Top 10 Best Books for Graphic Designers



there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a little book-smart hey everybody this is roberto blake of robertoblake.com helping you create something awesome today so today we've got another graph design video and today I'm going to talk to you about my top 10 books for graphic designers so I want to start the first one with one of my favorite graphic designers and this book is all about inspiration it's one of the biggest challenges when you're grabbed desire or creative is to find great sources of inspiration and sometimes you need a really good example of someone who's been there before and done the work as a designer and an overall art director I take a lot of inspiration from rodham melanic and I highly recommend book of ideas this book is amazing because it's just a lot of great inspiration and a lot of different creative projects it's very well thought out and put together and I really dig this because Radha Melnick is an art director that I've been following for years and whenever I need an example of something that's truly well executed I immediately think of him so he's definitely one of my favorite designers and I super appreciate this book numbers two and three are still like an artist and show your work both by Austin Kleon these books are not design centric or focused their overall more about creativity and the way that we think about creativity I think that if you read both of these books it'll really open you up and change your mind about some of your ideas about how you work and think and interpret your creativity your ideas and how you're positioning and marketing yourself I think that these two books by themselves could be the cure for starving artist syndrome it's a real epidemic that we've got to deal with for all of you font snobs out there I definitely recommend just my type this book is more of a little bit of a history of the evolution of typography and type design and I really think that this book is a must read for anybody who is a designer because you really have to have an appreciation and a sense of how parts of the craft have evolved over time and what the backstory behind a lot is and kind of really affect and informs from your design choices and decisions and it also will give you a healthy respect for people who are veterans in the industry so I definitely recommend it the forward is by chip kid he's actually a really famous and well-known graphic designer and he actually did a great presentation how designed live in 2016 so if you're not familiar with chip kid I highly recommend you look into him he's not the author of this book but he did write the foreword and I did want to mention that numbers five and six are really special we have logo and we have symbol and these two books are actually really cool they'll just look fantastic but if you really want an understanding of logo design you want some great examples this book is just chock-full of them and if you're doing concept work and development and you really are feeling stumped I highly recommend that you take a look at these books and this will help put you back in touch with some of the fundamentals and give you some examples to work off of and give you a little bit of context to some of the famous logos and symbols that you might be familiar with and so definitely I'm recommending both of these by the way links to all the books I'm talking about here and a few more will be in the description below Amazon affiliate links they help out the channel they cost you nothing extra next we have a book that's going to help you with pricing your graphic design if you're a freelancer and give you a better sense of pricing and marketing yourself effectively these are things I know a lot of designers struggle with I talk about these things a lot on the channel and someone who actually is very competent to help you understand this is the author of this book Elise Benin a lot of you might actually know her from the how design podcast and also the creative entrepreneurs track at how design live she's a great public speaker in her own right and she's actually a good friend of mine so I definitely recommend you check out this book if you're somebody who's struggling with marketing themselves pricing and positioning as a designer this book will definitely give you some more insight into that and she has a lot of other books that I think would be helpful for you so I'll link those down below as well for graphic design students this book says it all graphic design school this book is comprehensive on the principles of graphic design I really think that this is a fantastic primer for anyone just getting into graphic design it could be a refresher for you if you've already been doing this for a while and I think that this is a solid book it is a little bit older I think I have one of the earlier editions I think I have the third edition I'll try and link to the newest one down below not every graphic designer is going to be a Photoshop user but the far majority are and thus I have to recommend layers again I'm using an older edition of this I've had this for years is a fantastic guide to understanding one of those powerful aspects of Photoshop which is the layers tool and panel and so I would highly recommend this this book is probably one of the best overall books that I could recommend to anyone who wants to get into photo manipulation and photo retouching and compositing this book is going to have exactly what you need to understand about that if you are trying to go that route in your career or if you're a digital artist then definitely make sure you're getting this book Mac Laskowski is definitely one of the veterans of the industry and a Photoshop power user so with this book you're in good hands and finally one of my absolute favorites on this list is art direction explained at last this book is a little thicker it is a little heavier but is a great book it's got a lot of history into it what you learn is you'll learn about the old-school creative in art directors and what their role in the industry was and how they got started and I think it's really fascinating I think if you read it you'll actually get some insight into how you can evolve your career a lot of people when they talk about their stories and share their experiences in this book and how they got started as designers has created you'll find out how much grit and hustle and just old-school doing their own work and building their own opportunities really made a difference in where they ended up because this industry wasn't established in the way that it is today in the way that we recognize it and even the parts of it that were becoming established were extraordinary elitist and it was very hard to break in and so a lot of these people they made their own opportunities I think in reading this particular book you'll get a better understanding appreciation for that maybe it'll inspire you to do your own thing there are people in there that like we're doing really old school newsletters laying them out themselves and circulating them and printing them and running their own underground magazines I mean it's amazing to think of how they did these things so I think if you read this it will not only finally help you understand what an art director is and what art direction is about that'll help you understand really what it takes to be a successful creative on any level and how much self-discipline and hustle and initiative play a role beyond just talent and being in the right place at the right time so yeah these are my top ten favorite books for graphic designers these in my opinion are the best of the best but as nice of a stack as this is I will have links to some additional books I didn't mention here that definitely deserve a look if you're a graphic designer or any type of creative in the description below so make sure you're checking that out and I'm going to set these down anyway I hope you guys enjoyed this video I know a lot of you have asked me about books for graphic designers and for artists before and so now yeah got a whole pile of them to check out one of the other things I want to do more often on this channel is I love doing these wrap design Monday videos for you guys but I want to talk about creativity in a much broader sense so I'm actually thinking of starting a little bit of a vlog this will be different than my Sunday vlogs which are more about life and motivation and things that are going on with me and old war stories this will be a vlog I call creative thoughts I'm not going to daily vlogging I have no real interest in doing that but I really do want to have more conversations with you guys I want to be able to answer your questions and I want to be able to talk about my thoughts and experiences on what's happening in our industry in a new way in addition to another project I've been teasing is a youtube show so those two things are coming down the pipeline I love ideas from you guys in the description below what you guys want to talk about do you guys want to talk more about creative education you guys want to talk about things revolving around young people creative mindset you know industry trends that are happening right now are those things that interest you guys and would you want to have a conversation about them let me know in the comment section like this video if you liked it don't forget to subscribe check out the other awesome content on the channel as always you guys thanks so very much for watching and don't forget create something awesome today

48 Replies to “Top 10 Best Books for Graphic Designers”

  1. can you tell me, whats the first book i need to buy among those? (not a beginner but i want to know more)

  2. I love this video! Thank you for all the time you put into your channel. Do you read any graphic design/design magazines? I'd love to know if there are any great ones I don't know about yet.

  3. can you suggest some books or make a video that how to use colors in design ..so that my design looks good and presentable.

  4. I have some of the books on your list. There are couple I would like to get. I can't wait to check 'em out!

  5. Hey Roberto, thanks for the inspiration. I was in a graphic design, videography position for a political org and i kind of lost my love for the work, so i came upon your channel and i'm looking forward to watching a lot of your stuff also because my undergrad was in marketing so i love your in
    depth knowledge and how you are combining them. Great job!

  6. Absolutely recommend – Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students
    by Ellen Lupton

  7. Those look super, will definitely check them out. These videos are so helpful, whatever you are creating, so thanks for that Roberto.

  8. Is contacting you via email/ phone out of the question? Im motivated and need a lot of help. Im doing my own research and putting in time but some efficient communication would be beyond appreciated.

  9. Just stumbled upon your channel and this video was awesome! Thanks for making it! I'm a very analytical person, and I've been looking for books on design. I love good design but have struggled to figure out what makes it good and then replicate it in my own life.

  10. Could you possibly post a detailed list of the books you own (on your bookshelf) if you ever have some spare time…? Thanks!

  11. Awesome video, actually, I'm getting both Austin Kleon's books. By the way, this is besides the point and doesn't matter much, but I feel turning down the saturation just a little bit in your video would make it much better. What do you think?

  12. Is your transition with the bubbles a luma matte? also, you should make your little character come to life in character animator

  13. Hey Roberto! I have been binge watching your videos because I am hooked to the quality content you put out there. But I am watching your videos out of order so if you have already covered what I am about to ask, you can disregard this comment and question. I would love to get your opinion on the best time to legitimize your business, as in setting it up as an LLC, INC, LLP, etc. If you don't know any lawyers through friends and family, what would be a good and reliable source for finding the right lawyer. Retainer vs hourly, etc. Thank you for creating such awesome content for us.

  14. You are extremely natural in this video. Thank you for uploading this. Not only did I enjoy your list, but I really found myself smiling a lot. You're very enthusiastic.

  15. Yes! All that needs to be talked about. Anything creativity. Also, did you ever finish that 1,000 paper crane project?

  16. I have Just My Type and Art Direction Explained At La

    other books…
    Hardcore typography: Typography: Macro- and Microaesthetics by Willi Kunz

    Design book that's funny and entertaining about 2 students and what it was like as a design student and entering the field: Never Sleep by dan covert and andre andreev

    Wash, rinse, soak spin

    Hardcore lettering: Dangerous Curves by Doyald Young

  17. I will take a look at these books although my interest is elsewhere. I just want to say that the lighting on your video needs adjusting or you need better lighting. Some areas seem overexposed.

  18. +Roberto Blake Good video. Started my first agency in '76. Became a VP of my second one with several partners a year or so later. Went from working on one tiny account to majors like McDonald's and Grumman. It is all about hustle and determination and being ready when the time comes.

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