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INNOVATION BY DESIGN
INNOVATION
BY DESIGN

35 Books Every Designer Should Read

WE ASKED SOME OF THE WORLD'S TOP DESIGN SCHOOLS TO SHARE THEIR FAVORITE BOOKS. HERE'S WHAT THEY RECOMMEND FOR YOUR SUMMER READING LIST.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student of

design, or just someone who hears the term "design thinking" and stays quiet at meetings while noting to Google it later.

There’s always more you can learn about design to benefit whatever you do.

So we reached out to professors at seven of the world’s top design schools to ask what books they recommend for getting your feet wet in design. Each school submitted five books that span design disciplines, from industrial design to graphic design to interior design and more. We combined them into this reading list, links to Amazon and all. Let your summer beach reading start here.

SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

beach reading start here. SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN SCAD Thinkertoys (Michael Michalko) A workbook

SCAD

Thinkertoys (Michael Michalko)

A workbook for better brainstorming.

Design Basics (S. Pentak and A. Lauer)

A textbook to teach you the fundamentals

of 2-D graphic design.

Life (Twyla Tharp with Mark Reiter) Choreographer and creative Twyla Tharp explains how to develop and hone creativity.

(Norman Crowe and Paul Laseau) Learn how sketching like an architect can sharpen your thinking (and make for some awesome Moleskines).

Elam) Why is a Braun blender or Barcelona chair beautiful? The geometry. This paperback breaks it down.

PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN

This paperback breaks it down. PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN Parsons The Industrial Design Reader (Carma Gorman)

Parsons

Gorman)

A paperback history on the origins of

industrial design.

Design in the USA (Jeffrey Meikle) Where do hit products meet necessary products in American culture? A history book and design philosophy book in one.

Raizman) Strap in. This history textbook spans the

evolution of decorative arts, industrial design, and graphic design from the 18th to 20th century.

and David Brody)

A collection of essays examining the

"history, methods, theory, visuality, identity, consumption, labor, industrialization, new technology, sustainability, and globalization" of design.

Design as Future-Making (Susan Yelavich

and Barbara Adams) How will design shape our future? (You’ve gotta buy the book to find out.)

PRATT INSTITUTE

(You’ve gotta buy the book to find out.) PRATT INSTITUTE Pratt Product Design (Rodgers and Milton)

Pratt

Product Design (Rodgers and Milton) An explanation of what product designers really do, from concept to manufacture.

The Design Process (Karl Aspelund)

A thesis breaking down the seven

universal stages of design: identification;

conceptualization; exploration and refinement; definition and modeling; and communication on the way to production.

Interior design, presented through the lens of essays on architecture, film, and fashion.

Albinson and Rob Giampietro) The field of modern day graphic design,

explored in work published since the year

2000.

The New Basics (Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips) Learn graphic design with a focus on visual clarity and information hierarchy.

CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS

and information hierarchy. CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS CCA Thoughts on Design (Paul Rand) Originally published

CCA

Thoughts on Design (Paul Rand)

Originally published as an essay in 1947,

Hall and Michael Bierut) This joint work designed by Pentagram partner Michael Bierut and edited by writer Peter Hall pays tribute to the graphic design of Tibor Kalman. It appears to be out of print.

Thinking With Type (Ellen Lupton)

Master typographic layouts with this instructional book filled with dos and don’ts.

Information (Edward Tufte) From the godfather of data visualization,

this book features 250 graphics and charts, complete with Tufte’s explanations of why visual ideas work or don’t.

SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS

of why visual ideas work or don’t. SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS SVA Drawing is Thinking (Milton

SVA

Drawing is Thinking (Milton Glaser)

Explore 180 pages of drawings without words by one of the most famed graphic designers of all time.

Graphic Design: A Concise History (Richard Hollis) This affordable paperback charts the history of graphic design with plenty of pretty pictures to illustrate it.

Meggs) An annotated argument that graphic design isn’t just part of the way we communicate, but a unique language unto itself.

B. Meggs, Alston W. Purvis) From the creation of written language to the rise of interactive design, this textbook takes you through the history of graphic design and includes 1,500 illustrative photos.

Everything is derivative. This paperback examines 50 graphic designs, breaking down what influenced each project.

INSTITUTE OF DESIGN—ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

INSTITUTE OF DESIGN—ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IIT The Design of Everyday Things (Don Norman) An

IIT

Norman) An industry classic explaining how to design products for real human use.

Change by Design (Tim Brown)

A primer on the idea of "design thinking," and working from inspiration to innovation.

Designing for Growth (Jeanne Liedtke)

Another book on design thinking—this one filled with question lists and exercises to get you going.

Stu Hart) An argument that businesses should develop cheaper goods made for the entire world, and how to make these products catch on.

Vision in Motion (Laszlo Moholy-Nagy) Part of the original Bauhaus school, László Moholy-Nagy illustrates where design, art, and science meet. Currently out of print, it can be a bit difficult to get your hands on.

RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN

RISD World Changing: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century (Alex Steffen) A book spanning

RISD

A book spanning the world of

sustainability, from the locavore movement to eco-friendly homes.

Marvels of Design (Paola Antonelli) MoMA curator Paola Antonelli pays homage to 100 pieces of design brilliance, from Band-Aids to Post-Its.

In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World (John Thackara) "We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives?"

A call to think about design differently,

considering sustainability first and foremost in the process.

Originally published in 1974, this book explores where art and psychology collide.

1974, this book explores where art and psychology collide. MARK WILSON M ark Wilson is a

Mark Wilson is a writer who started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day. Continued

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June 25, 2015 | 7:30 AM

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2 DAYS AGO

Speaking of design

clickable arrows next to the photos in this article?

Why can't someone just put them in one consistent

location instead of having to reposition the mouse

at every click? THAT is bad UI design.

You know those left-right

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Try any of these:

2 DAYS AGO

SEOKAR

3 DAYS AGO

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You're free to share your recommendations! tkanks

CPSOLVER

7 DAYS AGO

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"The Creative Problem Solver's Toolbox" has been

highly praised as a design book. It has been

published around the world in 10 languages, but

the U.S. English edition was self-published, so it's

not well-known in the United States. Disclosure: I

am the book's author, Richard Fobes

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8 DAYS AGO

You don't become a great designer by only reading about design. Try a few selections from this list:

And, this list:

8 DAYS AGO

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Missing from this mix are the following requisites

Typographic Design: Form and Communication, 6th Edition

Crisp: Notes on Graphic Design and Visual Communication

History of Graphic Design (Phil Meggs)

ROBERTO PEREIRA

8 DAYS AGO

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The most important one (for me) is not cited:

Design for the Real World, Victor Papanek. It should be the first book read by a designer.

CALLUM NASH

7 DAYS AGO

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asif that's not cited. These guys are utterly clueless.

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8 DAYS AGO

Little beats excellent literature.

Was Tufte among the duplicates? I’m surprised that Envisioning Information hasn‘t made it, which I’d deem “primus inter pares.”

BERTO ALVARO

8 DAYS AGO

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Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud Not directly about design but relevant.

7 DAYS AGO

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Definitely a good read and insight into how people process images.

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MAG SHUM

8 DAYS AGO

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MAG SHUM

8 DAYS AGO

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8 DAYS AGO

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Victor Papanek should absolutely be on that list

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PHAN

8 DAYS AGO

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"We asked some of the worlds best design schools "

These schools are miraculously all based in the USA. Is that US-chauvinism or just a case of punchy writing? Either way - I think a more global approach would have been good to diversify the list.

INDD

8 DAYS AGO

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(Telling comment below by JReinwand) Interestingly, not one by Victor Papanek, nor any books not specifically about design or design theory. As a graduate instructor in design, I find that just as much is often learned about design --and the design process--from books outside the definition of ' design book'

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8 DAYS AGO

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You're free to share your recommendations!

JREINWAND

8 DAYS AGO

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Is this list edited to exclude duplicate suggestions? Interesting if they didn't overlap at all and curious if they did.

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