Your back-to-school design reading list, by publisher

Alex Bigman

It’s that time of year again and back-to-school reading lists are upon us. If you don’t consider yourself to be a bookish designer, perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at the range of design books on the market. The breadth of topics, from biographies of famous designers to how-to guides about navigating the industry, is truly amazing. You just need to know where to look—which is not necessarily obvious.

Not to worry. Just for you we’ve put together a list of 15 top notch publishers of books on design (which often includes not only graphic design but architecture, product design and fashion, if any of those subjects interest you).

Here they are for your autumnal perusal:

1. A Book Apart

abookapart

For something short and snappy, A Book Apart is your best best. Never tipping past the 100 page mark, they’re goal is simple – shed light on a difficult subject efficiently enough for you to get right back to work. Their focus is on web design, but some of the more conceptual offerings are great for any designer.

Suggested reading:

2. Abrams

abrams

For comic fans, they also recently started their ComicArts division for all things comics, animation, and cartoons.

Suggested reading:

3. AVA Publishing

ava

Suggested reading:

4. Black Dog Publishing

blackdog

Suggested reading:

5. Gestalten

gestalten

Suggested reading:

6. Laurence King Publishing

king

Suggested reading:

7. Merrell Publishers

merrell

Suggested reading:

8. Lars Müller Publishers

mueller

Suggested reading:

9. Princeton Architectural Press

princeton

Today they’re partnered with San Francisco darling, Chronicle Books, for distribution in the Americas and recently were acquired by publishing behemoth, McEvoy Group.

Suggested Reading

10. Rockport Publishers

rockport

Suggested reading:

11. Taschen

taschen

They’re also famous for publishing some of the most expensive and extravagant art books in the world. If you’re feeling like a big spender, you can indulge in their $2,500 Annie Leibovitz hardcover (complete with fold-outs, supplement book, and a bookstand) or more notably, Helmut Newton’s SUMO for $15,000 which weighs in at 66 pounds.

Suggested reading:

12. Thames and Hudson

thames

Suggested reading:

13. Unit Editions

unit

Suggested reading:

14. Viction:ary

victionary

Their series are especially interesting with City Guides (where 60 local creates show you the city’s best), Palette (explorations in color themes), and I Love Type (which showcase all designs in a specific font).

Suggested reading:

15. John Wiley & Sons

wiley

While their subject reach is massive, they do also publish a series of fantastic graphic design textbooks for the more studious among us. Many of their books are in their 4th or 5th edition, with regular updates to keep their academic information up to date.

Suggested reading:

What are some outstanding design books you’ve read recently? Share in the comments!

Related articles

The 43 best design blogs to read for inspiration

The 43 best design blogs to read for inspiration

Creative design blogs come in handy while working in the field of graphic design. After all, it’s too easy to loose steam in the midst of cranking out design after design. Fear not! For your inspiration needs we’ve combed through every inch of the internet to bring you 43 of the best design blogs in existence. On…

6 Fun creative thinking exercises for designers

6 Fun creative thinking exercises for designers

Every graphic designer has experienced those days where you just don’t feel creative. The days where you find yourself staring out the window thinking “I just want to go lay down in a big field of grass and stare at the sky.” Well, too bad, you can’t. There is work to do and you need to…

Current Design Contests

Designers, check out these contests so you can start building your career.