecture, product design, furniture design, industrial design, animation, digital design, car design, engineering, art and fashion.