Below are some of my favourite books on design.
Jost Hochuli, Detail in Typography
This tiny book is AMAZING. It’s written in quite a dry way but it’s easy to understand (I think) and really does summarise the main concepts of typography so well.
Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic, Stop, Think, Go, Do: How Typography and Graphic Design Influence Behavior
Fascinating examples of how typography can be used in the real world to great effect.
Joseph Müller-Brockmann, Grid Systems in Graphic Design
Straight to the point. A no nonsense guide on how to use grids in design, by one of the great masters.
Adams Morioka and Terry Stone, Color Design Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design
The best book I have found to explain how colour works, which is something I really used to struggle with.
Aaris Sherin, Design Elements: Color Fundamentals
A book full of useful examples and explanation of how to use colour.
Ellen Lupton and Abbott Miller, Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic Design
A very interesting collection of essays on graphic design. Some of them are formatted in a style which visually explains the content it’s communicating – very clever indeed!
Gjoko Muratovski, Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice
I thought this book was impenetrable at first but honestly, once you get a few chapters in, it starts making sense.
Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, William T. Fitzgerald, The Craft of Research: Fourth Edition
To be fair it doesn’t matter which edition you get. I’ve got the third. It’s incredible. It makes research much more simple and accessible. Honestly I cannot rate this book highly enough.
Steven Heller, Graphic Style: From Victorian to New Century
I bought and read this book shortly after I had signed up to my MA course in Graphic Arts. As someone with no prior education in design, this book was invaluable for providing me with context about various movements and styles which went on to inform my practice.
Alan Fletcher, The Art of Looking Sideways
This book is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It’s a joy to look through. It exemplifies exciting and aesthetically-pleasing book design.
Cameron S. Foote, The Business Side of Creativity
An amazing book on running a freelance business. Really simply written; goes into more practicalities than you can begin to imagine.
Disclaimer: if you click on the links above to purchase these books, I get a small amount of commission from Amazon for referring you. That does not mean they have influenced my choice of books – these are simply books I love and want to recommend based on how much I have enjoyed them.
Artists, designers and illustrators
These are just a few of my favourite artists, designers and illustrators.
- Gemma O’Brien
- Ben Eine
- Armin Hofmann
- Finn Nygaard
- Erik Spiekermann
- Jenny Holzer
- Barbara Kruger
- Cornelia Parker
- Olivier Kugler
- Julia Yellow
- Jon McNaught
- Annie Davidson
- Wim Crouwel
- Joseph Müller-Brockmann
- Alex Lucas
- Do Ho Suh
- Jess Caddick
I can attest to how good these sites are from personal experience of using them and learning a lot from them.
A monthly art publication featuring essays and contributions by artists and thinkers. Available online and in print.
Sites that are great for inspiration, both conceptual and visual.
Primarily a font foundry, Emigre used to have a magazine which is hugely inspiring and world-renowned. They have an archive of covers on their site and it’s well worth a look through. Some of them are available to buy, but most are sold out.
An international illustration agency which represents some really interesting illustrators. The site has really useful ways of searching for illustrators, e.g. by style.
Show flyers re-designed in the style of Swiss design. So cool.
Looks a little click-baity and generic in its design, but the content is good. It’s full of inspiration, advice and excellent tutorials.
SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SITE. Ohmygod. A collection of inspiring projects with a gorgeous pictures and bit of blurb about each one.
Does what it says on the tin, but with a bit more variety than just visual inspiration. It also offers resources, tutorials, ideas, etc.
A collective of individual writers sharing articles about architecture, design, photography and UX. Beautifully designed; a pleasure to scroll through. It includes tutorials, articles and inspiration.
A design blog which showcases the work of various art and design professionals. It frequently posts interesting interviews.
A beautiful site showcasing the work of artists of various disciplines. It’s like a visual catalogue.
Same as above.
This site is now inactive, but its archives are still online. It was created to showcase the very best in print design.
A lovely little blog looking at the typography used in iconic designs, past and present.
Sites that offer great advice, articles and tips (and maybe some inspiration, too).
- Design Beep
- Creative Review
- Design Hill
- Creative Nerds
- Smashing Magazine
- Designing for Print (now also in book form).
Professional Associations, Clubs and Memberships
- David Airey (my absolute favourite)
- Paul Jarvis (another one of my favourites; I love the minimalism on here. So much.)
- Just Creative
- The Logo Smith
- Andrew Kelsall
- Chris Spooner
- Boagworld (good for digital design)
- James Victore (YouTube channel; vlog not blog)
- Chase Jarvis
- Briefbox. This is a brilliant site full of hypothetical (but realistic) briefs for you to hone your graphic design skills.