40 books every graphic designer will want for Christmas

21. Type Object

Graphic design books 2014

Dr Barbara Brownie from the University of Hertfordshire specialises in two main research areas: typography and costume.

In her latest book, she analyses the tangible properties of typographic letters and as objects beyond just three-dimensional shapes.

Brownie attempts to show the personality of each letter and encourages us as readers to see them as far more unique and personal than simply characters on a page in a book.

22. Typography Pocket Essentials

Graphic design books 2014

If you've just started learning about typesetting, then get yourself a copy of this slim guide. A simple and quick introduction to the world of typography, this book provides an overview of typography's history, as well as its key principles and techniques.

A full introduction to of the most useful and important fonts completes the book. With this handy primer, anyone can master the basic principles of type layout and create pages that are easy on the eye and captivate the reader.

23. Adventures in Letterpress

Graphic design books 2014

With letterpress techniques becoming increasingly popular, American letterpress printer Brandon Mise collates some of the US' best examples. He also interviews the artists and printers still using this process and keeping the tradition alive.

Suitable for both designers and crafts enthusiasts, Adventures in Letterpress includes edgy, witty designs ranging from quirky political ads and poetry broadsides to humorous ephemera, animalia, retro and just plain weird stuff.

24. Type Rules

Graphic design books 2014

The fourth edition of this book on typography is jam-packed with lots of practical advice on everything from how to design a typeface to how to use design programs, such as Adobe Creative Suite.

As one of the oldest and more-established books on the subject - but fully updated for 2014 - Type Rules: The Designer's Guide to Professional Typography is one to add to your library and return to again and again.

Graphic design books 2014

Chock-full with examples, this simply titled book showcases some of the finest typography art from 200 design agencies and studios, and across a wide range of categories such as advertising, logos, kinetic typography and fashion.

Across 500 pages, the selections encompass a wide range of categories, including: advertisement and promotion, brochures and catalogues, corporate identities and logos, packaging, street fashion, interiors, posters, book design, cards, invitations, stationary, and type in motion.

26. Infographics & Data Visualizations

Graphic design books 2014

Infographics have become increasingly common in the marketing world but it's not often you seen an artistically-designed infographic.

This book showcases examples of just that and encourages and advises designers on how to create their own unique visual displays of language.

27. 50 Best Logos Ever

Ever wondered how the Penguin logo started its life? Or what Shell's logo looked like in 1901? Then this is the book for you.

Over 180 premium pages, the book - brought to you from the people behind Computer Arts magazine - dissects the world's greatest logos, showing their origins, their evolutions and interviewing the designers behind them - including Rob Janoff (Apple) and Lindon Leader (FedEx).

A panel of six leading identity designers from throughout the echelons of the industry - Mike Abbink, David Aiery, Liza Enebeis, Bill Gardner, Sagi Haviv and Michael C Place - selected and ranked the logos, and it all adds up to a fascinating reference book on logos ever created. You can pick up the book at bookstores or newsagents, or order it online. Or if you prefer, you can download a digital edition directly to your iPad from the Computer Arts app on iTunes.

28. How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

This classic title features sound advice from Adrian Shaughnessy on gaining employment, setting up as a freelancer, forming a company, dealing with clients, pitching and loads more.

As graphic design books go, this is insightful, intelligent, accessible and simply full of great advice, with the author calling on such luminaries as Neville Brody, Natalie Hunter, John Warwicker and Andy Cruz to help pull together his ideas.

29. The Little Know-It-All: Common Sense for Designers

Don’t judge this by its cover or size - it’s possibly the most useful book you’ll own as a designer.

Everything from light, colour and perspective to law and marketing are covered in succinct, beautifully carved chapters.

It’s the kind of book that you never stop reading once you start; the kind you’ll always refer back to, making it a winner on pretty much every level.

30. Illustration – Play

From the good people at Victionary, Illustration - Play has one of the most beautiful, special and intriguing covers you’ll see, each one being individually stickered by hand.

This is to echo the explorative approach taken by all of the illustrators featured in the book - looking at new ideas and ways to realise concepts within contemporary illustration. A lovely object.

31. Graphics Alive

Another tome from Victionary, this time exploring the omnipresent power of graphic design and illustration in today’s society.

Graphics Alive 2 (the first book is sold out) is not only beautifully designed in itself, but also packed full of highly inspirational T-shirt graphics, shoes, signs, wallpaper and other everyday objects and ephemera that top designers have lent their eye to. An intense, head-hurting experience.

32. The graphic language of Neville Brody

Designer monographs: The graphic language of Neville Brody

You'll find this book on the must-read list on every self-respecting graphic design course, and with good reason. Neville Brody may now be president of D&AD and head up Research Studios' global studio network, but it was arguably his 1980s heyday that had the biggest impact on contemporary graphic design.

First published in 1988, The Graphic Language of Neville Brody explores the thought process behind some of his best-known work, including his genre-defining art direction of The Face magazine.

33. Designed by Peter Saville

Designer monographs: Designed by Peter Saville

Like Brody, Peter Saville famously built his reputation in the 1980s with iconic album artwork for Factory Records-signed bands such as Joy Division and New Order - but this 2003 publication was the first to chronicle his career.

Starting in 1978, it inevitably covers the Factory era in detail but also explores Saville's design and art direction for the fashion and advertising industries, taking in brands such as Dior, Stella McCartney and London's Whitechapel gallery.

34. The Ultimate Guide to Creative Cloud

Want to supercharge your creative workflow? Want all your apps to work in sync? Want to easily publish to multiple platforms and devices at the same time without any hassle? Yeah, us too.

In this special edition from the creators of Computer Arts, you'll discover how to use the power of Adobe Creative Cloud to work faster, smarter and deliver your projects faster and in more style.

35. Love Song

Designer monographs: Love Song

An iconic studio for the modern age, Non-Format is a fruitful transatlantic collaboration between Oslo-based Kjell Ekhorn and US-based Brit Jon Forss.

This 2007 monograph is packed with awe-inspiring imagery and insight into the duo's creative process over five years between 1999 and 2003, from advertising work for Coke and Nike to stunning art direction for The Wire magazine.

36. Made You Look

Designer monographs: Made You Look by Stephan Sagmeister

Austria-born, New York-based designer Stefan Sagmeister has hit the headlines a couple of times in the last year with his nude promotional shenanigans, but these two monographs, published in 2008 and 2009, are all about his creative approach and output.

The former revolves around 21 thought-provoking phrases, transformed into typographic works for various clients around the world. The latter, fully illustrated with a red PVC slipcase, spans 20 years of his graphic design in depth, and the two complement each other excellently.

37. Beware Wet Paint

Designer monographs: Beware Wet Paint by Alan Fletcher

Alan Fletcher, the legendary co-founder of Pentagram, penned various thought-provoking tomes during his illustrious graphic design career, but The Art of Looking Sideways is perhaps the best known - questioning the way designers think about everything from colour to composition.

Picturing and Poeting explores the link between imagery and meaning through a series of visual mind-teasers, games and visual puns, assembled from his personal notebooks and diaries, while Beware Wet Paint is a more conventional monograph, looking back over 35 years of inspiring work and putting it all in the context of Fletcher's remarkable thought process.

38. A Designer's Art

Designer monographs: A Designer's Art by Paul Rand

Heralded by many as one of the fathers of modern branding, Paul Rand has several inspiring books to his name. Design, Form and Chaos is unfortunately out of print, but if you can track down a copy it's worth it to immerse yourself in his talent for simplicity, and to explore the thinking behind some of his best-known identities.

A Designer's Art, meanwhile, probes more deeply into the process of graphic design in general: why it's important; the impact it can have on society; what works, what doesn't, and most importantly, why.

39. Perverse Optimist

Designer monographs: Perverse Optimist by Tibor Kalman

Written by Tibor Kalman and edited by Peter Hall and Michael Bierut, this is another notoriously hard-to-obtain volume which, like Rand’s Design, Form and Chaos, is sadly out of print.

Dedicated to the visionary editor-in-chief of Colors magazine and creative director of Interview, Perverse Optimist is a weighty tome by any standards, and packed with high-impact images and insightful analysis of the art direction process behind them.

40. Pentagram: Marks

Designer monographs: Pentagram: Marks

Unsurprisingly, given its status as arguably the world's most famous design agency, Pentagram has attracted its fair share of monographs over the decades: seven so far and still counting Marks simply reproduces four hundred of the hugely diverse identities that the agency has created since 1972. An incredible cross-section of design history.

Words: Natalie Brandweiner and Rob Carney

Natalie Brandweiner is an online journalist for MyCustomer.com, covering social media and marketing, and has a keen interest in design.

Like this? Read these!

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.