There are a lot of books out their to get inspiration from or to learn how to design better. There are a lot. So, picking the right books instead of just a ton of useless books that aren’t worth your time or just regurgitating the same thing developed by someone else. I have compiled a list of the top 10 books I have found that give me inspiration or are truly worth reading for web designers, graphic designers, writers or just hobbyists. All of them will be helpful for graphic designers and web designers but a few are great for writers or anyone in the creative industry.
Design books for designers, print design and web design
Caffeine for the Creative Mind
By: Stefan Mumaw
Description: This is a great book with a ton of exercises to help spark the creativity you need for your project or just for fun. Always inspirational. This book has 250 exercises that help to inspire creativity easily everytime.
Art of Color
By: Johannes Itten
Description: This book goes deep into the art of color and the psychological aspects of color and color theory. If you have any questions about color this book has the answer. It is almost religious how deep he goes into color.
By: Kristen Cullen
Description: This is an awesome book that not only goes over layouts but the entire design process. It is a great book not just for graphic designers but for web designers also. It goes over extensive coverage of white space, one of the most important design aspects and an easy way to add visual interest in a piece.
By: Sam Harrison
Description: This is an awesome book to help you look at the world in a different way to develop ideas for advertising and just about anything creative you can imagine. A great book to grab and find some inspiration from.
Beautiful Web Design
By: Jason Beaird
Description: This is a great book about overall design but focuses a lot on web design. The depth and overall context of this book is amazing and helpful to any web or graphic designer. Probably one of the best books to come out of SitePoint.
Thinking with Type.
By: Ellen Lupton
Description: This is a great book that goes in detail about the design process of typography and how to use certain font styles and the difference between various fonts.
By: Sam Harrison
Description: This books has 101 exercises through 5 easy steps to make you more creative long term and of course through the exercises creative in the short term as well. An awesome book and I recommend everyone read it at least twice.
Web Design Workshop
By: Robin Williams
Description: This is an awesome book I would recommend that anyone making a web site read. It is full of useful information that is not so much on the technical side but actually on the design side of making web sites. I must say of course that any book written by Robin Williams is really a must read for designers.
The Zen of CSS Design
By: Dave Shea and Molly E. Holzschlag
Description: This is an excellent book on CSS as a design medium and how to use it within the XHTML standards to ensure that your design is cross-browser compatible and still look beautiful.
CSS: The Missing Manual
By: David Sawyer McFarland
Description: This is a wonderful book about CSS that goes very technical into CSS and how to use some of the not-so-popular techniques aswell as how to make your design visually pleasing with very simple and easy to remember CSS structures.
Web design books for designers begin with design theory
I know that the web design books are near the bottom but you really have to understand how to spark creativity and understand graphic design fully before you can begin to design web sites. These are some of the best books I have come across for design, I hope that everyone finds them as interesting and inspiring as I have. If you have any others that you think should be on this list or that should be #11 leave your message in the comments about it (or them).