Whats the most inspirational Digital Design book you own?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Moshiiii, May 7, 2006.

  1. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2006
    Sarasota, FL
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Forget the digital part.

    Design is design, regardless of the medium — visual problem-solving with a saucy dash of client arse-licking.

    Anyway. Recommended type books are:

    • The Elements of Typographic Style — Robert Bringhurst
    • Reviving the Rules of Typography — David Jury

  3. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
  4. belair macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2004
  5. thevessels macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2004
    i wanna revive this thread . i just ordered " how to a graphic designer without .. " and " about face : .. "

    im pretty excited .

    any one else have some books or other inspiring material to share ?
  6. mouchoir macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2004
    London, UK
    Two books which really inspire me every time I pick them up are 'Tibor', a book on the late great Tibor Kalman, and 'Sagmeister', Stefan Sagmeister's book on his work.

    They are two designers who manage to surprise and delight with every piece of work, and give me a reminder to approach things a bit differently every now and then.

    Oh, and the books themselves are beautiful too.
  7. 20rogersc macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2005
    Brighton, UK
  8. primalman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    at the end of the hall
    I am teaching Thinking With Type this fall, along with the standard reference bible, Elements of Typographic style. Thinking has to be one of the best intro level books I have seen in years, maybe the best. Plus, the resources she makes available are just top-notch. I can't wait!
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Well, I am a geek, not a designer, so my favorites The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by E. Tufte. Also Homepage Usability by Jakob Nielsen.

    And going way, way back to my first experience of typography, the Letraset Rub-Down Type* Catalog. I used to wheedle the art store in town until they'd give me a catalog, then spend hours upon hours with tracing paper making words and alphabets in different fonts.

    BV: Does that date me, or what? I say in my defence, I was 12 years old at the time.

    * Oh dear, you're actually reading the footnote, aren't you? Which means you were probably born after 1980
    This is, unfortunately, another "before there were computers" story. Letraset produced alphabetic sheets of characters, each sheet in one of many different fonts (plain and fancy). They consisted of a translucent carrier sheet, and individual letters in a rubbery vinyl film. You carefully positioned the sheet over your paper, and rubbed the sheet to transfer the letter onto the paper, where it stuck. You the repeated this, letter by letter, until you had formed the word, title or sign that you wanted to create. If you rubbed a letter down off-centre or crooked, you could scrape it off and try another one. This was type fonts for the masses, circa 1970. In the late 80's Letraset discontinued the rubdown sheets, and released a series of Postscript typefont libraries. They also took a run at producing image editing (Image Studio) font manipulation (LetraStudio) and page layout software (Ready, Set, Go), in competition with Adobe, Aldus and the fledgling Quark. The Letraset suite in its day was quite advanced, and sold as a bundle like Adobe CS is today. They gave up after a couple of years. Still have my dealer demo copies around here somewhere, just don't have a System 6.0 machine set up to run them on.
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    The Letraset Catalogue was a set text for my first year of design school, included in the list of stuff you needed for the first week of first term. :D
  11. Coheebuzz macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Nicosia, Cyprus
    Sagmeister's Made You Look

    It took me a couple of months to track it down cause it was always out of stock, but it's worth the hunt. It seems to be in stock now so hurry! It doesn't focus on digital design and like Blue Velvet said, design is design regardless the medium. However it will give you a clear idea of the fundamentals behind design and how you should approach things to make a design that works. I have tons of design books, some of them costing over $100 and this is the only single book that taught me something valuable.

    I would tell you to stay away from books that just showcase a designers work without explaining things, because graphic design is a discipline closely associated with marketing and generally the commerce. So most of the times the goal of a design is to make money for the client and not decorate a wall. You should learn the theory first!
  12. Lau Guest


    The library I worked in a couple of years ago gave me their old Letraset catalogue for free. It's probably my most prized possession...:D Funnily enough, when I was at primary school, I also had a book with loads of Letraset-style type in in it, and also used to spend hours tracing and drawing them. Why it took me so long to work out I wanted to be a designer I will never know...
  13. mouchoir macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2004
    London, UK
    Good choice! :D (And it's the same book I mentioned a few posts earlier, only you managed to get the full title in, and give a link – good effort)
  14. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Process; A Tomato Project, The Bread and Butter Stone, Two Times Intro, RAy-GUn Out Of Control.

    There's a few Swiss design books too, but I don't find them especially inspirational as such, more... informative.
  15. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005

    I used Letraset in HS and college. When I got out into the field we used Chromatex which was a make it yourself style Letraset. We would send out for the type at a typesetter, then paste it up and get a film neg shot. Then we would custom mix paints with a few primary colors and a PMS book as a guide. The paint was then drawn down with a metal rod on a sheet of acetate followed by a draw down of a exposure mixture. We would expose the film neg and this sheet together and then wipe off the unexposed areas. One last pass with a glue and you were ready to rub down some colored type/logo on a comp. Some places I worked were not working that way, instead we hand cut type out of color PMS sheets.

    Computers are a blessing to graphics, old school was a pain in the ass. In my defense I look very young for my age. :D :D
  16. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    For inspiration, I REALLY like I.D. magazine's annual design review issue, which usually hits newsstands in August, I believe. It's expensive (about $30 US) if you don't have a subscription, but WELL worth the cost with all the ideas contained within.
  17. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    As far as inspirational design books, ones about/by April Greiman, El Lissitzky, Paul Rand, Helmut Krone, Neville Brody to name a few. Not too much of those are digital, just great design.
  18. jive macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2006
    Art Of Rebellion

    It's a graffiti book but it only focuses on stickers and is absolutly brilliant.
  19. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    Not really a book, but a periodical i get, is Communication Arts.

    Other Magazines: HOW, Print

    Great magazines for any designer.
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Hah! Kindred spirits.

    My first "design" commission was $5 I won in junior high school in a competition for the design of a commemorative school button. Hand-lettered, of course. Never pursued a career in it though. Went into sales and then computers.
  21. ouphe macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think 'The Elements of Typographic Style' is hands down the best resource for typography. As for other elements of design...it depends on what kind of book you're looking for (inspirational, technical, etc). Steven Heller is the mac-daddy of graphic design writing, so he's a good person to look up if you're ever short on reading material.

  22. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    I mostly just go to the library to read/look at these periodicals. But, last Fall I along with my senior design class sent in checks for our own subscriptions to Print and still have not received a copy. We were told that it takes the people of Print about a year to start processing anything.

    Another recommendation for Sagmeister.

    Getting it Printed, Idea Index and other books by Jim Krause, Handbook on Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.
  23. macaddict23 macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2006
    MacVille, USA
    Wow, no one has mentioned Before & After magazine (www.bamagazine.com). As a person who has no formal design training, it's the ultimate design resource.
  24. frankblundt macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2005
    South of the border
    Amen. No home should be without them.
    or Ways of Seeing, John Berger

    ah Letraset, the memories.

    1. And footnotes (The Footnote - Anthony Grafton, yes there's a whole book about them..) - I always read footnotes, but i thought that was because I was born before 1980

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