Great Reads for Self-Taught Designers

“Creativity needs the support of knowledge to be able to perform at its best.”
– Massimo Vignelli


Spark your creativity and skills with these great reads for self-taught designers! Whether your just starting out in design or have years of experience under your belt, these books offer great tips and insight for any designer.


Everything There Is To Know About Logo Design – BlueSodaPromo

This book has everything you need to know about logos – from the importance of color theory to the beginning history of successful logos like Nike and Apple. What’s even better: it’s only 28 pages, has lots of pictures…and it’s free! 🙂


How To Be A Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul – Adrian Shaughnessy

If you’re a freelance designer or want to start your own business one day, this is definitely a book you want to read. There are a range of tips like, how to find work and how to handle difficult clients, advice for pricing your projects and how to represent yourself as a professional. You can find the first edition online for free, but keep in mind the updated edition has expanded key points and up to date tips!


The Vignelli Canon – Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli was not just a successful designer, but a successful and versatile designer. Vignelli’s work ranges from package design to furniture design to graphic design to evironmental…the list goes on! His focus on simplicity and use of grids helped create timeless designs regardless of his medium. In this free e-book, Vignelli shares his design process and knowledge…basically everything you’d want to know!


Designing Brand Identity – Alina Wheeler

Any and everything you want to know about brand identity can be found in this book. Through real-life case studies and endless visuals and examples, Wheeler shows just how important brand identity can be for any organization. This information can be just as useful to clients as it is for designers because it helps explain just how crucial of a role design plays in a business’s success. Check this one out through Barnes and Noble for as low as $15!


 How To Be Creative – Hugh MacLeod

Feeling stuck or uninspired? This free e-book can help you gain a fresh perspective of your work and process. And this book isn’t just limited to graphic designers! This is great for anyone in a creative field…did I mention MacLeod is a cartoonist? 🙂


 The Design Funnel: A Manifesto for Meaningful Design – Stephen Hay

This e-book gives in-depth breakdown of the thought process behind creating good design. Even with detailed explanations of all 5 steps in the “design funnel” it still manages to be a quick read: 12 pages total! Not to mention it’s free, so why wouldn’t you read it?


Good Books for Graphic Design


Be sure to comment below and let me know what you think of these great reads for self-taught designers  and others that you’ve read…and bonus points if they’re free!


Ariana Nicole
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