The Design Life
I'm an avid collector of design books. I love to suggest a good design read to my team. As the blog has gained readership, I am often asked to recommended books. Below are just a couple of my favorites and I will continue to add to the list, so do keep in touch!
For information, images or a link to the bookseller, click on the 'books title' or the 'read more' button below the image.
Thoughts on Design By Paul Rand
Rand’s book 'Thoughts on Design' is truly a masterpiece, which he wrote in 1947, aged just 33. A revised version was released in 1970 and then again more recently in 2014. More than any other book, this is the o
ne that I sugg
est to all that I mentor or employ. Paul Rand is still viewed as one of the most celebrated graphic designers of our time.
Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut
Bierut's book ‘79 Short Essays on Design’ is at pride of place within my bookshelf. Its a super book that you can either pick it up for a quick read or settle back for the afternoon with. Its one of those books that I never get bored of and I find myself going back to it again and again.
Symbol by Steven BAtemAn & Angus Hyland
Symbol by Steven Bateman and Pentagram partner Angus Hyland has been a valuable source to me when developing logos and brand identity systems. There are over 1300 logos included with the book divided into groups that relate to their visual characteristics. There is also a number of case studies that give a great back-story to some of the worlds most recognised symbols
The Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli
Massimo Vignelli's Cannon is a book for which I tell everyone that works for me in my design studio to read. I am often asked what fonts to use or how to use grids and this book is an essential handbook to refer back to. It's an essential handbook for any young designer entering into the industry.
Own Label / Sainsbury's Design Studio 1962 -1977
I am an avid collector of design books and on a recent trip back to the UK, I stumbled across a fantastic book containing a veritable gold mine of vintage Sainsbury’s packaging, chronicling the years 1962 to 1977. The books forward tells the story of the author
, Jonny Trunk and his search for a particular 1970 Sainsbury’s pack design for cornflakes that he had memories of from his childhood. On calling the retailers head office, he discovers that there’s a huge archive o
f pristine Sainsbury’s own label packaging dating back from the 1960’s and onwards. An ideal subject for a book!
This fantastic new book by Jens Müller; 'Logo Modernism', recently caught my eye and is now at the top of my Christmas list!
Published by Taschen the book features approximately 6000 trademarks/logo's, focusing on the forty-year period between 1940 to 1980.
My Copy Of Graphis Diagrams
In 1974 Walter Herdeg edited issue 165 of Graphis Diagrams, a square hardback book showing the scientific side of graphic design. It contains beautifully illustrated, full colour diagrams of abstract data and there's also some lovely multi layered maps that use transparent papers. The cover is a fantastic example of the modernist Swiss style of type and design. It really is a thing of beauty, an iconic classic and I once had a copy, or should I say, I may still have a copy...'
Inspirations and observations on all things design, tech and culture. A blog for designers, written by a designer.
Popular articles and series:
Designing a better world
Sainsbury's design studio 1962-1977
Why pink and blue?
South Africa's barber shop art
Design your success
The design masters
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Todd Anderson Design
The design life is for anyone who has an interest in the world of design. There's regular articles, creative showcases, topical discussion and resources.