The 11 Best Design & Graphics Books

6 min read

As technology continues to revolutionize how we learn, work and play, having an understanding of design and graphics is increasingly important. For this reason, it’s worth exploring the best books on these topics that can help you understand their complexities and take your skillset to the next level. This article provides reviews for 11 of the top design & graphics books available today – from comprehensive guides through to specific tips for mastering Adobe Photoshop – so you can find one that meets your needs perfectly.

  1. Graphic Design For Everyone

    Graphic Design For Everyone
    Cath Caldwell
    Published in 2019

    This book, ‘Graphic Design for Everyone’, is an essential guide for anyone looking to create powerful visuals and elevate their project. Written by Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins Cath Caldwell, this highly practical design manual takes readers through the fundamentals of graphic design like typefaces, photography and illustrations as well as how to combine these elements into effective communication pieces. Loaded with step-by-step projects that show users how to make stunning designs including business stationery, invitations and more – this resource also includes advice on publishing online or dealing with printers. The informative articles, hands-on workshops and inspiring galleries provide everything you need to become a great visual communicator!

  2. Logo Design Love

    Logo Design Love
    David Airey
    Published in 2014

    Logo Design Love, a book by David Airey, is an invaluable resource for those interested in developing iconic brand identities. It provides readers with best practices for logo design and outlines essential tips to help designers create logos that are impactful and timeless. The second edition of this book includes more case studies from renowned graphic designers as well as detailed insights into the creative process. With practical advice on working with clients, creating effective briefs and charging fairly for services, Logo Design Love covers all aspects of identity design – making it a must-read guidebook for both novice and established professionals alike.

  3. Adobe Photoshop: A Complete Course and Compendium of Features

    Adobe Photoshop: A Complete Course and Compendium of Features
    Stephen Laskevitch
    Published in 2020

    Adobe Photoshop: A Complete Course and Compendium of Features is a must-have for any graphic designer. Written by Steve Laskevitch, an Adobe Certified Instructor and founder of Luminous Works Training & Consulting in Seattle, this book provides step-by-step lessons to teach the procedures needed to use Photoshop effectively and professionally. Readers will learn how to set up an ideal workspace, master selections and masks, work with type and brushes, take advantage of Smart Objects as well as blend modes for combining images. An addendum covering the 2021 Adobe Photoshop update along with supplied course files are also included. This comprehensive guide offers detailed information on all aspects of using photo editing software while remaining user friendly – making it perfect for anyone from beginners looking to get started or experienced users seeking more advanced knowledge!

  4. The eLearning Designer’s Handbook

    The eLearning Designer's Handbook
    Tim Slade
    Published in 2020

    The eLearning Designer’s Handbook, authored by Tim Slade, is an essential resource for anyone who needs to create their first online course. It helps readers navigate the complicated process involved in designing a successful and engaging eLearning experience. The second edition of this comprehensive guide contains three times more content than its predecessor and has been redesigned with full-color print throughout. With practical tips on project planning, collecting learning materials, developing prototypes, incorporating interactivity into courses and measuring effectiveness; newbies will find it invaluable as they set off on their journey towards becoming expert eLearning designers. Experienced professionals can also benefit from the book’s real-world examples and insight on instructional design best practices. All in all, The eLeaning Designer’s Handbook provides an invaluable source of guidance that should be included in every designer’s library!

  5. Design for How People Learn

    Design for How People Learn
    Julie Dirksen
    Published in 2015

    Design for How People Learn, Second Edition is an accessible and comprehensive guide to creating engaging learning experiences. It covers key principles of instructional design such as leveraging fundamental concepts of memory, attention, habit formation and more. Utilizing visual analogies alongside concrete methods and examples, this book will equip readers with the knowledge needed to create materials that are both memorable and stimulating. Through two new chapters on using social media for learning as well as best practices for evaluation, readers can learn how to maximize their own educational potential while simultaneously captivating their audiences. This edition has been updated to include fresh insights into our understanding of human cognition making it a must-read resource for professionals in any teaching role or anyone looking to improve their effectiveness when communicating information.

  6. Strategic Writing for UX

    Strategic Writing for UX
    Torrey Podmajersky
    Published in 2019

    In “Strategic Writing for UX” Torrey Podmajersky offers an invaluable resource on content design and how to write strategically for user experience. With frameworks, patterns and processes outlined, this book is essential reading for all those in the field of UX writing or interested in it. It provides clear guidance on topics such as converting and re-attracting users with well placed words, measuring the effectiveness of content, creating collaborations that guarantee success and structuring a brand’s voice throughout so its recognizable by audiences. For anyone starting their first role as a full time writer/content designer there are tools provided here to help you hit the ground running; plus advice on editing copy and sharing work with teammates in appropriate formats. In addition Podmajersky details methods which organizations at any level of maturity can use to ensure they maximize product engagement – making this book indispensable not just to writers but also to all involved in UX Design.

  7. Fundamentals of Data Visualization

    Fundamentals of Data Visualization
    Claus O. Wilke
    Published in 2019

    Claus O. Wilke’s “Fundamentals of Data Visualization” is an essential manual for data scientists and professionals who wish to effectively communicate their large, complex datasets. This comprehensive book takes readers through numerous visualization problems, offering guidelines on how to turn these into clear figures. It delves into the basics of color usage as a tool, explores redundant coding techniques that provide key information in multiple ways, provides good and bad examples of visualizations with all source codes available online, and explains how to use figures successfully in documents or reports to tell compelling stories. With its focus on understanding the principles behind effective data visualization rather than providing programming examples alone this text will help any reader craft more meaningful visuals that resonates deeply with audiences while avoiding overwrought presentations so often seen today – highly recommended!

  8. What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Instructional Designer

    What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Instructional Designer
    Luke Hobson, Karl Kapp
    Published in 2021

    In What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Instructional Designer, Dr. Luke Hobson offers a comprehensive guide for those considering entering this field or those already in it. He provides informative answers to questions about the pros and cons of instructional design, building a portfolio, making connections with others in the industry and teaching oneself new skills. With each chapter he includes activities to help readers practice what they learned as well as reflect on their own journey into instructional design. His conversational writing style makes it easy to read while his personal anecdotes provide relatable insight into life in this profession. This book is perfect for anyone hoping to break into the world of instructional design or seeking advice from someone who has blazed the trail before them and will be referred back time and again thanks to its wealth of practical tips!

  9. Adobe Illustrator: A Complete Course and Compendium of Features

    Adobe Illustrator: A Complete Course and Compendium of Features
    Jason Hoppe
    Published in 2020

    This book, written by Adobe Certified Instructor Jason Hoppe, is an essential guide for anyone wanting to learn the fundamentals of vector graphics and Illustrator. It contains a comprehensive course with step-by-step lessons that can be applied to any graphic design projects as well as a compendium of all the key features and concepts in detail. Plus it includes downloadable lesson documents with assets so users have starting points for their own work. This volume’s clear instructions provide useful information on drawing basic shapes and lines, building graphics using toolsets, creating complex icons through Pathfinder or Shape Builder functions, working effectively with typeface fonts – plus much more! Making this an invaluable resource for learners at any level looking to gain knowledge about how best to use Adobe Illustrator.

  10. Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 7-Point System

    Scott Kelby's Lightroom 7-Point System
    Scott Kelby
    Published in 2021

    Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 7-Point System is a comprehensive tutorial that takes you step-by-step through the process of developing photos in Adobe Lightroom. Packed with 21 lessons and two bonus sessions, this book offers an effective system crafted by world renowned expert Scott Kelby: one which teaches readers how to take their images from flat to fabulous quickly and efficiently. With plenty of pictures for examples, as well as hands on instruction, users are able to learn about each tool individually before combining them into a seamless workflow. This unique approach will help those using Lightroom become more confident when editing their photographs – all while having fun! Highly recommended for photographers looking to get the most out of their images.

  11. Designing Type

    Designing Type
    Karen Cheng
    Published in 2020

    Designing Type by Karen Cheng is an essential guide to designing typography and understanding letterforms. This book provides a comprehensive introduction, explaining the techniques of typeface structure and optical compensation for legibility in both classic and modern designs. With over 400 diagrams illustrating visual principles, this beautifully designed publication has been updated for the digital age; it contains thoughtful analysis of typefaces from numerous foundries as well as discussing how technology affects design methodology. Perfect for both students and professionals alike, Designing Type offers invaluable insights into crafting effective fonts with clear instruction on all aspects of font development from start to finish. Its accessible language makes it suitable even for those unfamiliar with graphic design while its depth ensures experienced designers will benefit too – making this must-have volume ideal for anyone interested in creating beautiful typography that stands out from the crowd!

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