Best Books For Graphic Designers 2019

Best Books For Graphic Designers 2019

When it comes to graphic design books and books for designers and creative individuals I have read hundreds over the years some good, some great but there are some that just stand out the cream of the crop!, books that I have gained so much knowledge and inspiration from that they make my hall of fame or in other words, they are higher up the bookshelf sitting on the thrown overlooking the studio. Let dive in and take a look at the Best Books For Graphic Designers 2019

If you are a regular reader of The Logo Creative, in particular, the book review section then you will have properly read some of the book reviews I have written.

Let me tell you that those book reviews take some time to finish from reading the book, writing the review, taking the pictures, doing a video version and collaborating with the author and doing a Q&A + sharing snippets on social is a hell of a lot of work, and sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to keep up including the other things I have going on, I sacrifice sleep most nights to keep on track but I love it!

When I get messages and comments from you the readers saying how much you enjoyed a book review and how it helped you in purchasing a book that makes me so happy I know it was worth the time and effort.

In this article, I thought I would feature my top 10 books plus a bonus, and it was really difficult to just pick 10 that I have read in 2019 as I have read so many including some I have just not had time this year to complete full reviews for some of which are included in this article but the ones I have not fully reviewed yet will be coming in the new year.

This article will include a brief introduction about the book and the benefits I believe you will gain from reading it plus a link to purchase it, some links will be affiliate links so I get a little commission that I put back into the project to try to improve what I’m doing such as lighting and sound which I’m always trying to improve and make use of what I have, so if you do use my links then I highly appreciate your support.

Ok so let’s see my Best Books For Graphic Designers 2019 and I must say it’s an awesome line-up and in no particular order!


Run Studio Run by Eli Altman

Run Studio Run by Eli Altman_2

Run Studio by Eli Altman is definitely up there as one of the best books i have read this year, and one of those books i could not put down, and when i was not reading it i was looking for the time to pick it up again.

Run Studio Run is a beautiful well designed book with a premium feel that is a great reading experience you will want to experience again at some stage once finished. So what can you expect from reading Run Studio Run? You’ll establish goals that you need to work towards and a clear path for achieving them. You will learn that process within a business is key to it’s success and the more time you can commit to that process the more spare time you will have to work on the things you really love doing.

The book goes through a range of areas you will face within running your creative studio but also within other businesses also but heavily focused from a creative standpoint which really makes the book stand out as unique as there aren’t many out there.

Who is This Book For?

If your curious about how people make the decision to start a small creative studio or you’re someone looking to take your studio to the next level and scale up then this book is for you. While reading this book i felt like Eli who has clearly been there and done that was my own personal business coach speaking directly to me rather than a room full of people, and that tone on a personal level is fantastic making the book even more unique.

It gives you plenty of valuable information and insights plus quotes from industry leaders to get started and inspired to stay hungry for more.

What you will gain from reading Run Studio Run?

The main take away for me was to focus on process and how simplifying that process frees up more time in the day to day schedule of running a business in turn giving you more time to do other things you love to do within my business.

Not only is the book clear to follow and the information easy to digest, it’s also personal going through the following areas.

  • Your offering
  • Studio processes
  • Goal setting
  • Responsibilities and delegation
  • Measuring success
  • Finding new work
  • The competition
  • Negotiation and agreements
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Meetings
  • Studio culture
  • And a lot more

Read the full book review of Run Studio Run by Eli Altman

Purchase the book: | Kindle Version Amazon Uk | Physical Copy

Brand New Name by Jeremy Miller

Brand New Name by Jeremy Miller_2

Same as Run Studio Run “Brand New Name by Jeremy Miller” is up there as one of the best books i have read this year, and i let the internet know it! Again a book i could not put down and when and when not reading looking forward to the next time i could pick it up again.

A visually eye catching book both outside and inside a premium well made book that’s a pure pleasure to read been informative and fun! Brand New Name is a unique book about naming, its a proven step-by-step process to create an unforgettable brand name written by Jeremy Miller who is a brand strategies, and naming specialist who guides you through the naming process while also providing insights into some case studies of other brand and how they came to be from a naming prospective.

Who is This Book For?

The book is aimed at people looking to name a brand and learn the brand naming process, but i would say if your into branding its a must have and a book i am proud to have on the higher end of my bookshelf.

What you will gain from reading Brand New Name?

When you have finished reading brand new name you will have a clearer understanding about how to name  and the process involved in naming a brand or product. This book has brand naming solved! Its not just about naming but turning that unique name into a true brand asset.

You will learn about strategic brand naming, the anatomy of a name and the persuasive power of words. You will also learn about the different types of words and how sound conveys meaning and how you can have fun with language, it’s jam packed with so much value and insights!

Read the full book review of Brand New Name by Jeremy Miller

Purchase the book: | Amazon Uk | Wordery

Identity Designed by David Airey

Identity Designed by David Airey

Identity Designed by David Airey is an inspiring and intelligent recourse for designers and their clients. The book is written by good friend and bestselling author and renowned designer David Airey.

The book features sixteen global case studies and offers an in depth understanding and the considerations that contribute to original and lasting design solutions and successful partnerships between consultants and their clients. It formalises the process and the benefits of brand identity design and includes a substantial collection of high-caliber projects from a variety of the worlds most talented design studios.

Who is This Book For?

Identity Designed is ideal for design students, independent designers, and entrepreneurs who want to expand their understanding of effective design in business, It’s the definitive guide to visual branding.

What you will gain from reading Identity Designed?

You’ll see the history and importance of branding, a contemporary assessment of best practices, and how there’s always more than one way to exceed client expectations. You’ll also learn a range of methods for conducting research, defining strategy, generating ideas, developing touchpoint, implementing style guides, and future proofing your designs. Each identity case study is followed by a recap of key points.

*The full book review is finished and we are currently collaborating with David on an interview for the book that will be feature with the review and will be coming soon!

Coming Soon! – Read the full book review of Identity Designed by David Airey

Purchase the book: | Amazon UK | Wordery

Book of Branding by Radim Malinic

Book of Branding by Eli Altman

The 3rd book from Radim Malinic, Book of Branding focuses on… You Guessed it! everything related to Branding and it’s simply gorgeous to look at and a absolute pleasure to read, The book is devided into four sections including Planning, Process, Application and some insightful advice from the man himself whci is invaluable coming from a globally recognised designer like Radim Malinic, and your definitely going to get inspired and learn something from this book its the total package what more could you ask for?

Radim Malinic says “Book of Branding aims to show designers how to get the information you need to understand the project and make it the best it can be; as well as providing those on the client-side with advice on how to get the best out of the creatives you’re working with.

Malinic continues “This book was formed from my own experiences of working with businesses of all sizes—especially the smaller startups, which need a tailor-fit brand identity to succeed—and the majority of the work showcased here has been created for businesses run by teams of just two or three people.

The book is jargon-free and aims to aid the readers into understanding those essential elements that go into the brand identity process while also packed full of insights and tips from Radims experiences of being a designer.

Who is This Book For?

In my opinion this book is for anyone who loves design, but more specifically aimed at designers, entrepreneurs and brand creators seeking to decode the complicated world of brand identity design. Book of Branding works for and with new businesses and individuals alike, showing why visual identity is the beating heart of a great brand strategy.

What you will gain from reading Book of Branding?

You will better understand the effort and process of what goes into creating a brand identity design. While you go through the book not only will you learn but you will be inspired not only with the tips and insights that Radim share with you but the beautiful pictures of Radims work its pure eye candy!

I highly recommend every designer have this book on their bookshelf, not only is it knowledgeable and insightful it also serves as an inspirational reference guide you will wan to go back to time and time again!

*The full book review is finished and we are currently collaborating with Radim on an interview for the book that will be feature with the review and will be coming soon!

Coming Soon! – Read the full book review of Book of Branding by Radim Malinic

Purchase the book: | Amazon UK | Wordery

Process – Visual Journey into Graphic Design by Banker Wessel

Process – Visual Journey into Graphic Design

Process – Visual Journeys in Graphic Design by BankerWessel is a Counter-Print publication that features 12 projects by award-winning design studio BankerWesse. The projects comprise more than 1,400 individual sketches presented in the order they were produced. Each sketch has a comment to visualise the thought process.

What is unveiled has not been censored, and shows all of the impulses, divergence, subjectivity, translations, blind alleys and imperfections present in creative work.

Who is This Book For?

This book is a one of a kind book as its not one of those logo book that shows you the final results but more focused on process in the logos conceptual ideation stage to arrive at that final result. The process can be messy and is therefore, perhaps, quite seldom assembled and presented. But its intriguing to look behind the scenes and a very hand reference for logo and brand identity designers.

What you will gain from reading Process?

A great outcome starts with a process a process that each designer works on mastering over the course of their career. When you see a designers portfolio more times often that not you only see the final result..Why? How did you arrive at that result? Where did that concept idea come from? and How did it evolve into what is been presented? Its like a story and the ending is only being presented where did it start and how did it evolve?

To achieve a winning solution one must follow a process to arrive at that solution and why should this be hidden? Its interesting! Not only for other designers but clients also they get to see the journey of the designers work for them.

So many designers are afraid to show early and rough ideas and concepts why? Be proud of what you can do polished or not its a creative stage we all follow and should be proud of

In this book you will be able to see a visual process from initial concept idea and how it evolved into a working fit for purpose final concept.

*The full book review is finished and we are currently collaborating with BankerWessel on an interview for the book that will be feature with the review and will be coming soon!

Coming soon! – Read the full book review of Process – Visual Journeys in Graphic Design by BankerWessel

Purchase the book directly: |

Brutally Honest by Emily Cohen

Brutally Honest by Emily Cohen

Brutally Honest by Emily Cohen is your No-Bullshit business strategy guide to evolve your creative business, Its not one of those standard and boring business books we have all read in the past, its jam-packed with brief and digestible yet powerful and comprehensive strategies, insights and valuable advice housed in a premium designed book that creatives will love to not read but look at as well.

Emily is an experienced business consultant who really cares about the creative industry and the value we creatives provide businesses around the world. And similar to Run Studio Run in its uniqueness this is a one of a kind business book written for creatives by someone who appreciates creativity.

Who is This Book For?

This book is for creative professionals regardless of your creative area you work in or if your a freelance designer or studio owner. I does not matter if your just starting out or running a successful design business if you’re a creative this book is for you and should be on your bookshelf as a reference you can go back to.

What you will gain from reading Brutally Honest?

When it comes to running a creative business the question here is what will you not learn from this book? You will learn pretty much everything about business strategies for running a creative business including tactics and real world case studies from some of Emily’s clients she consults with the recommendations featured are a direct result of the collective learnings, mistakes, challenges, and innovative business ideas and strategies that Emily and her creative clients have experimented with, refined, and implemented.

Tried, Tested and Proved is what your getting!

Read the full book review of Brutally Honest by Emily Cohen

Purchase the book directly: |

Now Try Something Weirder by Michael Johnson

Now Try Something Weirder by Michael Johnson_2

Now try something weirder – How to keep having great ideas and survive in the creative business by Michael Johnson of Johnson banks is overflowing with essential advice for designers and creatives of all disciplines, and written by a world-renowned designer in Michael Johnson who has over 30 years experience as a creative leader.

This handy size book contains 233 pages of pure hints, tips and nuggets of advice showing the reader how they can have great ideas everyday while working in the creative industry.

Who is This Book For?

The book is perfect for those looking to improve the way they work with clients, understand and question design briefs, deliver knockout presentations – and generally gain covetable creative confidence. Sometimes the solution is staring you right in the face.

What you will gain from reading Now Ty Something Weirder?

Advice, Insights, Knowledge, Inspiration… It’s like a pocket rocket full of bang for your buck! And its handy size you can take it anywhere with you. I read the book on vacation and spread it out over the course of a few days and gained a tone of value from it.

Not only are you getting advice from Michael Johnson himself but its also showcasing the branding work of JohnsonBanks as the notes relate to certain projects the company has done over the years, and it’s a nice little behind the scene look into Michael Johnson’s working life and where the advice came from. there is also some other work from other designers and agencies featured within. Well worth having as its a book you can go back to!

Read the full book review of Now Try Something Weirder by Michael Johnson

Purchase the book: | Amazon Uk | Wordery

Logo Design ideas Book by Steven Heller & Gail Anderson

Logo Design ideas Book by Steven Heller & Gail Anderson_2

The logo design idea book by Steven Heller and Gail Anderson, is an accessible introduction into the key elements required to create a good logo design including insights into the logos of iconic brands. The 50 logos across 128 pages in this book are examples of good ideas in the service of representation, reputation and identification

Featuring well-known logos such as FEDEX, IBM, EBAY, LEGO, V&A and 1968 Mexico Olympics logo by Lance Wyman to name a few.

Who is This Book For?

This book is for anyone who loves logos especially logo designers, Its a great read to learn about the history and ideas behind these 50 logos featured in the book. Its also written by Steven Heller who is an art director and author of over 170 books, and specialises in writing books related to graphic design.

What you will gain from reading The Logo Design Idea Book?

Not only will you learn about the history and idea behind the 50 iconic brands featured within the book, you will also understand how an idea can be formed to create an identity that becomes a logo.

You will understand the role of the logo and how they represent ideas, beliefs. The role of the logo is to primarily identify products and services, brands and organisations hopefully in a positive way, with the ethos or philosophy of the entities. Logos are symbolic depictions of what they are used to characterise. A logo maybe abstract or figurative, but logos embody a specific intention. In this sense, logos must have purpose or defined goal and exude power.

The function of logos is to capture attention, foster recognition and, if successful, induce loyalty. Logos cannot be without character and must be demonstrative, active and vivid.

A logos role is not to sell, its purpose is to identity and derives meaning from the quality of the thing is symbolises, and its first goal is to attain memorability.

This book is far more than just a book full of pretty logos it explains what it is and helps you the reader understand that a logo is far more than just an image.

Read the full book review of The Logo Design Idea Book by Steven Heller & Gail Anderson

Purchase the book: | Amazon Uk | Wordery

Letters as Symbols by Paul Ibou & Christophe de Pelsemaker

Letters as Symbols by Paul Ibou & Christophe de Pelsemaker

Letters as symbols contains an international selection of trademarks logos and symbols created by talented and reputed designers or agencies and worldwide respected pioneers of logo and brand design who have given shape to the industry as we know it today.

Each logo is based on a letter of the Latin alphabet a to Z and forms an excellent source of inspiration for designers artists agencies teachers typographers students and many others. The logos are arranged in a non-specific way. The only order that is used is the alphabetical order per letter. This gives you the possibility of being surprised to see the same level of quality between some of the respected leaders and the less known designers.

The Book was a collaboration between our good friend Christophe De Pelsemaker and Belgian pioneer of graphic design Paul Ibou, Christophe helped Paul bring to life a book conceptualised in 1991 by Paul Ibou himself and eventually published by Stockmans Art Books.

Who is This Book For?

This book is for logo lovers of all kinds whether your a professional logo designer or someone who appreciates and has an interest in logos. Its a book that will inspire you, and a handy reference that you can keep going back to.

What you will gain from reading Brand New Name?

Its a great resource for logo designers in particular and a book you can have handy as a reference. It Looks purely at the aesthetics of the featured logos, they are all equal and have the qualities a good logo must have.

Letters As Symbols shows logos based on a single letter of the alphabet from A to Z, Including 306 trademarks, logos and symbols, each of which is a celebration of breaking and pushing the boundaries of typography.

This book also reminds me of a book that good friend John Spencer founder of Offthetopofmyhead sent me called “Time Flies When Your Having Fun” which features fifty-two characters of some of his logos he’s created over the years in A-Z format.

*The full book review is finished and we are currently collaborating with Christophe on an interview for the book that will be feature with the review and will be coming soon!

Coming soon! – Read the full book review of Letters As Symbols By Christophe De Pelsemaker & Paul Ibou

Purchase the book directly: |

Brand by Hand by Jon Contino

Brand By Hand By Jon Contino - Book Review

Brand by Hand by Jon Contino is New York based graphic designer and illustrator Jon Contino’s first monograph on his work and career. If your a designer and you have not heard of Jon Contino then i’m speechless. I have been a fan of Jon’s work for so long i have lost count.

It’s a graphic design retrospective that showcases Jon’s amazing hand lettering and graphic design work. The story side of the book shares how Jon took his passion for his love of pen and ink and turned it into his expanding empire of clients, artwork and merchandise.

Who is This Book For?

Basically if your a graphic designer and your familiar with Jon Continos work this is a book for you, if your not familiar with Contino then again i am speechless but i recommend you get it for the inspiration value along as its packed with beautiful pictures and illustrations of jon’s work and background story of how a designer can be everything they want to be with passion and hard work.

What you will gain from reading Brand by Hand?

Regardless of whether you are familiar with Contino’s work or not you will gain a tone of inspiration from it visually form it’s wealth of pictures and illustrations of work on display. If like me and you are a fan of his work then its a nice book to own and learn some background about his path in design. Well worth it!

Read the full book review of Brand by Hand by Jon Contino

Purchase the book: | Amazon Uk | Wordery

Nucollage by David Carson

Nucollage by David Carson

David Carson and his experimental style revolutionised the graphic design scene in the 1990’s making him one of the worlds most influential designers.

His work as founding art director of the iconic magazine Ray Gun, with its radical approach to typography and layout, made him one of the world’s most influential designers. The American Center for Design called his early magazine design, “the most important work coming from America”.

A self taught graphic designer who has been named one of America’s most important artists and selected by Apple as one of the two most influential graphic designers in 30 years of Apple while calling him a pioneer with profound impact. in 2014 Carson was awarded the graphic design industries highest award the AIGA Gold Medal.

nucollage.001 by David Carson explores his latest collage work he’s created in California, Amsterdam, Barcelona and the Caribbean containing a ugh 360 pages to loose yourself in. This is Davids 5th book that is rather unique in its content and not to mention the books spine! It’s gorgeous!

Who is This Book For?

The book is for anyone who loves graphic design and art. If like me and you have admired David Carson and his approach to design then its definitely a book for you. David is quite an inspirational figure in the design industry and his work is a breath of fresh air to look at.

What you will gain from reading Nucollage?

The question is “What will you gain from owning it?” Its inspiring to look through the 360 pages of Carson’s work and lifestyle as things get a lot more personal with this publication, offering pictures Collage work, family life and surfing near his Caribbean second home.

As Carson explained

“It’s more of a personal book, in a sense, instead of just showing a bunch of commercial work. There was no client, no brief, I was just doing something that felt right with no one overseeing me.”

“Plenty of graphic design is fine art to be put on walls. Recently, I’ve started to notice a move away from the perfection of the last decade or two, which can be very clean and boring and not very imaginative. It’s starting to loosen up again; maybe people are tired of everything being perfect and formatted and looking the same. Designers have become lazy and let computers make too many decisions for them. There’s a renewed interest in being able to tell that there’s a human behind it.”

David is such an inspiration to me due to his approach to graphic design without any formal training he created his own approach to design, as he says he was an outsider in the field of design, as everything these days is grid and computer driven its nice to see graphic design / fine art been expressed without the need of a computer. As i myself come from an art background transitioning it into graphic design i really appreciate Carson’s work.

*The full book review is finished and we are currently collaborating with David on an interview for the book that will be feature with the review and will be coming soon!

Coming soon! – Read the full book review of nucollage.001 by David Carson

Purchase the book directly: |

We hope you have enjoyed our article of the Best Books For Graphic Designers 2019. Also a big congratulations to all the authors of these books you have done a fantastic job, and also i appreciate you giving me the opportunity to enjoy and review these wonderful books i really enjoy and love dong this. More books to come in 2020 and i already have a pile waiting for me to read.

A big thank you to all our reader for supporting us and wish you a merry christmas and all the best for the new year.

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