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In this list you can find 10 book gift ideas for you or your graphic designer friends.

How to

The first monograph, design manual, and manifesto by Michael Bierut, one of the world’s most renowned graphic designers—a career retrospective that showcases more than thirty-five of his most noteworthy projects for clients as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Yale School of Architecture, theNew York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the New York Jets, and reflects eclectic enthusiasm and accessibility that has been the hallmark of his career.

Protégé of design legend Massimo Vignelli and partner in the New York office of the international design firm Pentagram, Michael Bierut has had one of the most varied and successful careers of any living graphic designer, serving a broad spectrum of clients as diverse as Saks Fifth Avenue, Harley-Davidson, the Atlantic Monthly, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, Billboard, Princeton University, the New York Jets, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Morgan Library.

How to, Bierut’s first career retrospective, is a landmark work in the field. Featuring more than thirty-five of his projects, it reveals his philosophy of graphic design—how to use it to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world. Specially chosen to illustrate the breadth and reach of graphic design today, each entry demonstrates Bierut’s eclectic approach. In his entertaining voice, the artist walks us through each from start to finish, mixing historic images, preliminary drawings (including full-size reproductions of the notebooks he has maintained for more than thirty-five years), working models and rejected alternatives, as well as the finished work. Throughout, he provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world.

Offering insight and inspiration for artists, designers, students, and anyone interested in how words, images, and ideas can be put together, How to provides insight to the design process of one of this century’s most renowned creative minds.

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Graphic Design: The New Basics: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

The bestselling introduction to graphic design is now available in a revised and updated edition. InGraphic Design: The New Basics, bestselling author Ellen Lupton (Thinking with Type, Type on Screen) and design educator Jennifer Cole Phillips explain the key concepts of visual language that inform any work of design, from logo or letterhead to a complex website. Through visual demonstrations and concise commentary, students and professionals explore the formal elements of twodimensional design, such as point, line, plane, scale, hierarchy, layers, and transparency.

This revised edition replaces sixty-four pages of the original publication with new content, including new chapters on visualizing data, typography, modes of representation, and Gestalt principles, and adds sixteen pages of new student and professional work covering such topics as working with grids and designing with color.

Know Your Onions – Graphic Design: How to Think Like a Creative, Act like a Businessman and Design Like a God

Read this book and gain twenty years experience in how to think like a creative, act like a businessman, and design like a god. This book is practical and immediate, without being condescending or overly technical. Know Your Onions gives away the secrets of graphic design.

Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don’t teach you in design school, but should

It takes more than just a design school education and a killer portfolio to succeed in a creative career. Burn Your Portfolio teaches the real-world practices, professional do’s and don’ts, and unwritten rules of business that most designers, photographers, web designers, copy writers, programmers, and architects only learn after putting in years of experience on the job.

Michael Janda, owner of the Utah-based design firm Riser, uses humor to dispense nugget after nugget of hard-won advice collected over the last decade from the personal successes and failures he has faced running his own agency. In this surprisingly funny, but incredibly practical advice guide, Janda’s advice on teamwork and collaboration, relationship building, managing clients, bidding work, production processes, and more will resonate with creative professionals of all stripes.

Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design

Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic DesignGraphic Design School allows students to develop core competencies while understanding how these fundamentals translate into new and evolving media. With examples from magazines, websites, books, and mobile devices, the Fifth Edition provides an overview of the visual communications profession, with a new focus on the intersection of design specialties. A brand-new section on web and interactivity covers topics such as web tools, coding requirements, information architecture, web design and layout, mobile device composition, app design, CMS, designing for social media, and SEO.

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100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design

New in the “100 Ideas that Changed…” series, this book demonstrates how ideas influenced and defined graphic design, and how those ideas have manifested themselves in objects of design. The 100 entries, arranged broadly in chronological order, range from technical (overprinting, rub-on designs, split fountain); to stylistic (swashes on caps, loud typography, and white space); to objects (dust jackets, design handbooks); and methods (paper cut-outs, pixelation).

Graphic Design Solutions 4th Edition

This best-selling text remains the most comprehensive how-to reference on graphic design and advertising for print and interactive media, intended to serve as a foundation for a graphic design and advertising design education. Theory and applications are stressed with an instructive approach. Known for its thorough treatment of theory and major graphic design applications, this text concentrates on the integration of design principles and elements, providing hundreds of meaningful examples of their interaction throughout.

The Graphic Design Reference & Specification Book: Everything Graphic Designers Need to Know Every Day

The Graphic Design Reference & Specification Book should always be next to a designer’s computer. Completely practical with only the most needed information, this valuable book provides designers with all the little details that can make or break a design, such as how much space to leave in the gutter when designing barrel folds, how to layout a template for a box, and the ratios of each part, as well as metric conversion charts, standard envelope sizes in the USA, Europe, Canada and Asia, and much more. This hardworking handbook is compact and accessible and is a must-have for any graphic designer.

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design 5th Edition

The Interactive Resource Center is an online learning environment where instructors and students can access the tools they need to make efficient use of their time, while reinforcing and assessing their understanding of key concepts for successful understanding of the course. An access card with redemption code for the online Interactive Resource Center is included with all new, print copies or can be purchased separately.    (***If you rent or purchase a used book with an access code, the access code may have been redeemed previously and you may have to purchase a new access code – ISBN: 9781118922248).

The online Interactive Resource Center contains resources tied to the book, such as:

Interactive Resources: 

  • Flashcards featuring images from book for image identification self-study
  • Self-test assessment by chapter
  • Image Gallery featuring key designers and their work

Downloadable Resources: 

  • Indices of key terms and people


Winner of the First-Ever QED (Quality, Excellence, Design) award by Digital Book World

This is the unrivaled, comprehensive, and award-winning reference tool on graphic design recognized for publishing excellence by the Association of American Publishers. Now, this Fifth Edition of Meggs’ History of Graphic Design offers even more detail and breadth of content than its heralded predecessors, revealing a saga of creative innovators, breakthrough technologies, and important developments responsible for paving the historic paths that define the graphic design experience. In addition to classic topics such as the invention of writing and alphabets, the origins of printing and typography, and postmodern design, this new Fifth Edition presents new information on current trends and technologies sweeping the graphic design landscape—such as the web, multimedia, interactive design, and private presses, thus adding new layers of depth to an already rich resource.

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With more than 1,400 high-quality images throughout—many new or newly updated—Meggs’ History of Graphic Design, Fifth Edition provides a wealth of visual markers for inspiration and emulation. For professionals, students, and everyone who works with or loves the world of graphic design, this landmark text will quickly become an invaluable guide that they will turn to again and again.

The Elements of Graphic Design Second Edition Edition

This very popular design book has been wholly revised and expanded to feature a new dimension of inspiring and counterintuitive ideas to thinking about graphic design relationships. The Elements of Graphic Design, Second Edition is now in full color in a larger, 8 x 10-inch trim size, and contains 40 percent more content and over 750 images to enhance and better clarify the concepts in this thought-provoking resource. The second edition also includes a new section on Web design; new discussions of modularity, framing, motion and time, rules of randomness, and numerous quotes supported by images and biographies. This pioneering work provides designers, art directors, and students–regardless of experience–with a unique approach to successful design. Veteran designer and educator Alex. W. White has assembled a wealth of information and examples in his exploration of what makes visual design stunning and easy to read. Readers will discover White’s four elements of graphic design, including how to: define and reveal dominant images, words, and concepts; use scale, color, and position to guide the viewer through levels of importance; employ white space as a significant component of design and not merely as background; and use display and text type for maximum comprehension and value to the reader. Offering a new way to think about and use the four design elements, this book is certain to inspire better design.

Featured Image by Unsplash (Pixabay)

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