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Books Every Designer Should Read // 2022/04/07
A selection of the best books on design, and freelancing, and stuff.

Become inspired and boost your confidence with a selection of the best books on design, and freelancing, and stuff.

Feck Perfection by James Victore

This is not only my favourite book on creativity, but possibly my favourite book, period. James Victore is unapologetically James Victore, and through this book he teaches you how to be unapologetically you (and why that’s a good thing).

Burn Your Portfolio by Michael Janda

For any creative freelancer, this book is a must-buy. Michael Janda walks you through pretty much everything you could need to know to run a creative business. I’ve read this book cover to cover several times, and constantly refer to it.

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

If you’ve been a professional creative for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of this book, and for good reason. If you’re struggling to come up with original ideas (hint - there’s no such thing) pick up a copy of this book.

Zag by Marty Neumeier

For those interested in Branding, Marty Neumeier’s ZAG is an invaluable insight into strategy for high-performance brands, based on the principle of radical differentiation: ‘when everybody zigs, zag.’

The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns

An expert in sales, Blair Enns’ manifesto deserves a place on every creative professional’s desk. A near-biblical approach to setting yourself apart from "most agencies", and winning higher-budget projects, at a lower cost of sale.

Freelance, and Business, and Stuff by Hoodzpah

Essential reading prior to committing to a freelance career, this book walks you through pretty much everything you need to know to set yourself up for success. The book covers self-promotion, taxes & income, contracts and more.

NYC Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual

Published by Standards Manual, originally designed by M. Vignelli and B. Noorda, this book is a faithful recreation of the original. Worth every penny, whether as a coffee-table book or as a valuable insight into design history.

Grid Systems by Josef Müller-Brockman

A slightly more technical book than others on this list, but a great insight into grid systems and how they relate to design. If you do any sort of layout design, this book comes highly recommended.

Books are an oft-overlooked resource in a designer's arsenal! Those presented in this blog post should serve as a good starting point.