14 Best Design Books for Design Students in 2020 - Print Peppermint

14 Best Design Books for Design Students in 2020

Studying for a degree in design can be hard. Some students may be nervous because they're starting something new. Their goal is to finish college as quickly as possible while making friends and enjoying their life at university. They have to study under different instructors and submit their projects on time. They may build a mentor-mentee relationship, especially if they're very passionate about their goals in life. 


However, design students not only have to do interesting tasks and tap on their endless creativity, they also have to do well in their other subjects. They have to submit written assignments on time. For instance, their Literature professor may assign some essays. If they're also busy with their projects, they can always check the free essay examples at https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/literature/ for some inspirations. They can also do so to save time because they have to focus on their major design subjects.

These essays on literature can also help them because they tap on their creativity as well. They're part of the curriculum because students can hone their skills in writing a research or a paper on a few topics. They may not realize it at first, but writing literature essays can help bring out the creative juices in them too.

Anyone who shows interest in design or plans to be a designer can read these 15 books to strengthen his understanding of the fundamental design principles and their applications.

1.     As Little Design As Possible by Dieter Rams


The author outlines his ten rules of product design in this book. He's a respected industry leader, and his products are prevalent around the world. His book is one of the best design books that students must read if they want to be successful.

2.     Design Elements, Color Fundamentals by Aaris Sherin

This book is a resource for artists who want to create memorable and winning designs that meaningfully and effectively communicate the message with their target audience. It teaches how to communicate with colour and font types, as well as images, to present messages and ideas successfully.

3.     Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

This book by Steve Krug is the most recommended and best-loved because it adds fresh perspectives to make reading fun. It's a must-read for anyone who works on websites. It's also one of the best books on design thinking.

4.     Graphic Design School by David Dabner, et al


The vital introduction to the field of graphics by David Dabner, Abbie Vickress, and Sandra Steward is a must-have book for artists. It teaches the essential concepts and significant skills required to build the framework of an innovative and successful art and style. It features the fundamentals of problem-solving and advanced techniques for a broad range of applications.

5.     Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Müller-Brockmann

This book is one of the titles that are helpful for web and graphic artists because it demonstrates the best way to layout a page in a logical and clear way. It features the how-to and psychology of layouts and includes practical layouts.

6.     How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy

This is another well-loved book by graphic artists because it teaches how they can thrive personally and professionally. It delves deeper into social responsibility and ethics, and it also includes insights from world-class artists.

7.     How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things by Michael Bierut

This manual essays the career of Michael Bierut and offers several pointers to all artists, new and experienced alike. He uses real projects to display what is achievable through graphics.

8.     Layout Essentials by Beth Tondreau

This book by Tondreau features basic layout guidelines using 100 art and style principles such as kerning and legibility, combining typefaces, using special characters, and striving for balance and rhythm with type. The principles are useful for creating annual reports, websites, brochures, posters, and publications.

9.     Logo Design Love by David Airey

The book teaches a systematic approach to the development of an iconic brand using client use cases from art houses and renowned artists. It expounds on the creation process of these artists up to collaboration and cooperation with clients.

10. The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher


This book is a collection of insights and wisdom from all over the world. It features anecdotes, images, quotations, curious facts, useless information, jokes, oddities, science, and memories related to the interplay between the visual and verbal, and the infinite resources of the human mind.

11. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

The revised and expanded edition features the usable and excellent style of everyday things. An outstanding primer explains the how's and why's of customer satisfaction in a particular product. This book is one of the art books for beginners that every student should read.

12. The Design Process by Karl Aspelund

This book serves as a guide through the process of artful creation from inspiration to conceptualization. It includes everything about graphics, clothing style, and web art. It's for all creative professionals who want to apply the lessons to their projects.

12. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett

This book offers vital information for web and interaction artists because it defines the core principles they need to become successful with their craft. It explains complex concepts with vivid illustrations and clear explanations to focus on the creation and depiction of an idea.

13. Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton


This book teaches the use of typography in visual communication and contains the latest information on style sheets, lining and non-lining numerals, ornaments and captions, small and enlarged caps fonts, font licensing, hand letters, and blending typefaces. It features visual examples that show innovativeness within the defined structure of typographic formats. It's an essential book for artists, students, editors, copywriters, and anyone else who wants to learn typographic words and fonts.


Design students will discover a wealth of information from the books mentioned in this article. They learn from the masters who wish to share their expertise and knowledge about a particular aspect of artful creation. They can use whatever they learn from them to become successful in their chosen art field.

Back to blog