The best graphic design book
The cost of college places a burden on individuals that they may carry for their entire lives. Luckily, there are still some jobs that hire an individual based on talent. Certain careers in graphic arts can be successfully navigated without a degree. Still, you will want some help, which is where a graphic design book comes in handy.
Graphic design books focus on your particular needs and give you the confidence to boldly forge forward. We really enjoyed The Non-Designer's Design Book for its comprehensive nature and easy-to-digest format. To learn more about graphic design books, keep reading.
Considerations when choosing graphic design books
Aspects of graphic design
History: If the evolution of style and technique is what you seek, consider a book that focuses on the history rather than the practice of graphic design.
Fundamentals: For individuals looking for an introduction along with an understanding of design techniques so they can use the information to start a career, a book that focuses on the fundamentals is the way to go.
Challenges: Sometimes you get stuck. It can either be because you've done the same thing too many times and can't break free of the routine you've adopted, or because you just don't know how to proceed. If this is the situation for you, a book filled with creative challenges can help get you out of your rut and back into a productive winning streak.
Reference guide: Sure, there's the internet, but there's something gratifying about actually flipping through physical pages to find that little tidbit you forgot. If you'd like a book to keep on hand for quick reminders of concepts and approaches, consider a comprehensive reference guide to graphic design.
When shopping for a graphic design book, you need one that's on your level. If you're an absolute beginner, reading about advanced design elements and strategies might not be beneficial. Likewise, a seasoned designer probably won't be interested in the fundamentals of design. Make sure the book you're considering is appropriate for your experience level.
While the tone of the writing doesn't necessarily make a book good or bad, it can make it more enjoyable (or less enjoyable). If clinical prose is how you learn best, look for a book more academic in nature. If you want to have as much fun reading as you do designing, consider a graphic design book with a more casual tone.
This is not just about page count -- there are some huge books that never dip below the surface of a topic. If you're just after superficial information, that's not a bad thing, and you can easily find a number of books that are written that way. However, if you like rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty, make sure the graphic design book you have your eye on can take you to the depths you want to explore.
Considering all the information they can provide, graphic design books are a remarkable value. Many decent books are available in the $15 to $25 range. However, if you just want a quick read, you could get that for around $10. Comprehensive reference books and books that take a deeper dive cost over $25.
Q. What kind of career options do I have as a graphic designer?
A. There's a whole world of opportunity available to a talented graphic designer. You could work in advertising, design book covers, be a video editor, create web pages, design products, teach art, be an animator on a popular TV series, and more.
Q. What kind of traits are needed to succeed in graphic design?
A. At the very least, a graphic designer must be a good listener, a good communicator, creative, able to take criticism, self-motivated, enjoy challenges, be detail-oriented, and be comfortable with technology.
Graphic design books we recommend
Best of the best: The Non-Designer's Design Book
Our take: A solid introductory book on the fundamentals of design.
What we like: This easy-to-read book is filled with tips, tricks, and approaches that can quickly help your novice work achieve professional polish.
What we dislike: To get the most out of this book, the paperback version is recommended over the e-version.
Best bang for your buck: Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills
Our take: If you're stuck floundering at a creative impasse, this may be the book that frees your mind so you can get back to being productive.
What we like: This book has 80 challenges that can help you step out of your own way. It teaches discipline and focus, two elements freelancers require to be successful.
What we dislike: This book is better suited for individuals who already have a solid foundation in design elements.
Choice 3: Graphic Design: The New Basics
Our take: A picture-heavy design book that deconstructs fundamental design elements so they can be reconstructed in a way that truly helps an artist to push beyond convenience.
What we like: This comprehensive book provides the novice designer with a wealth of snippets that can help shape the thought process behind designing. It serves as both a source of information and inspiration.
What we dislike: Some people expressed that they would have benefited from a deeper dive into each topic.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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