Graphic design bookstore

design bookstore

I’m often asked what design books I recommend, so to save a little time I’ve launched a graphic design bookstore.

Books are split into these categories:

I’ve read about half of those listed, and the others come recommended by fellow designers. Where available, each book is shown alongside its Amazon rating and customer reviews.

Here are a few I’ve had a chance to feature:

Do you have any recommendations? Tips or preferences appreciated.

Visit The Designer’s Bookstore.

33 responses

  1. Conversely, I’ve read some quite negative reviews on that Tschichold book (a notable one by Phil Baines). So negative, I wouldn’t buy it – and he’s a massive hero figure. Would favour Ruari McLean’s books on the man…generally well thought of and McLean had the enviable advantage of having worked with Tschichold.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Richard. I’ve added your two choices to the iconic section, and swapped the initial Tschichold book for Ruari McLean’s (neither of which I’ve read, but the McLean one’s now on my shopping list).

  3. I’d suggest The Visual Dictionary of Graphic Design by Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris. It’d probably be too basic for a fully-fledged professional, but good for students or people like me who work in a slightly different field (illustration, in my case). It’s concise and easy to follow, and it doesn’t take up too much space on my over-loaded bookshelves!

  4. Great idea! I actually built an astore a few months ago, but it didn’t fit into my site design and I never got around to adjusting the CSS to make it work. But it looks like you can just have it in it’s own window without the shell of your site. I must’ve missed that option!

    Of course, Logo Design Love is right on top! I’m sooo excited for you and the new book, David!!! Another book I would add to the Graphic Design section is Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic’s The Anatomy of Design. I found it interesting. And what about Jeff Fisher’s Identity Crisis for the Branding section?

  5. Hi David

    Liking it although the one thing id like to add and i’m not sure if others would agree as you obviously get readers from all over the world but having a currency option as at the moment its just in dollars. Just an idea but i do like the site and its obviously connected to Amazon and at the risk of sounding naive is something anyone can do when setting up a website?

    Keep up the good work.


  6. I would also add that there are TONS of bargain books for a dollar or less that were once in their prime but are now simply out of print and are waiting on the shelves of used bookstores all over the world.

    Click David’s store, and poke around. If you don’t see something you like, search for “graphic design” but then sort by price. You’d be amazed at how many books that when new commanded $50 (US) but are now $1-$5 each. Some are even *less* but you have to look closely…I did a post recently on a few oldies but goodies for a penny, but there are endless titles out there, and old doesn’t necessarily mean irrelevant or uninspiring. Quite the contrary!

  7. Glad to see that some of the design books I have already picked up made your store and now I have titles to check out for future purchase. Definitely would like to see more books on branding and maybe advertising in there.

  8. Just wanted to mention that I’ve written sort of a text companion to all these great graphic design books in your store. It’s called GLIMMER: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World, coming out this month from Penguin Press in the U.S. and Random House (Canada/Europe-Jan.) I’m a journalist who got very interested in design a few years ago and interviewed more than 200 people for the book, including many of the authors in your bookstore (Glaser, Sagmeister, Bierut, etc). The main designer I followed throughout GLIMMER was Bruce Mau, a fascinating, multi-disciplinary character. The book is aimed at a wider audience than just designers but I think people here will find it of interest. See for more on the book and my take on design.

  9. Congrats on the book David!! You must be pretty excited to have it finally done. I recently bought a book on logos called “Logo, Font & Lettering Bible” by Leslie Cabarga. Very informative on the history of logos as well as step by step tutorials on how to scan, edit and create your own unique fonts. Very cool indeed if you haven’t picked it up already:)

  10. I hadn’t seen that one before, Cláudio. Good of you to make a recommendation, and one that Amazon users back you up on, too.

    Kate, I’ll definitely have a look at the design dictionary. My aim is to feature books that appeal to everyone, whether experienced or not, so thank you.

    Lauren, it was Antonio of AisleOne who gave me the idea after his use of an aStore. That was quite a while back, though, and I never actually knew how easy it’d be until I started this little side effort last week. Site integration using an iFrame is more hassle than it’s worth I reckon, because you can add whatever branding you want to the header. You might lose a little link juice, but that’s fine by me. As for your two mentions, good stuff.

    Michael, adding an aStore is simple. Here’s some info.

    Doug, I wanted to include a search box in the sidebar, but although they can be seen in images of the site templates, it doesn’t seem possible to add them. Shame.

    Jon, I’ve added a few more branding books, and might well take you up on the advertising category suggestion. Cheers buddy.

    Andrew, here’s hoping the book meets expectations. Thanks for your support.

    Warren, good of you to drop by, and coincidentally, I received an email about your book from the Penguin Group earlier today. One to look into, definitely.

    Abbas, I like the look of that one. Don’t think I’ve seen it before either, cheers.

    Kiren, pretty excited is right. A bit nervous too, though. There’s still work to do before it’s 100% finished, but we’re on course.

    Thanks for the comments / recommendations, everyone.

  11. Dear David! Thank you very much for your blog.

    Which is the best practical Edward de Bono’s book about creativity by your opinion? This autor has a lot of them…
    I need something interesting to read and to use in my speciality. I’m graphic designer.

  12. @ Alex: I have that book too, excellent choice. My 14 yr old nephew visited for the weekend and saw that book sitting on my art desk. He picked it up, perplexed, and questioned rather innocently, “Do you normally *have* to give your soul up to become a graphic designer?”

  13. @ David: My soul-less eyes stared blankly back at my nephew…

    Just kidding. I took the time to explain that “not losing your soul” was a metaphor for making good choices with your time on a certain level, but also that it could apply to any job. There are so many “important things to do”, it’s easy to get caught up in doing “needful” things instead of “most needful” things. If you get caught up doing “important”, but not “most important” you will indeed be sacrificing bits of your humanity while at the same time not getting what you are after. It’s hard, soul-searching work to exclude what you should not be doing. It’s much easier to not think so much and just do everything all the time and not see the cumulative lack of efficacy.

    Swiss Miss had 2 great posts about this recently:

  14. I don’t want to take the thread any more off topic…except just this once more:

    There are some great quotes here that relate to ‘How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul’ by Adrian Shaughnessey and the idea of not focusing on the right things as a designer, and also the importance of following a passion:

    “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the 100 other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” – Steve Jobs

    David: Can you recommend any other books, or even articles, on being a graphic designer along these lines? Something more fundamental?

  15. Thanks for the great graphic design resources! It’s nice to have a good solid place to start when looking for more information on a topic. Your efforts are much appreciated.

  16. I love Douglas’s comment about his nephew. lol

    I must get a copy of “How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul.” I have passed it over in the book shop many times but never bought a copy.

  17. Hi, I am wondering if there is a book that any of you guys can recommend for a beginner in graphic design. I studied science but graphic design’s rather interesting to get to know so I am thinking of self study.

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