Recommended Books

I’m often asked to recommend books about graphic design. I have been reviewing books and writing articles about typography and design for the past 20 years for Communication Arts and was a writer/reviewer for 5 years for Amazon.com.

Below are some of the best of those new books that have come out in this time period, plus several timeless classics (some of which may be out of print – scour the used bookstores for them, it will be worth the effort). I’ve added links, when available, to a page on Amazon’s site where you can order the book, if you wish. I taught design on the college and graduate level for over a decade and used quite a few of the books below with my students. Plus, some of them were originally suggested to me when I was first learning design.

Those marked with *** are especially good for anyone new to graphic design.  A select subset have links to reviews I’ve written.

Albers, Josef, Interaction of Color, MIT Press ***
Bain, Peter, Blackletter: Type and National Identity, Princeton Architectural Press
Bringhurst, Robert, The Elements of Typographic Style, Hartley & Marks *** (review)
Broos, Kees, Dutch Graphic Design: A Century, MIT Press
Carter, Rob, Typographic Design: Form and Communication, Van Nostrand Reinhold
Carter, Sebastian, Twentieth-Century Type Designers, Lund Hymphries Publishers
Cohen, Arthur, Bayer: The Complete Work, MIT Press
Craig, James, Thirty Centuries of Graphic Design, Watson Guptill
Craig, James, Designing with Type Watson Guptill
Dowding, Geoffrey, Finer Points in the Spacing and Arrangementof Type, Hartley & Marks
Friedman, Mildred, Graphic Design in America, (Walker Art Center) Abrams
Gates, David, Type, Watson Guptill
Gerstner, Karl, Compendium for Literates, MIT Press
Gill, Eric, An Essay on Typography, Godine
Goldstein, Barbara, Arts & Architecture: The Entenza Years, MIT Press
Heller, Steven, Typology, Chronicle
Hendel, Richard, On Book Design, Yale
Hiebert, Kenneth J., Graphic Design Sources, Yale
Hillier, Bevis, The Style of the Century 1900-1980 E P Dutton
Hochuli, Jost, Designing books: practice and theory, Hyphen Press
Hofmann, Armin, Graphic Design Manual, Van Nostrand Reinhold
Kepes, Gyorgy, Language of Vision, Paul Theobald
Kepes, Gyorgy, Education of Vision George, George Braziller
Kepes, Gyorgy, The Nature of Art and Motion, George Braziller
Kinross, Robin, Modern Typography, Hyphen Press
Kunz, Willi, Typography, Verlag Niggli AG
Livingston, A and I, Encyclopedia of Graphic Design + Designers , Thames + Hudson
Lawson, Alexander, Printing Types: An Introduction, Beacon
Lawson, Alexander, Anatomy of a Typeface, Godine ***
Lupton, Ellen & Miller, J. Abbott, Design, Writing, Research, Kiosk
McLean, Ruari, Jan Tschichold: Typographer, Godine ***
McLean, Ruari, The Thames + Hudson Manual of Typography, Thames + Hudson ***
McLean, Ruari, Jan Tschichold: A Life in Typography Princeton Architectural Press
Meggs, Philip, A History of Graphic Design, Van Nostrand Reinhold ***
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo, Vision in Motion, Paul Theobald
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, Experiment in Totality, MIT Press
Morison, Stanley, Tally of Types, Godine
Neuhart, John, Eames Design, Abrams
Pentagram Partners, Pentagram: The Compendium, Chronicle
Potter, Norman, What is a Designer: Things. Places. Messages, Hyphen Press
Purvis, Alston, Dutch Graphic Design 1918-1945, Van Nostrand Reinhold
Rand, Paul, A Designer’s Art, Yale ***
Rand, Paul, Design, Form + Chaos, Yale
Rand, Paul, From Lascaux To Brooklyn, Yale
Remingon, R Roger & Robert Fripp, Design and Science: The Life and Work of Will Burtin *** (review)
Remington, R Roger, Nine Pioneers of American Graphic Design, MIT Press ***
Rose, Cynthia, Design After Dark, Thames + Hudson
Rosen, Ben, Type, Van Nostrand Reinhold
Ruder, Emil, Typography, Hastings House ***
Ruegg, Ruedi, Typography, Van Nostrand Reinhold ***
Smeijers, Fred, Counterpunch, Hyphen Press (review)
Spencer, Herbert, Pioneers of Modern Typography, MIT Press ***
Tanchis, Aldo, Bruno Munari: Design as Art, MIT Press
Tschichold, Jan, The New Typography, University of California Press
Thompson, Bradbury, The Art of Graphic Design, Yale ***