Web designFreebie

15 free ebooks for web designers

There's plenty of free advice and tuition out there for web designers. Get your teeth into these great free ebooks.

Looking for a little expertise in HTML5, coding or going it alone? Well, to need to get bogged down in hefty hardbacks - there's a huge range of digestible ebooks for you to get your teeth into. And most importantly, many of them are free. Here we list of 10 of the best.

 
  • Also see our favourite web fonts that don't cost a penny

01. Getting Real

 Getting Real
Getting Real

Getting Real explains how to go about building a web application and covering everything from the basics to the more advanced. Written by leading agency 37Signals - who are well known for both their blunt, no-nonsense blogging and their gung-ho, "you can do it" attitude, this is very far from a dry, technical text. And best of all, you can download a PDF version for free!

02. The elements of typographic style applied to the web

 The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web
The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

This very readable manual and reference on modern typography, explores the art and history of the field as well as technical details. The free online version includes a new chapter on digital typography, plus expanded information on typefaces and designers.

03. Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

 Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design
Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

Written by Shaun Henry, Just Ask cover the basics of including accessibility in design projects, with shortcuts for involving people with disabilities in your project. There are tips for comfortable interaction with people with disabilities and details on accessibility in each phase of the user-centered design process.

04. Designing for the Web

An excellent example of the freemium approach to ebook marketing. This extremely worthwhile book from Five Simple Step's founder Mark Boulton is available to read as a series of web pages. You can pay to download a PDF version if you'd prefer to read it offline or on your eReader, but the entire book is available via the website completely free of charge.

The book itself covers a range of techniques for approaching graphic design on the web, split into five sections including typography, colour and layout.

05. Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS

 Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS

SMACSS (pronounced “smacks”) is more style guide than rigid framework. There is no library within here for you to download or install. SMACSS is a way to examine your design process and as a way to fit those rigid frameworks into a flexible thought process. And this great free book by top designer Jonathan Snook explains it all in easy-to-follow language.

06. Learning Web Design

 Learning Web Design
Learning Web Design

A beginner's guide to web design, this free ebook from Jennifer Niederst Robbins starts with the very basics of how web pages work, and goes on to take you through to CSS layouts and optimised graphic files.

07. HTML5 Quick Learning Guide

 HTML5 Quick Learning Guide
HTML5 Quick Learning Guide

Rather than trail through heavy texts on HTML5, this Quick Learning Guide provides a round up of everything you need to know in no time. The guide covers the main elements of HTML5 and focuses on the basics to help get you started, quickly.

08. How To Be Creative

 How To Be Creative
How To Be Creative

Advertising executive and creative Hugh MacLeod provides 26 ‘tried-and-true tips’ to help guide your creative self through the business world. Famous for drawing cartoons on the back of business cards, each of his tips is brilliantly presented by a cartoon drawing with advice ranging from ‘ignore everybody’, ‘put the hours in’ and ‘keep your day job’.

09. Web Designer’s Success Guide

 Web Designer’s Success Guide
Web Designer’s Success Guide

A designer’s ebook staple, Keven Airgid’s 'Web Designer’s Success Guide' is a comprehensive narrative on how to set up as a freelancer, and profit. Covering topics such as making the transition to self-employment, marketing your design skills and knowing what to charge, this ebook has all the answers you’re looking for when choosing to go it alone.

10. Pixel Perfect Precision handbook

 Pixel Perfect Precision handbook
Pixel Perfect Precision handbook

The guys at London design studio ustwo love pixels. So much so that they induct all new designers into the school of pixels with their very own Pixel Perfect Precision™ (PPP™) handbook. The aim? To give pixels the care and attention they deserve, to make sure they get the simple things right before moving onto the detail.

The 165 page guide is available in iBook format for both desktop and iPad, and also a straightforward PDF. And best of all it's still free!

11. Design Your Imagination

 Design Your Imagination
Design Your Imagination

Another for the rookie, 'Design Your Imagination' is a complete beginner’s guide to web design, although it includes great tips for old-timers, too. The book uses examples to guide the reader through its 28 chapters, ranging from the history of web design, to design principles, planning and so much more.

12. The Nature of Coding

 The Nature of Coding
The Nature of Coding

A professor of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, Daniel Shiffman’s ebook focuses on the programming strategies and techniques behind computer simulations of natural systems. However, bear in mind that 'The Nature of Code' is not one for beginners, and you’re likely to need a background in coding to understand it completely. 

13. Web Design and Mobile Trends for 2013

 Web Design and Mobile Trends 2013
Web Design and Mobile Trends 2013

A compilation of interviews with notable industry figures such as Jeffrey Zeldman (A List Apart), Karen McGrane, and Aarron Walter, and agencies like B-Reel, Unit9 and Ultranoir, this ebook outlines predictions for the future of web technologies and design for different devices. Also available to download and read on your iPad, Kindle and a wide range of devices and ereaders.

14. 50 Ways to Please Your Customers

 50 Ways to Please Your Customers
50 Ways to Please Your Customers

Following mobile’s phenomenal growth in 2012, this ebook provides tips on how to build amazing websites for mobile devices. It spans problems to consider when designing the user experience, 50 strategic approaches to create multi-screen designs and 50+ best practices to streamline your mobile design skills.

15. The Woork Handbook

 The Woork Handbook
The Woork Handbook

The Woork Handbook is a collection of Antonio Lupetti’s blog posts,  after receiving requests by some of his four million website visitors in 2008 for a printable version. Topics cover CSS, HTML, Ajax, web programming, Mootools, Scriptaculous and other aspects about web design.

Like this? Read these!

Do you know of any other free resources? Let us know in the comments below...

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