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  1. #1
    The MacGyver of Design bronze trophy Johan Dahlström's Avatar
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    Great design books

    I want books on graphic design, really enjoy books and especially those containing lots of color pictures
    So I wanted to hear with you guys if you happen to have/know about any great, not just good!!!, books on the subject. Typography, illustration, just great sources of inspiration... you name it!

    Cheers!
    http://www.johandahlstrom.se
    Not rebootin' on November 1st! (but shortly after)
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  2. #2
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    i enjoyed "the design of everyday things" by donald a. norman - really got me into thinking of design to the point of analyzing a lot of things in life and how they could be better designed. don't recall that it gets into typography and illustration but more allowed me to step back as a designer and understand from a users standpoint how something that makes total sense to me, may make absolutely no sense to anyone else to the point of being unuseable.

    what i got out of the book: there's no such thing as a dumb user, just poor design - and - great ideas when poorly implemented can become unuseable

    i also got a kick out of the cover of the version i have, it's a tea pot that has both the steep and the handle on the same side of the pot. book is a bit dated but still has some good info.

  3. #3
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Hi

    Here are some book recommendations from me. I realise that there is still a huge wishlist of books that I'd like to possess and evaluate, but for now here is what I can recommend.

    General webdesign books:

    Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
    by Eric A. Meyer

    I bought this book because it was recommended to me. While I find it magnificient, it is largely dedicated to those who started designing with tables etc. As I started with CSS directly, I skipped quite a few parts of this book. However, that does not make it any less brilliant as you gain a lot of insight as to how CSS works in a realistic online environment. This book is less about experimental CSS or designs that require the most modern browsers. It is more a practical book that gives you the solid grounds on which to work with CSS/XHTML safely and professionally. The book is divided into projects, each of which you can download the files on Eric Meyers website. Invaluable.



    Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
    by Eric A. Meyer

    This is more like a very descriptive lexicon. I love this book. I'd say it's my favourite book on CSS. It is a guide on CSS 1 and 2 mainly. Very very important to have if you are interested in designing with CSS.

    Designing with Web Standards
    by Jeffrey Zeldman

    Zeldman has a unique style of writing. That alone makes this book a gem. However, not only is the writing style wonderful and refreshingly loose, but he also makes it strikingly easy for you to understand the ideology behind modern webstandards, its main purposes and why it is adviseable to get into it. We get a bit of history, real life solutions via a complete redesign of a site that he works through with us (readers), good summaries of terminologies, what xml means etc. Again a must have.

    Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
    by Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir

    This is a very good book as it helps getting some insight on how design works from a user perspective, rather than a designer's perspective. He rips apart 50 websites, evaluates each of these, points out strengths and weaknesses and the like. I can't say that I agree with everything that is written in this book, however, it is a good resource to have when planning a website.

    Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
    by Jakob Nielsen


    Yah, well this is a difficult book. Like above, there are many many good reasonings on why to keep designs usable and simple. The problem I have, like above, is the "hardcore" (for lack of a better term) purism with which he stresses the importance of usability. I'm too much of a hippie myself and his books have a certain tone of authority that I dislike. Both books are none to follow strictly in my humble opinion as it's important to evaluate and think for yourself and decide upon that process. With his books, I often have the feeling that there's a black and white shemata with very little inbetween which is not all that suitable for individualists.


    ---------------

    Colors

    The Designer's Guide to Global Color Combinations: 750 Color Formulas in CMYK and RGB from Around the World
    by Leslie Cabarga


    This is a wonderful book that demonstrates via samples the color combinations used varying by continents. It's very thrilling and a great resource.


    Color for Websites (Graphic Design)

    by Molly Holzschlag

    A very nice book that explains the basics of color theory and the human eye/perception. There is also a small part where she explains the cultural differences regarding color perceptions. A good book to have.


    ---------------

    For vector illustrations with Adobe Illustrator

    Adobe Illustrator CS Hands-On Training
    by Jeff Van West

    A very thourough and detailed book that starts at the very beginning, from setting up your workspace in illustrator up to creating art. This book is constructed in a fashion that reminds me of a classroom. Lots of lessons that you work through step by step and also a nice disc with tutorials that will help you follow processes that are more difficult or not as descriptive within the book itself.

    The Adobe Illustrator CS Wow! Book
    by Sharon Steuer

    Another gem. Still not through with this book, so I cannot say much about it other than I'm impressed so far. Perhaps someone else can provide a synopsis for it.

    ---------------

    For graphics with Adobe Photoshop CS

    Commercial Photoshop with Bert Monroy
    by Bert Monroy

    A great book with samples on how to create art with Photoshop, manipulate existing photos (e.g. stock imagery) with custom graphics, combining these, merging them etc.

    Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy -- by Bert Monroy

    This book is very very nice. I find it hard to give a synopsis of this one. Roughly, I'd say this book is very good for learning more advanced techniques of creating art with Photoshop. It is not a learning book per se, eventhough the author does demonstrate the processes very nicely on sample projects.
    This would not be a book to get started with Photoshop. However, it is a must have for your bookshelf.

    ---------------

    For logos


    Logo Font & Lettering Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Design, Construction and Usage of Alphabets and Symbols
    by Leslie Cabarga


    I must say that this is the most amazing book for logos that I know. It is very detailed in describing the logos that are presented in the book. It also gives good insight to the process of logos with samples from famous logo creators. An added bonus is that the author introduces you to the process of creating custom fonts. This book is a true gem for me. The author also gives a brief introduction to typography within his descriptions, but it's not a typography book. I have yet to do some research on good typography books. If someone knows of any, please post them.

    Dos Logos
    by Roland Muller

    This books has a wonderful collection of logos, sorted by category. It is not a book that shows the process of creating a logo. It merely displays selected works of designers. However, I find this book to be invaluable due to the masses of samples shown that will give you a good idea on how to approach the designing of logos.




    These are a few that I can recommend.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  4. #4
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    kohoutek, jesus that's one heck of a list.

    Anyhow, I ordered "The Zen Of CSS Design" last week. Although I haven't read it myself (obviously!) judging by the reviews I've read I'd say it will be good.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast nzgfxguru's Avatar
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    Learn Professional Computer Graphics & Digital Illustration

    Link can be found here: http://www.graphics-book.com/
    Julian Jackson
    Circle Design - Think outside the square.
    Knitnak, for fabulous handmade knitwear.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek
    Hi

    Here are some book recommendations from me. I realise that there is still a huge wishlist of books that I'd like to possess and evaluate, but for now here is what I can recommend.

    General webdesign books:

    Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
    by Eric A. Meyer

    I bought this book because it was recommended to me. While I find it magnificient, it is largely dedicated to those who started designing with tables etc. As I started with CSS directly, I skipped quite a few parts of this book. However, that does not make it any less brilliant as you gain a lot of insight as to how CSS works in a realistic online environment. This book is less about experimental CSS or designs that require the most modern browsers. It is more a practical book that gives you the solid grounds on which to work with CSS/XHTML safely and professionally. The book is divided into projects, each of which you can download the files on Eric Meyers website. Invaluable.



    Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
    by Eric A. Meyer

    This is more like a very descriptive lexicon. I love this book. I'd say it's my favourite book on CSS. It is a guide on CSS 1 and 2 mainly. Very very important to have if you are interested in designing with CSS.

    Designing with Web Standards
    by Jeffrey Zeldman

    Zeldman has a unique style of writing. That alone makes this book a gem. However, not only is the writing style wonderful and refreshingly loose, but he also makes it strikingly easy for you to understand the ideology behind modern webstandards, its main purposes and why it is adviseable to get into it. We get a bit of history, real life solutions via a complete redesign of a site that he works through with us (readers), good summaries of terminologies, what xml means etc. Again a must have.

    Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
    by Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir

    This is a very good book as it helps getting some insight on how design works from a user perspective, rather than a designer's perspective. He rips apart 50 websites, evaluates each of these, points out strengths and weaknesses and the like. I can't say that I agree with everything that is written in this book, however, it is a good resource to have when planning a website.

    Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
    by Jakob Nielsen


    Yah, well this is a difficult book. Like above, there are many many good reasonings on why to keep designs usable and simple. The problem I have, like above, is the "hardcore" (for lack of a better term) purism with which he stresses the importance of usability. I'm too much of a hippie myself and his books have a certain tone of authority that I dislike. Both books are none to follow strictly in my humble opinion as it's important to evaluate and think for yourself and decide upon that process. With his books, I often have the feeling that there's a black and white shemata with very little inbetween which is not all that suitable for individualists.


    ---------------

    Colors

    The Designer's Guide to Global Color Combinations: 750 Color Formulas in CMYK and RGB from Around the World
    by Leslie Cabarga


    This is a wonderful book that demonstrates via samples the color combinations used varying by continents. It's very thrilling and a great resource.


    Color for Websites (Graphic Design)

    by Molly Holzschlag

    A very nice book that explains the basics of color theory and the human eye/perception. There is also a small part where she explains the cultural differences regarding color perceptions. A good book to have.


    ---------------

    For vector illustrations with Adobe Illustrator

    Adobe Illustrator CS Hands-On Training
    by Jeff Van West

    A very thourough and detailed book that starts at the very beginning, from setting up your workspace in illustrator up to creating art. This book is constructed in a fashion that reminds me of a classroom. Lots of lessons that you work through step by step and also a nice disc with tutorials that will help you follow processes that are more difficult or not as descriptive within the book itself.

    The Adobe Illustrator CS Wow! Book
    by Sharon Steuer

    Another gem. Still not through with this book, so I cannot say much about it other than I'm impressed so far. Perhaps someone else can provide a synopsis for it.

    ---------------

    For graphics with Adobe Photoshop CS

    Commercial Photoshop with Bert Monroy
    by Bert Monroy

    A great book with samples on how to create art with Photoshop, manipulate existing photos (e.g. stock imagery) with custom graphics, combining these, merging them etc.

    Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy -- by Bert Monroy

    This book is very very nice. I find it hard to give a synopsis of this one. Roughly, I'd say this book is very good for learning more advanced techniques of creating art with Photoshop. It is not a learning book per se, eventhough the author does demonstrate the processes very nicely on sample projects.
    This would not be a book to get started with Photoshop. However, it is a must have for your bookshelf.

    ---------------

    For logos


    Logo Font & Lettering Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Design, Construction and Usage of Alphabets and Symbols
    by Leslie Cabarga


    I must say that this is the most amazing book for logos that I know. It is very detailed in describing the logos that are presented in the book. It also gives good insight to the process of logos with samples from famous logo creators. An added bonus is that the author introduces you to the process of creating custom fonts. This book is a true gem for me. The author also gives a brief introduction to typography within his descriptions, but it's not a typography book. I have yet to do some research on good typography books. If someone knows of any, please post them.

    Dos Logos
    by Roland Muller

    This books has a wonderful collection of logos, sorted by category. It is not a book that shows the process of creating a logo. It merely displays selected works of designers. However, I find this book to be invaluable due to the masses of samples shown that will give you a good idea on how to approach the designing of logos.




    These are a few that I can recommend.

    You bastage!

    I want everything on that list and I'm low on cash......

    Sheesh....I'm bookmarking this thread!

  7. #7
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    kohoutek, jesus that's one heck of a list.

    Anyhow, I ordered "The Zen Of CSS Design" last week. Although I haven't read it myself (obviously!) judging by the reviews I've read I'd say it will be good.

    Oh yes, The Zen Of CSS is the next book on my wishlist along with some others. I also heard good things about it.

    I'm still looking for a book that combines psychological aspects with webdesign. I've been searching but have not found anything that caught my eye so far ...

    Do any of you know of one?

    I will post information for those interested as soon as I've found a good one.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  8. #8
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkwind
    You bastage!

    I want everything on that list and I'm low on cash......

    Sheesh....I'm bookmarking this thread!
    I'm thursting to learn.

    Here are some other books I can also recommend which I was too tired to list last night.

    Logo Design Workbook - A Hands-on Guide to Creating Logos

    Very descriptive book. It describes well what processes are involved when creating a logo, like e.g. what questions you should ask yourself when creating a logo, what it is intended for, the audience it targets, what the single elements such as colors, shapes, styles, fonts convey when applied in a certain form. It's very detailed and gives you a lot of food for thought when approaching the task of creating a logo. I love it as much as the Carbaga book I listed in the first post.

    Finally, for now, I can recommend quite a few books from taschen.com

    Especially if you are into Art in general, or commercial vintage art, they have tons of books (more like catalogues) that are a great inspiration. If you love art, then I would recommend books that display the work of painters such as Toulouse-Lautrec. For those who don't know Toulouse-Lautrec, you might know one of his most famous works - Moulin Rouge. Beautiful colors. I think, aside from Salvador Dali, he uses the most striking color combinations I've ever seen.

    Some I can recommend from taschen.com that are not related to webdesign but to art/design are:

    Toulouse-Lautrec by Matthias Arnold
    Edward Munch
    Salvador Dali
    Kitchen Kitsch - Vintage Food Graphics by Ed. Jim Heimann
    All American Ads from the 20ies (a picture book if you will with ALL graphic ads of the 20ies)
    All American Ads from the 40ies (ref. above)
    All American Ads from the 60ies (ref.above)

    They also have these for the 50ies (but I don't recommend it as the design style was not all that different from the 40ies). I've also looked at the 70ies book but find that the ads of that time lack significant inspiration. Not worth the money in my humble opinion, unless you are into the 70ies style of course.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  9. #9
    Formerly known as RockNRollPig Shpigford's Avatar
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    Some great books for both instruction and inspiration:
    1000 Graphic Design Elements
    Sonic: Visuals For Music
    New Masters of Photoshop: Volume 2
    Maximalism
    Taschen's 1000 Favorite Websites

    (I'll post more later if I have some time)

  10. #10
    Non-Member Frozentoast's Avatar
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    Although a tad specific, a great book I purchased today:

    'Business Cards - The Art of Saying Hello'

    Check out www.magmabooks.com

  11. #11
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  12. #12
    The MacGyver of Design bronze trophy Johan Dahlström's Avatar
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    Okey, you're not suppose to ruin me/eachother

    Thanks alot guys, I (and for sure others aswell) really appretiate your recemmendations, all books look very interesting. So by all means, don't stop if you got more!



    I was searching the web for some books on typography, and I came across
    Rookledge's Classic International Typefinder. Read some very positive reviews of it. Is there anyone in here that has it or in some way can varify that it's a great book?


    PS.
    kohoutek... terriffic posts !
    http://www.johandahlstrom.se
    Not rebootin' on November 1st! (but shortly after)
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Addict rosem's Avatar
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    The 'Killer Tips" series books are also very good - especially if you are already pretty comfortable with the program already. I have been using Illustrator for about 6 years now, but I bought Adobe Illustrator CS Killer Tips just for kicks. About 1/2 way through the book I learned so many shortcuts and cool little tips that I ordered every book they had on every program

    They are very easy to read, just small paragraphs (for each tip) and lots of pictures - haha.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict Eagle's Avatar
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  15. #15
    .::Pixel PIMP::. Andrew K's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    designing web usability - Jacob Nielsen good book, worth getting and EVERY web designer should at leat look at this book.
    Video-Tutes.com
    Web & Graphic design video tutorials
    100% free video tutorials.

  16. #16
    The MacGyver of Design bronze trophy Johan Dahlström's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek
    [...] Logo Font & Lettering Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Design, Construction and Usage of Alphabets and Symbols
    by Leslie Cabarga


    I must say that this is the most amazing book for logos that I know. It is very detailed in describing the logos that are presented in the book. It also gives good insight to the process of logos with samples from famous logo creators. An added bonus is that the author introduces you to the process of creating custom fonts. This book is a true gem for me. The author also gives a brief introduction to typography within his descriptions, but it's not a typography book. [...]
    kohoutek, I can clearly see why you are so fond of this book. I ordered it some time ago and have recently started to read it through. It is simply AMAZING and has completely revolutionized my way of looking at logos and the way type and lettering should be used. As a relatively new guy in the field of design, this "knowledge" is invaluable. The book is worth every penny and more to that. Thank you SO much for the tip.
    http://www.johandahlstrom.se
    Not rebootin' on November 1st! (but shortly after)
    flickr



  17. #17
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johan Dahlström
    kohoutek, I can clearly see why you are so fond of this book. I ordered it some time ago and have recently started to read it through. It is simply AMAZING and has completely revolutionized my way of looking at logos and the way type and lettering should be used. As a relatively new guy in the field of design, this "knowledge" is invaluable. The book is worth every penny and more to that. Thank you SO much for the tip.
    Not a problem Johan. It's brilliant.

    You may also like his global colors book. It's just as cool, though of course a completely different subject matter.

    Kind regards,

    Maleika
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble




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