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Three Inspiring Books that Graphic Designers Should Read

March 29, 2012 IADT Online, IADT General, Graphic Design 0 Comments

Student Selecting Books and Top Books for Graphic DesignersWhy should graphic designers read graphic design books? The book medium is quickly lost in the current flurry of online content, especially since graphic designers work primarily with computers. But that doesn’t mean that print graphics should be forgotten. Instead, taking a look at some inspiring books can offer a unique artistic experience.

Artists who work in graphic design or simply dabble in it can challenge genre, form, and our notions of visual aesthetics using books. After all, holding a gorgeous graphic design book offers you a tangible connection with someone’s work that you can’t access by browsing a website.

By exploring a graphic design book once in a while, you can gain industry knowledge and find new influences for your own graphic art. Here is a list of five inspiring books that can help you start your graphic design reading list.

Just My Type by Simon Garfield

Books make a great home for wisdom on typography, so there are a variety of typography books on the market. One of the most recent releases is Simon Garfield’s book Just My Type (2011).

Simon Garfield, a British author and journalist, charts the history of typography in Just My Type but lingers longest on contemporary typography. Graphic designers who work in advertising, marketing, or simply enjoy using fonts can learn from both Garfield’s insights and partialities when it comes to typography.

Things I have learned in my life so far by Stefan Sagmeister

This book by distinguished designer Stefan Sagmeister explores the author’s sense of self. A striking take on the die-cut form, the “book” includes 15 separate images that can slide interchangeably into the front cover to form different scale-like interpretations of the designer’s face.

Things I have learned in my life so far (2008) chronicles Sagmeister’s journey to display personal mottos using a vast range of materials and settings. For example, he established a group of huge inflatable monkeys that each displayed a word of the phrase “Everybody Always Thinks They are Right.” Anyone who’s interested in experimental graphic design should check out Sagmeister’s work.

Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick

Although this book is more like a novel than an art book, it is best described as a combination of novel and picture book. Author Brian Selznick started challenging the picture-novel division in The Adventure of Hugo Cabret (2007), and he continues to experiment with form in Wonder Struck (2009).

Wonder Struck is a story about two deaf children who live decades apart. One child’s story is told through illustration and the other’s is told through writing. Discovering how the two perspectives intersect makes you question the similarities and differences between using written content and visual images in storytelling. Illustrators should definitely check out this engaging read.

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