14 Design Books You Can Live Without

Here are 14 books that may–if you follow their advice religiously–permanently cripple your design sense… if the covers are any indication.

C.R.A.P. The Non-Designer's Design Book 2nd Edtn. by Robin Williams Graphic Design Basics by Amy E. Arntson she's actually not a bad fine artist, but... Graphic Design: Vision, Process Product by Louis Ocepek AIGA Professional Practices in Graphic Design by Tad Crawford awesome webiste with stars! Logo, Font & Lettering Bible by Leslie Cabarga a review by ilovetypography Grids: Creative Solutions for Graphic Design by Lucienne Roberts actual grid design resouces Teaching Graphic Design by Steven Heller Contemporary Graphic Design by Charlotte Fiell, Peter Fiell Smear Filter, Garamond Digital Graphic Design by KEN PENDER, Kenneth R. Pender Start Your Own Graphic Design Business by Entrepreneur Press Creative Business Guide to Running a Graphic Design Business by Cameron S. Foote A Similar Idea Playfully Rigid by Claude Lichtenstein Did they die in 2006? Art Marketing 101: A Handbook for the Fine Artist by Constance Smith See Also: Internet 101 (from 2007!) Graphic Design On The Desktop by Marcelle Lapow Toor These designs make me hungry for alphabet soup

You can click away on that image up there, and I encourage you to. Most the books just have a close-up image to offer, but I’ve included a little “further reading” at the bottom of some. For instance, Robin Williams uses an acronym to help you remember her basic rules of design, and it is–I am not joking–C.R.A.P. as in,”if you use these basic princibles, your design will look like crap.”

A little something I learned while researching these books. People take them seriously. No one mentions (except Ilovetypography) that the covers are terribly designed or what that says about the techniques they teach. It’s weird.

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  1. Adam’s avatar

    That is fantastic.

  2. Adam R Garcia’s avatar

    I own the two on the bottom left (“Contemporary Graphic Design” and “How to Start and Run your Own Graphic Design Business”). Gotta be honest. Although the HTSaRYWGDB book is ugly as sin, I carry it with me and reference it often. It goes over a lot of basics that a fledging freelancer can find incredibly useful.

    I did, however, adorn the spine and cover with large stickers so I didn’t broadcast the paradox of a badly-designed design book. No joke.

  3. Tyler’s avatar

    Authors often have no control over how their book is designed, both inside and out. It depends on the publisher and the author’s influence, I’m sure. The big publishers’ design teams are usually the ones to blame, though.

  4. Adam’s avatar

    Tyler, if what you say is true, you’re talking about a big problem in publishing about graphic design. Like, massive. I wish that you hadn’t said “both inside and out” because I would have loved to refute you with snapshots of the insides of the books (which are pretty fantastic, too), but you did. Oh, well.