10 Best Design Books

Graphic design is one of the important skills today. Even if you are not a graphic designer, in some cases, you still have to produce drawings for your tasks.

So, how can a non-specialist come up with a design idea and implement it? Meanwhile, what do people who want to become professional designers need to learn? Find the answer in the article.

There are many manuals that are related to design ideas. However, only a few books bring knowledge as valuable as the 10 names I recommend below.

1. Branding: In Five and a Half Steps

Branding: In Five and a Half Steps


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 320 pages.
  • Item Weight: 3.11 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.4 x 10 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Provide general knowledge.
  • Many questions stimulate the ability to reason.
  • Give lessons learned from reputable companies.
  • Describe in detail the general formula for building a brand.


Design is an integral part of branding. In this book, the author presented the most general overview of this rather broad issue.

Branding: Five and a Half Steps begins with exciting case studies. At the same time, the author also raised many questions that made me think.

Why do we choose this product/service? How is a brand created? And what is the secret to creating a successful brand?

In the chapters that follow, Johnson answers these questions. The author gives a lot of examples of successful companies and standard methods for branding.

This book will not directly teach you how to design. Yet, it provides an overview of the brand and a simple process to bring out the most attractive products.

2. Logo Modernism

Logo Modernism


  • Language: Multilingual.
  • Paperback: 432 pages.
  • Item Weight: 7.91 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 1.8 x 14.9 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Include over 6,000 logos
  • Fascinating for lovers of cultural history.
  • Lots of easy-to-understand illustrations.
  • Complete knowledge of modern graphic design.
  • The appendix contains interesting extended articles.


The influence of modernism on today’s design style is undeniable. And if you are interested in this style, Logo Modernism is a book you should take advantage of.

This book deals with modernist aesthetics. It is also a compilation of over 6,000 logos from hundreds of different fields.

I also immensely enjoyed the appendix of the book. It includes an essay on modernism and graphic design and an extension on the history of the logo.

I learned quite a bit from Logo Modernism. This book is an encyclopedia of modernist graphic design. So, Logo Modernism is not simply a book for design inspiration. I recommend it to people interested in history, culture, and brands in the business.

3. Logo Beginnings

Logo Beginnings


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 432 pages.
  • Item Weight: 7.78 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 10.16 x 1.77 x 15.12 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Introduce designs logically.
  • Many case studies of popular brands.
  • Classification of categories of scientific logos.
  • It is a monograph with many different design styles.
  • Easy to understand for people with no professional knowledge.


This book is similar to Logo Modernism, starting with the origin of modern logos and the logo history of famous global brands.

Unlike the previous book, Logo Beginnings is a monograph that deals with many different design styles. I am impressed with how the author introduced the first figurative designs to today’s abstract logos.

I am particularly impressed with how Jens Müller categorizes the logo category.

Design types like Images and effects appeal to me the most. Meanwhile, the form and design type is new, bringing a new perspective on design principles.

4. The Elements of Typographic Style

The Elements of Typographic Style


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 382 pages.
  • Item Weight: 1.34 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 9.25 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Rich content knowledge.
  • Spark a reader’s interest in typography.
  • A fascinating and engaging way to lead.
  • Help readers have an in-depth understanding of typography in design.
  • Practical wisdom for readers to quickly improve typography.


Typography contributes to the soul of design. If you haven’t considered this element before when creating, check out The Elements of Typographic Style.

Robert Bringhurst, the master of typesetting, wrote this book. So, from the first chapters, I was overwhelmed by the knowledge that the author introduced.

The book covers many aspects of typography, from history to theory to practice. After completing the book, I can immediately gain a deep understanding and improve my typography.

Another advantage I appreciate about the book is that the author’s storytelling is attractive. Even in the most extended chapters, the book did not make me bored.

5. Why Fonts Matter

Why Fonts Matter


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 144 pages.
  • Item Weight: 1.13 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 7.28 x 0.79 x 8.66 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Highly applicable.
  • High interactivity.
  • Useful for product designers.
  • Suitable for many different objects.
  • Complete coverage of font-related issues.


How do you know if a font will work when applied to a design? Find the answer in Why Fonts Matter. This helpful book covers quite a few font-related issues.

For the first time, I learned that fonts could influence user’s decisions and change perception. The book addresses both science and font art. I’m confident that even beginners in the field of design will be captivated by the knowledge of Why Fonts Matter.

6. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 384 pages.
  • Item Weight: 13.6 ounces.
  • Dimensions: 5.45 x 0.78 x 8.2 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Impressive opening paragraph.
  • Ideal for design-conscious people.
  • Arouse the reader’s interest with an exciting story.
  • Mention the most significant and worst fonts.
  • Answers to common font-related questions.


In daily life, you may be exposed to dozens, even hundreds of fonts. However, have you ever wondered why so many fonts are needed and who is behind the fonts? Just My Type: A Book About Fonts will help you answer these questions.

This book opens with an exciting story that explores the history and power of fonts. Then it revealed the best and worst fonts and shed some light on the digital ones.

After completing Just My Type, I completely changed my view of the print. Of course, this book still has some things that could be improved, such as mentioning too many fonts that may not be familiar to the user. However, I will always recommend this book to design-conscious people.

7. Work Hard & Be Nice to People

Work Hard & Be Nice to People


  • Language: English.
  • Edition: Kindle.
  • File size: ‎ 27077 KB.
  • Print length: ‎ 160 pages.

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Reason To Buy

  • Inspiration for beginner
  • It provides many helpful tips.
  • Briefly describe the most critical issues.
  • The way to lead is attractive and attractive.
  • Ask a lot of important questions and give answers.


Work Hard & Be Nice to People is a short book. Therefore, I also do not expect it to provide detailed knowledge like the names I introduced above.

Instead of covering too much knowledge, the Work Hard & Be Nice to People focuses on answering the most critical questions while inspiring readers.

I was led by Anthony Burrill’s voice and was particularly impressed by the author’s inspirational aphorisms. I also found some advice on how to get work done and motivation and inspiration in design.

8. Show Your Work!

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 224 pages.
  • Item Weight: 9.6 ounces.
  • Dimensions: 6.06 x 0.63 x 6 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Easy to understand and engaging.
  • Refers to a lot of new knowledge
  • 10 transformational rules that change the way you work
  • Reveal the most effective way to unleash your creativity.
  • Detailed instructions on the steps in the creative process.


The biggest challenge in design is running out of creative ideas. And if you need help unleashing your creativity, try reading Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered.

This book is about unlocking creativity I have never used before: “stealing” from a motivated people community. It also explains each step in the creative process in a way that is easy to understand and engaging.

Finally, Austin Kleon provides up to 10 highly applicable transformation rules, which completely changed my working style.

9. How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul

How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 176 pages.
  • Item Weight: 0.01 ounces.
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.63 x 9.13 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Include interviews with top designers.
  • Easy-to-understand graphic design knowledge.
  • Many tips to help readers shape their creative style.
  • Help readers have a precise orientation about the career market.
  • Inspiring young people to pursue a career as a graphic designer.


As the name suggests, this book is written specifically for graphic designers. It covers the most basic and essential knowledge that anyone aiming to become a graphic designer must master.

But How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul is not simply a book that mechanically provides knowledge. The tips in the book help young people confidently pursue this field without losing their style and identity.

The book’s most valuable part is the notes from interviews with top designers.

The pages in this chapter have given me some inspiration to create. After consulting the sharing industry experts, I have another view on career orientation and the job market.

10. How to Use Graphic Design

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


  • Language: English.
  • Paperback: 300 pages.
  • Item Weight: 4.63 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 9.65 x 10 inches.

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Reason To Buy

  • Good for your budget
  • Acquire many new skills
  • Your guide to selling your designs
  • Easy to read and understand for beginners


This book’s author is Michael Bierut, a designer I quite like. It is the reason why I decided to read his book about his projects. After completing this book, I admire this author even more.

Michael Bierut’s approach is quite broad. He deals with graphic design today in many different ways. He also presents his projects in a very entertaining tone. After each project, I gain new knowledge about the creative process and the challenges designers face.

The How to Use Graphic Design is like a graphic design bible. Anyone with a career direction in this should also read Bieruts’ book.

Buying Guides

Design Books

If you have little time for reading but want to improve your skills by referencing the material, consider the notes below. By choosing books this way, you will be satisfied with the knowledge received while using your precious time effectively.


What do you expect from a design book? An informative book on the design process is ideal for beginners. Yet, if you’re interested in a particular area of ​​design, like fonts, you’ll need to look at books that deal with that specific topic.


It would help if you also considered the author of the book. Authors with long-term experience in the field will often bring books with efficient applications. Even their work experiences and stories can inspire and motivate readers.

Publication date

Many books have been released for a long time but are still considered the preferred book of any designer. Yet, it is still better to look at books republished recently, such as highly up-to-date information.


What are the purposes of a book cover design?

Book cover design will attract readers’ attention. It is also a factor that affects readers’ decision to choose books.

What makes a book suitable?

A good book needs to have a way to attract readers and provide the rich and diverse knowledge that readers require.

How important is book cover design?

Book covers are an essential part of book marketing. The cover of the book will make the first impression on the readers. As a result, finding a professional book cover designer can affect overall sales.

How long does a book cover take to design?

With a basic book cover, it will take about 10-12 days to complete. However, making a book cover can take up to 20 working days with complex projects.

What are the types of book cover designs?

Some of the most prominent book cover design trends include minimalism, nostalgia, and illustration.


To succeed in the design field, you need to keep learning. In particular, refer to books like Branding: In Five and a Half Steps or How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul that will give you the best insight into graphic design.

By reading these ten books and many other suggestions available, you will improve your skills and succeed in your field. Thank you for reading!