With so many books and authors steamrollering the market, it becomes hard to select the right book, especially in the world of graphic design. You may listen to the great designers talk and discuss design concepts, but there’s something different about the books. Let me tell you a secret; books are the best bet because they’re a complex kaleidoscope of ideas, practices, and experiences all juiced into a paperback copy. And the credibility of the author becomes noticeable when the reader invites these ideas into the latticework of his own understanding and hence, gives birth to a whole new notion.
Since graphic design is a diverse field itself, many creatives and authors have taken their chances to contribute to the field. We previously mentioned 20 design books in our blog, but this time, we’ve curated a list of the latest books that have been published since 2015. These reads are super important because their recentness allows you to parallel your speed with the design trend… and you know the rest.
So, here’s the list with graphic design books mentioned in chronological order; there’s some author bio (in case you’re wondering what position and experiences the writer holds as a designer) and then the book review. Enjoy because it’s your food for thought!
1. Logo Modernism (2015)
About The Author: Hailing from the German city of Koblenz, Jens Muller stepped into the world of graphic design and started climbing the steep ladder of success. He received several awards for his outstanding works and currently is the Creative Director at the Optik design studio in Dusseldorf. He’s also privileged as a visiting faculty at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts and at the Peter Behrens School of Arts in Dusseldorf. Muller is also the esteemed author of the A5 Design series.
About The Book: Logo Modernism is basically a comprehensive logo design catalog, which includes about six thousand logos from the 40s to the 80s era. It focuses on the modernistic design trends that evolved over time and brought recognition to the modern corporate entity. Moreover, you can find graphic design history, eight designer profiles, as well as eight design cases. If you believe imagery and form have the power to add a wrinkle in time, then this graphic design book might just be the one for you.
2. How to… (2015)
About The Author: Michael Bierut is a name that doesn’t need an introduction. Besides being the world-renown graphic designer, the Pentagram partner, a world-class design critic, a winner of a gazillion design awards, the founder of Design Observer, and a Professor at the Yale School of Management, this prestigious designer’s experience knows no bounds. Plus, his collection of essays and graphic design books have made waves across the seven seas.
About The Book: How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World. Yes, that’s the complete name of the book. The reason you won’t find a book’s name this long anywhere is that one of the world’s renowned designers has gathered 35 years of his life in this very monograph. It isn’t only a design manual; it’s also a manifesto that revolves around 35 design projects from the artist’s life. Michael Bierut, in his eclectic style, takes us on a journey to the world of the design process from start till the end, with creative insights about his relationships with clients, working models, and his struggle in being the innovator. From beginners to the professionals in the field, How to… invites each into one of the greatest creative minds of the century.
3. New Perspectives in Typography (2015)
About The Authors: Scott Williams and Henrik Kubel are serial typographers who run a type-focused design studio A2/SW/HK in the UK. They are masterminds in concocting custom types and have contributed to producing a whole array of types and fonts. Both designers are members of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI).
About The Book: New Perspectives in Typography explores the type designs in trend and is braced with visually appealing examples as well as essays from celebrated designers. Williams and Kubel curated type designs in the order from A to Z delivered by carefully chosen designers in this age. The entry of a book that features works of designers like David Pearson, Anthony Burrill, and Philippe Apeloig among many others is a great asset to the world of graphic design books.
4. Print Matters: The Cutting Edge of Print (2015)
About The Author: Viction workshop is a publishing company founded by Victor Cheung. It specializes in printing books related to design, whether be it graphics or the fashion industry. Their standards are met with perfection in vision and have successfully produced more than 100 books since 2001.
About The Book: As the name suggests, this one-of-a-kind manuscript takes design beyond the borders of traditional print and at the same, excels digital print by all means. Since it’s related to prints, it displays more than 110 examples of design book prints. Print Matters: The Cutting Edge of Print digs deeper into the printing techniques, such as varnish use, die-cut, and foil stamping and much more with respect to design.
About The Authors: Editors Robert Klanten and Anna Sinofzek belong to a unique graphic design-oriented publishing house, Gestalten. This firm has been in business for two decades and has produced numerous aesthetically pleasing books. They believe in the ability to narrate their designs beyond words, hence liberating their potential to exceed their experience in the field of publishing graphic design books.
About The Book: If you’re thinking of initiating a new business or aspiring to become an entrepreneur, Start Me Up! is the best deal for you. It is a collection of novel corporate designs for a new generation of entrepreneurs. From turban tailors to designing for flower shops, this books tells you the secrets of breaking the stereotypical shackles of the traditional businesses. It features extraordinary works on small businesses from branding strategies to visual story and delivers the idea of transforming businesses around the world.
6. Graphic Design Visionaries (2015)
About The Author: Caroline Roberts is a gifted and esteemed editor of the popular Grafik magazine for almost two decades. She loves to create exemplary and exceptional content – that piques the interest of her audience – via print and online publications. And it’s quite evident that she’s the author of our mention right here and a few other books.
About The Book: This book is all about 75 lives who metamorphosed the world of graphic design using their defined vision. It starts with the works of Piet Zwart in the 1880’s and ends with M/M Paris est. 1992. Profiles of professionals and design geniuses belonging to various aspect of the graphic design niche are discussed to inspire the vision of contemporary graphic designers. Plus, it’s full of rich illustration so you may remain inspired.
About The Authors: You aren’t a true graphic designer if you don’t know who Ellen Lupton is. She’s an AIGA-award winner graphic designer who is also a curator, author, and typophilic. Ellen has been around since 1993 and has been at the forefront of co-authoring and publishing. In case you didn’t know, she’s also a proficient lecturer who travels all over the US to speak to upcoming designers. On the other hand, Jennifer Cole Phillips is a prolific graphic designer and the Director of the Graphic Design MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Arts. Her rigorous work has been recognized by several print magazines and design organizations among others. All in all, she’s an educator who is embracing her passion for graphic design and teaching simultaneously.
About The Book: Since both of our authors belong to the teaching profession, this book was a fruit of their collaboration. The 2008 edition contained all the basics of graphic design that is introduced a variety of practices for young professionals to keep up with the shifting times. This edition, however, is an update and incorporates all the novel concepts, such as typography, modes of representation, Gestalt principles, and visualizing data, that were not covered in the previous version.
About The Authors: You know Steven Heller, don’t you? He’s one of the seasoned hotshot graphic designers and authors out there. After serving at the New York Times as an art director for 33 years, Mr. Heller has been juggling with the hats of a co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department, a special consultant, an editor, and the list goes on and on. His co-author, Gail Anderson, has been working with him since 1990 for producing books on various topics related to design, illustration, and typography. Don’t take her too light though; she’s a serial designer on the loose.
About The Book: If you want to learn some basics of professional design, this book introduces you to the very fundamental elements. It intrigues the readers to view the technicalities of some masterpieces and encourages them to test innovative ideas. Just to make sure, this book is an easy-to-follow guide using expert techniques. We need more graphic design books like this one here, don’t we?
Looking for Inspiration? Here is something for you: Print Design vs. Web Design: What Makes Them Different?
About The Authors: Initially co-authored by Beryl Mcalhone and David Stuart in 1996, the revised and updated edition called for the co-author services of Greg Quinton and Nick Asbury. Greg is the chief creative officer at Superunion, which is a novel brand agency, while Nick is the competitive-edge, award-winning designers’ writer.
About The Book: The collaboration of both the professionals in the graphic design niche brought the updated version into the spotlight among other graphic design books. However, the authors believe that every graphic designer needs to experience the role of wit and humor in the field of graphic design. And with the idea of conjuring smiles, the book showcases more than one thousand visuals relating to graphic design and branding from the past four decades and 500 designers. In a nutshell, this book is a great addition to your bookshelf if you need inspiration cherry-topped with classic wit and humor.
10. Branding: In Five and a Half Steps (2016)
About The Author: Branding genius Michael Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in the field of branding, art direction, and graphic design. He started his own company ‘Johnson Banks’ in 1992 and since has been contacted by notable clients, such as Virgin Atlantic, BFI, MORE TH>N and Think London among a myriad of many others.
About The Book: Johnson begins the book first by boiling down the basic components of branding with respect to various cases and invites the users to understand how the process of consumer choice can affect decisions in the long-term. The first part, however, begins by identifying the right question instead of finding the solution. To fill the missing gap, John exposes the secrets to a creating a successful brand. Plus, you can find your inspiration from 1000+ exemplary corporate illustrations and start your brand in just a few steps that Johnson walks you along.
11. Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything (2016)
About The Author: He’s a graphic designer who always wears a cap, a jacket, and has a beard. The person we’re talking about is also the founder of the pronounced design company Draplin Design Co. – a home to great designers. He’s Aaron James Draplin and he’s no spring chicken in the field of design. Currently based in Portland, Oregon, his clients include Nike, Ford, Esquire, Obama Administration, Red Wing, and Field Notes. And he seriously owes his success to his parents!
About The Book: As extensive as Draplin’s work, his book is also a great must-have for any designer. It includes ‘pretty much everything’ that a designer needs to start his career. This book showcases his works that were produced during the mid of his career from case studies to poster designs and logos. Aaron keeps the interest going on by diving deep into the observation of design as well as offering valuable advice. We believe that among all the other graphic design books loaded on your shelf, this one is a keeper.
12. Min: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design (2016)
About The Author: With 15 years of experience in the field of graphic design and publication, Stuart Tolley is the Founder and Creative Director at a UK-based studio, Transmission Graphic Design. He has worked with big publication names, such as Esquire, The Independent on Saturday, and Sleazenation. He has authored two books and can be found chilling in the countryside when not working.
About The Book: As the title of the book holds, it’s all about simplicity and minimalism in design and font. It takes us far from all the culturally-fostered idea of pattern and sways us towards a direction of the minimalist design. Tolley showcases 150 extraordinary minimal works belonging to a wide pool of deisgners. Moreover, the book focuses on the key aspects of modern design and presents novel work that has been produced 3 years before the book’s publication. Apart from the minimalistic works, you can also find interviews and leading minimalist designers, essays on how minimalism came into being, and 500 colorful illustrations.
13. Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter (2017)
About The Authors: Phaidon is a globally recognized name when it comes to printing books of all sorts. They have published more than 1500 titles from works of many great chefs, thinkers, and artists, as well as several illustrative books for children. The book title above is yet another accomplishment.
About The Book: Of all the best design books of 2017, the list wouldn’t be complete without Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter. This comprehensive collection takes the readers back to the history of graphic design from the 15th century to the groundbreaking ones in the contemporary times. This multilateral compendium is a work of several great professionals and has seized the global appeal. Wouldn’t you want to give it a try?
About The Author: Currently an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at St. John’s University, New York, Aaris Sherin is a featured designer who has gained recognition with her writing and excellence in the field of design. She has also lectured at Global conferences and is a source of inspiration for graphic designers out there!
About The Book: If you’re a student who’s stuck in the rut and think that you can’t make it alive out of the institute, then this book is a Holy Grail for you. Author Aaris Sherin walks you through the main design elements and structure in graphic design. With 500 illustrated examples, she carefully explains the intricacies of design technicalities to develop a creative problem-solving approach. Chapter by chapter, she introduces you to the multifaceted dimension of visual arts in the design domain.
About The Authors: The authors of this book are Steven Heller and Greg D’Onofrio. You remember we mentioned Steven Heller earlier, and yes, he has co-authored many books. He and D’Onofrio (Designer and Partner at the Kind Company) came up with the idea of targeting midcentury pioneers of design in America.
About The Book: This is one of the design books that pay tribute to the Midcentury postwar designers in North America. There are illustrated profiles as well as interviews from more than 60 designers. It features all those designers who were drunk on the idea of modern typography, bright colors, geometric forms and photography. Apart from well-known designers, you can also notice some obscure ones who contributed to a significant change in the design world.