6 graphic design books that will be guides to a successful career as a designer

Graphic design is a multi-faceted creative field that has its own secrets and nuances. We have collected 6 the most useful books that will answer all questions, help develop creative thinking and take a step to success in your graphic design career.

1 "Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps" by Jacques Bertin 

Semiology of Graphics is a fundamental and internationally acknowledged work in the sphere of graphic design and cartography. It was initially published in French in 1967 and then, it has been complemented and translated into English. The work is divided in two parts. The first part is based on Jacques Bertin’s pragmatic cartographical experience and it is an unexampled effort to synthesize rules of graphic communication with the logic conventional principles applied to writing and topography. The second part shows how Bertin’s theory is applied in practice, introducing a thorough study of graphic techniques, involving form, orientation, colour, texture, volume and proportions. More than 1,000 maps and diagrams reinforce the research. This supplemented edition (2010) with a new epilogue urges us to the information design opportunities of modern technologies.

A designer and an information visualization specialist Manuel Lima recommends this edition as a handbook with all required knowledge, references of design and one of the most informative work about data visualization.

Semiology of Graphics is a guide to modern world of using graphical methods in exploration and connection of compound information. It can be useful for graphic designers and cartographers who wants to scrutinize graphic techniques and see theory in practice.

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2 "Universal Principles of Design" by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler  

All that relates to the graphic design: promotional products, interior design, corporate identity etc., is a combination of different knowledge, theories and practices from different disciplines. A graphic designer cannot be a proficient in everything, so he needs to get and expand all necessary knowledge for successful work on projects.

Universal Principles of Design is an interdisciplinary reference of graphics designing. This book describes all the universal design principles. It is well illustrated and has a clear explanation of all main design concepts, which are backed by good examples of applications in practice. Moreover, the information is well structured and it is comfy to navigate in the book.

The author William Lidwell is the director of graphics designing in the organisation Stuff Creators Design in Houston, Texas. He is also a writer, speaker and consultor on themes about graphic design and projection.

Again, Manuel Lima recommends this book as an enlightening work of information design and graphic communication.

The publication may be utility not only for graphic designers, but likewise for representatives of other professions, as well as students. Anyone who wants to expand and improve knowledge in design concepts will appreciate this book.

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3 "The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking" by Mike Rohde 

This handbook fully consists of brilliant illustrations and detailed information about sketchnotes, for instance, how you can utilize them to work with your visual thinking. Sketchnotes also can be helpful in remembering key information. Author Mike Rhodes (BTW read the interview with him) explains you how to include sketchnoting techniques into your noticing process. This book will succor you to improve the process of getting information that you can hear or see via drawing, despite your artisitic abilities.

The Sketchnote Handbook shows and illustrates in practice all sketchnoting techniques for assimilating visual notes in your everyday life and within your worktime or some occasions. Moreover, Rhode teaches how to draw a person without spending a lot of time. It is a staged description for people who sensate uncertainty in drawing.

A designer and opensource evangelist David Leuliette highly recommends this publication as a guidance on sketch notes with all needful techniques of note taking.

The Sketchnote Handbook looks like novice’s manual for those who wants to train visual thinking. Besides, it will be interesting for graphic designers that intend to scrutinize note taking techniques. With understandable instructions, which allow you to identify and picture your notes, this graphic design book can become you helper in daily work.

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4 "Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don't teach you in design school, but should" by Michael Janda

Not only a design academy education makes you a professional in creativity, but also you have to gain some experience in actual world. Burn Your Portfolio will teach you some practices, what you should and should not do. Besides, you will learn all the main rules, which professional graphic designers, copywriters, photographers, etc. only find out after long working experience.

The author Michael Janda gives helpful advice gathered over the last 10 years from the personal experience of success and setback. Janda is an proprietor of the design agency Riser (Utah), so he knows like no other what teamwork is, how to make your graphics designing business better. Using humor, he clearly explains and shows the examples of how to cooperate with creative professionals of all casts. Furthermore, Michael Janda expounds how to establish a good relationship and manage clients. Even if you are just a freelancer, this advice can help to make you more successful in your professional life.

Burn your portfolio would be utility for graphic designers that desire to know what they should do to be successful in professional life and avoid possible mistakes or setbacks by seeing the author’s personal experience.

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5 "Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative" by Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist is a manual which can encourage everyone to develop their own creativity. So, even if you do not have peculiar abilities, you can became more creative and use it in your life. Austin Kelon, the originator of this book, thinks that creativity is all around and for everybody. This edition is full of illustrations, examples, practical guides and lots of useful information with positive author’s attitude.

The graphic design book also encourages novice designers with a thinking that naught is original. Thereby, amass ideas, learn new things, notice what other people have already created, and find your own path with new creative inspiration.

Steal Like an Artist is a ‘must read’ edition if you are seeking information about how to start graphic design or something like that. It is recommended for novices and specialists in creative field.

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6 "Know Your Onions - Graphic Design: How to Think Like a Creative, Act like a Businessman and Design Like a God" by Drew de Soto

Know Your Onions is more than a typical handbook, so it will not just tell you ‘how to do something’. It includes lots of tips, steps and finesses, which can be beneficial in practice. Moreover, this graphic design book is pretty easily to read.

After the first acquaintance with the book, it is not hard to detect that it is written by a very competent person. The author Drew de Soto shows you the best design practices and helps to submerge into the world of creativity and make out design industry.

Know Your Onions can be your reference book and help you any time during your work. You will surely find something original for you about graphics designing and creativity that maybe your designer colleagues do not know.

This edition is recommended for graphic designers with some experience and for beginners in this area. It is an assemblage of the best design practices and a handbook that is useful in a graphic design career.

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