Best books for graphic designers

My favourite books about graphic design -

  1. Non-Designer’s Design Book - Robin Patricia Williams
  2. Graphic Design for Everyone - Cath Caldwell

Now, I want to read some more book in this topic. I’m thinking of purchasing these books -

  1. Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type - Kimberly Elam
  2. You Can Draw in 30 Days - Mark Kistler

Please share your favourite book names about graphic design.

If you want to learn to draw, the book I most highly recommend is
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.
Do ALL of the lessons in order, no skipping and you’ll learn as fast as you can get through them. Might be under 30 days, or more than 30 days, but it works. It teaches you how to unsee what you think you see and draw what is really there.

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I don’t keep textbooks anymore. The only design related books I’ve cracked in the last 5 years are Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, and Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color.

Not graphic design per se, but I love Lynda Barry’s books. She was friends with Matt Groening in college. He went on to create The Simpsons, and she created the underground Ernie Pook’s Comeek, which was pure effing genius. Now she’s a university professor and teaching drawing and creativity. She has a few non-comic books out that use comics and drawing exercises to work beyond creative blocks. Non-linear, unconventional, not for everyone, and thought provoking. They always put me in a different head space.

Ha! Me too, although the book I have is Pantone’s Color Messages and Meanings. GAG’s handbook is always valuable for business and pricing purposes.

As for other books, graphic design is a subject that I’ve never felt lends itself to books that go beyond showing example of good design. Written books on design, for me, have always fallen a bit flat — sort of like a pianist reading a book on playing the piano. The book might be interesting and informative, but no one is ever going to learn the piano (or design) by reading a book.

The one exception is the book @PrintDriver mentioned: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Using the techniques and thought processes explained in this book can improve anyone’s drawing ability. I’m not sure I buy into the right-vs. left side of the brain thing, but the book is well worth studying for those learning to draw.


The only book that’s still in rotation for me is The Art of Typography by Martin Solomon. In depth but accessible look at typography.

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The only book I kept from college was called Pocket Pal: A Graphic Arts Production Handbook
It sits unused cuz I live and breathe prepress these last 20+ years (but more cuz it’s out of date, LOL.)
We also had an engineering quick guide around here that gave square foot weights for things like glass and plex, but haven’t seen that in years (and it’s all online now.)

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I didn’t get any formal education in graphic design. I was working in website development and it is only recently that I’ve found my passion in graphic design. I want to learn more and more about everything in this field. Therefore, I have decided to keep searching for good graphic design books for studying, practicing the concepts, and try to be better every day.

These days I learn mostly from YouTube videos and Udemy courses. I have always wanted to read books about graphics design also. I think I will check out those you outlined.