gergosimara logo and graphic designer leicester oakham

Design books what every designer should have

Gergo Simara
Gergo Simara

I love creating beautiful, smart and inspired web designs, logos and brand identities
that is focused on a business’ goals and their customers

Design Books

In order to help you with your designer journey, I have decided to collect the best design books that I have read. If you a graphic designer who tries to learn the fundamentals or expand your knowledge, then read any accessible book is one of the best ideas you can have.

Being a self-taught graphic designer, I know how important it is to know the design fundamentals. I came along on the path where I did not know what should I know, use, and even think during the design process. I had a copy of Photoshop and started using it. However, owning a software doesn’t make you a designer. I am specified in logo design and brand identity design, so the vast majority of the design books on the list relate to this topic.
Please, note that the following list is based on my subjective opinion.

Lets, see the list of the design books.

Design Elements: Understanding the rules and knowing when to break them – Timothy Samara

This book covers all the design fundamentals from working with basic shapes, typography, and colour applications. You can learn about composition, layout, and design hierarchy. The second edition includes the 25 rules of good design and explains why they are so important. You can only break a rule what you already know. This graphic design book includes all the fundamentals, this sits on the top of my list.
Follow this link to buy the book.

Work for money, design for love – David Airey

If you are a designer who is starting a new business, you need this book. Everyone talks about designs itself. Why is a logo design good or bad, but no one really talks about what to do when you decided to start your own empire? This book’s content is easily digestible and provides real-life examples of how to start as a designer.
Follow this link to buy the book.

Logo Modernism – Jens Muller & R. Roger Remington

This book is huge I mean it is very hefty. Only buy it if you have enough space on your shelf. However, if you have space, you won’t regret the purchase. This logo design book includes approximately 6000 trademarks and symbols from 1940 to 1980. If you need inspiration for your next project, this book is probably the first what you should open.
Follow this link to buy the book.

Brand Gap – Marty Neumeier

You know how to design nice things and craft logos. But you are at the stage when started thinking more deeply what the brand is and how to build one. Creating a brand involves creative and strategic thinking, and this book shows you how to bridge the gap between the two. You will learn about disciplines of a brand-building and the most important questions what you need to ask about any brand.
Follow this link to buy the book.

Zag – Marty Neumeier

Nowadays, making a logo design is an easy thing to do. You can buy a software and start messing around and finally you can get something. However, crafting a logo that identifies and differentiates a business and solves its problems is the hard part of the story. How do you solve problems? Firstly, you are diagnosing the root problem. Secondly, you can easily fix the well-diagnosed problem. Every solid brand needs a brand strategy. The brand strategy will give you the answers for the Who? Why? What?
Follow this link to buy the book.

Design Brand Identity – Alina Wheeler

You are at the place when you learned that creating a logo is more than a drawing and using some software. In this design book, you will learn how to create a strong brand identity. Gives you insight from research and analysis through launch and governance and show you how you the best practices that help to build better brands. Also includes 30 case studies of top brands from various industries.
Follow this link to buy the book.

LOGO Creed: The Mystery, Magic, and Method Behind Designing Great Logos – Bill Gardner

Ok, if you are specified within the design field for logos, you should have this logo design book on your shelf. Logo Creed shows you how to navigate the discovery process from research, reading the air for clues, and making the best use of budgets, to knowing what sort of mark to create. You will learn how to identify the most potent ideas, brainstorm effectively by yourself or with others, recognize the components of great logos, and understand how to distil ideas down to the very best solution. This book is highly beneficial for students, self-taught designers, and those who never stop learning.
Follow this link to buy the book.

Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Handbook for Graphic Artists, Typographers, and Exhibition Designers – Josef Muller-Brockmann

During the logo design process, sometimes we are given the opportunity to use grids for our works. The grids will give your logo a nice aesthetic. It will help your designs to be just perfect. In this book you can see examples of grids being used. Furthermore, it will help you understand how grids work in typography, print, and web design. 
Follow this link to buy the book.

Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students (Design Briefs) – Ellen Lupton

If you are a graphic designer, you will come across of need for knowledge about typography. Without a strong typography skill, you will have a very hard time creating letter based logo designs and print designs or even web designs. Typography is the essence of a good design if you need to know anything about type face, styles, size adjustments or anything related to fonts you will find it in this book.
Follow this link to buy the book.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People – Susan Weinschenk

This book is a bit out of the list. On the other hand, you can earn a very useful skill with knowing some psychology of design and how it can help you create better design or experiences for the end-users. This book can be useful for designers, who are working as a UI/UX or web designer, however, it includes a lot of information about how to grab and hold attention on a page or screen or what makes memories stick. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? 
Follow this link to buy the book.

Bonus Design Books

The Win Without Pitching Manifesto – Blair Enns

This book will help you get off the ground. It is written for designers who runs or plan to run a creative business. You will learn in 12 steps how to take over, leave behind your competitors, and teach you how to win business without writing lengthy and time-consuming proposals. Time is your most valuable asset, use it wisely. 
Follow this link to buy the book.

Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything – Aaron James Draplin

I can’t leave him out. He is a well-known designer and his style and his working method are just awesome. You will see some nice designs and the stories behind them in this book. If you need some inspiration and you will open this book you will be amazed.
Follow this link to buy the book.

If you have any design books what you think should be a part of a designers library, then do not hesitate to comment below. I would like to see what others use to improve and expand their skills.

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Gergo Simara

Gergo Simara

Logo Designer | Web Designer | UX Designer | Father | Thinker | Creative Person
I am a Web and Logo designer based in Leicester, Oakham with a passion in helping small businesses and individuals to tell their stories through graphic design. I connect them to the right audience and assist them to become a powerful brand! When I’m not helping others kick-start their dream project, I am soaking up a new book or sketching my ideas.

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