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The Best Graphic Design Course Books of All Time

1-17-2019 - By August van de Ven

When you are starting out as a graphic designer, it's important to get to view design from various different perspectives and learn about graphic design from different people and sources. It’s easy to start out looking around on the internet to get inspiration. Sometimes it can be better to go to a library or a book store and learn from design experts. Here’s a list of some of the best design books from famous designers. Some of these books are not only books on how to learn how to design but also some made for inspiration and reference.

Paul Rand: a designer’s art

Paul Rand is one of the most famous and influential designers of the 20th century and this book is probably his most famous book. The book features a collection of Paul Rand’s most famous designs and goes into and gives an insight into the process of designing these works.

How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul

This book is one of the essential books for starting designers. It goes into the details of finding inspiration, finding design work, pricing your work, and the rest of the design process. If you are a student or if you are just starting your design business, it can often be hard to get to know these essential parts of graphic design.

The Elements of Graphic Design

The elements of Graphic Design is a great book for beginners. It offers essential information on the basics of graphic design as well as much of the history of graphic design.

The Art of Color

The Art of Color is widely known as one of the best books on color in the world of design. If you want to get to know more about color, color impression, combinations, and ways to use colors in your designs, this is the book to get.

Thinking with type

This is a book about typography, as the name suggests. It’s a great book that covers everything about the visual communication of typography, from the computer screen to print. Get to know all the rules and best practices regarding typography as a designer.

Making and Breaking the Grid

Grids can be very useful if incorporated correctly into your design. It can help you give your design structure and make it more visually pleasing. Many designers are using grids in their designs of websites but it can also be very useful for logo design and graphic design. It is currently one of the more lower-priced books on this list so it’s definitely worth picking up some time.

Designing Brand Identity

This book offers a view of branding and brand identity using scientifically researched methods and analysis. It features a five-phase process to create an effective brand identity and explains how to implement it correctly.

Stationery Design Now!

This book explains the best way to design the three of the most important print-based designs in your business: letterhead, envelopes, and business cards. It contains plenty of inspiration, explanation, and over 200 outstanding inspirational stationery designs for you to create the best stationery designs for your business or client.

Branding: In Five and a Half Steps

The author of this book, Micheal Johnson, is the founder of one of the leading design studios. His studio has worked with brands Virgin Atlantic, Think London, and BFI to create a fitting brand identity. In this book, Johnson strips down well-known brands down to their core identity and explains the way people react to certain brand identities and how this affects sales and emotions.

Work for Money, Design for Love

David Airey, the author of this book, is the creator of many, very popular design blogs. In this book, David Airey discusses some of the most asked questions on his blogs, regarding starting and managing your own design business.


“Logo” is a book every logo designer should own. It features a collection of hundreds of the most famous logos in the world with a description, information on the history of the design, and the design studio. All the logos are sorted based on the category which makes it easy to find the right logos for inspiration and references.