The proverbial fact is that knowledge is power, that “the more you know, the better off you are.” Books are often known for changing people’s values, their worldview, and their ideas about design.

In doing this we hope to focus attention on how books can be important and inspired sources of creativity, innovation, and invention. We spend time to find books that have been important, meaningful, and formative for others.

Leading up to today, we have collected some very informative food for your eyes.  The following books serve as great blueprints for creatives, designers, entrepreneurs, artists, and the people who “create stuff.”

All these books can help make you a better designer and business owner. We hope that this resource will be the first step you take to learn more about the subject you wish to conquer.

Designing Brand Identity

Whether your goal is to express a new brand or to revitalize an existing one, here is a proven, universal five-phase process for creating and implementing effective brand identity. From research and analysis through brand strategy, design development through application design, and identity standards through launch and governance, Designing Brand Identity is an essential reference for the entire process.

Enriched by new case studies showcasing successful world-class brands from Herman Miller and General Electric to the Obama ’08 election campaign, this Third Edition offers new insights into emerging trends such as sustainability and social networks.

Alina Wheeler applies her strategic imagination and process management skills to revitalize brands for Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurial ventures, and nonprofits.

Buy $23.70

Lord of the Logos: Designing the Metal Underground

Lord of the Logos

Fans of underground black metal music call Christophe Szpajdel the Lord of the Logos. This eponymous book is a collection of hundreds of Szpajdel’s powerful logos, each of which captures the force of this genre anew. The hallmark of Szpajdel’s work is his surprisingly fluid combination of letters with visual elements from art movements such as art deco and art nouveau. But Szpajdel’s most important source of inspiration is nature: roots and trees as well as bats and other creatures.

Buy $38.66

The Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books

Don’t let the publication date throw you off,  it’s still absolutely relevant.

Buy $50.06

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop

Making-and-Breaking-the-Grid

For designers working in every medium, layout is arguable the most basic, and most important, element. Effective layout is essential to communication and enables the end user to not only be drawn in with an innovative design but to digest information easily.

Making and Breaking the Grid is a comprehensive layout design workshop that assumes that in order to effectively break the rules of grid-based design, one must first understand those rules and see them applies to real-world projects.

Text reveals top designers’ work in process and rationale. Projects with similar characteristics are linked through a simple notational system that encourages exploration and comparison of structure ideas. Also included are historical overviews that summarize the development of layout concepts, both grid-based and non-grid based, in modern design practice.

Buy $15.99

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

Every day, more and more people want to learn some HTML and CSS. Joining the professional web designers and programmers are new audiences who need to know a little bit of code at work (update a content management system or e-commerce store) and those who want to make their personal blogs more attractive. Many books teaching HTML and CSS are dry and only written for those who want to become programmers, which is why this book takes an entirely new approach.

Buy $18.25

The Lean Startup

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.  Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Buy $14.71

Color Design Workbook: A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design

Color Design Workbook: A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design

Since color is such a important part of graphic design, designers need the most up to date as well as the most fundamental, information on the subject to have the tools needed to use color effectively. From the meanings behind colors to working with color in presentations, this book provides readers with the vital information needed to apply color creatively and effectively to their design work. Readers also receive guidance on talking with clients about color and selling color ideas. The science behind color theory is also explained in easily understood language, and case studies are included to show the effects some color choices had on both their clients and consumers.

Buy $15.48

Poke the Box

Poke the Box

If you’re stuck at the starting line, you don’t need more time or permission. You don’t need to wait for a boss’s okay or to be told to push the button; you just need to poke.

Poke the Box is a manifesto by bestselling author Seth Godin that just might make you uncomfortable. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking-–in your job or in your life. Godin knows that one of our scarcest resources is the spark of initiative in most organizations (and most careers)-–the person with the guts to say, “I want to start stuff.”

Poke the Box just may be the kick in the pants you need to shake up your life.

Buy $7.18

Why We Buy – The Science of Shopping

why-we-buy

Revolutionary retail guru Paco Underhill is back with a completely revised edition of his classic, witty bestselling book on our ever-evolving consumer culture — full of fresh observations and important lessons from the cutting edge of retail, which is taking place in the world’s emerging markets. New material includes:

• The latest trends in online retail — what retailers are doing right and what they’re doing wrong — and how nearly every Internet retailer from iTunes to Amazon can drastically improve how it serves its customers.

• A guided tour of the most innovative stores, malls and retail environments around the world — almost all of which are springing up in countries where prosperity is new. An enormous indoor ski slope attracts shoppers to a mall in Dubai; an uber luxurious Sao Paolo department store provides its customers with personal shoppers; a mall in South Africa has a wave pool for surfing.

Buy $10.77

War Posters – Weapons of Mass Communication

“A lush catalog… exquisitely conceived and rendered.”—The New York Times

This essential publication features a wide selection of the most eye-catching and iconic examples from the internationally renowned poster collection at the Imperial War Museum in London.

More than 300 superb full-color illustrations of hard-hitting propaganda and groundbreaking graphic art encompass unforgettable images such as Alfred Leete’s “Your Country Needs You” as well as documentary photographs and additional material drawn from the world of advertising.

Through these posters, James Aulich, an international expert on posters and graphic design, examines the social, political, ethnic, and cultural aspirations of America, Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Covering topics as diverse as advertising in World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, Germany and Occupied Europe in World War II, anti-nuclear campaigns, and Vietnam, the book is a comprehensive and invaluable resource for anyone interested in graphic design or modern history. 300+ illustrations

Buy $26.20

Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business

Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business

As the hipster classic Craft, Inc. did for crafters, this book will teach all types of creatives illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, animators, and more how to build a successful business doing what they love. Freelancing pros Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho explain everything from creating a standout portfolio to navigating the legal issues of starting a business. Accessible, spunky, and packed with practical advice, Creative, Inc. is an essential for anyone ready to strike out on their own.

Buy $10.46

Type Rules! The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography

Type Rules: The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography, 3rd Edition is an up-to-date, thorough introduction to the principles and practices of typography. From the fundamentals to cutting-edge applications, this edition has everything today’s serious designer needs to use type effectively. Dozens of exercises reinforce authoritative coverage on such topics as how to select the appropriate type for the job, how to set type like a pro, how to avoid common mistakes, and how to design a typeface, as well as how to fully harness the power of major design packages such as InDesign? and QuarkXPress? — with new coverage of their latest versions.

Buy $39.05

Living with Art

Living with Art

Analyze, Understand, Appreciate.

Living with Art provides the tools to help students think critically about the visual arts. Using a wealth of examples, the first half of the text examines the nature, vocabulary, and elements of art, offering a foundation for students to learn to analyze art effectively. The latter half sets out a brief but comprehensive history of art, leading students tounderstand art within the context of its time and place of origin. High quality images from a wide range of periods and cultures bring the art to life, and topical essays throughout the text foster critical thinking skills.

Buy $116.48

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle

A manifesto for a radically different philosophy and practice of manufacture and environmentalism

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. As William McDonough and Michael Braungart argue in their provocative, visionary book, however, this approach perpetuates a one-way, “cradle to grave” manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world, they ask.

In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, “waste equals food” is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as “biological nutrients” that safely re-enter the environment or as “technical nutrients” that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being “downcycled” into low-grade uses (as most “recyclables” now are).

Buy $17.78

Symbol

The book features over 1300 symbols, organized into groups and sub-groups according to their visual characteristics. Each category includes a short introduction, with expanded captions providing information on who the symbol was designed for, who designed it, when, and where appropriate, what the symbol stands for. These sections are interspersed with short case studies on both classic examples of symbols still in use, and exceptional examples of recently designed symbols.

Buy $26.13

Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design

Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design

The grid has long been an invaluable tool for creating order out of chaos for designers of all kinds—from city planners to architects to typesetters and graphic artists. In recent years, web designers, too, have come to discover the remarkable power that grid-based design can afford in creating intuitive, immersive, and beautiful user experiences.

Ordering Disorder delivers a definitive take on grids and the Web. It provides both the big ideas and the brass-tacks techniques of grid-based design. Readers are sure to come away with a keen understanding of the power of grids, as well as the design tools needed to implement them for the World Wide Web.

Khoi Vinh is internationally recognized for bringing the tried-and-true principles of the typographic grid to the World Wide Web. He is the former Design Director for NYTimes.com, where he consolidated his reputation for superior user experience design. He writes and lectures widely on design, technology, and culture, and has published the popular blog Subtraction.com for over a decade.

Buy $18.43

Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius

Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius

Thought Revolution invites readers to unlock their whole brain to change the way they see themselves and find the truth in whatever challenges them. Encompassing twelve years of research, the book takes readers on an unexpected journey that will set them free-and it all begins with moving the pen from one hand to the other. The technique is called “intuitive” or “nondominant” hand writing and is the basis for this revolutionary approach to making lasting life changes. Tapping the non dominant subconscious right brain through nondominant hand writing, or drawing, can act as a direct pipeline to one’s inner truth, open up creative problem-solving abilities, and help people think outside the box.

Others have reported improvements in relationships, reduction in stress, better physical health, discovery of hidden talents, deeper spiritual awareness, healing from trauma, breakthroughs in career, accessing inner wisdom, and connection with a higher power. Inside Thought Revolution William A. Donius offers the science behind nondominant hand writing and teaches readers ow to incorporate nondominant hand writing in their own lives. Thought-provoking, easy-to-do exercises and prompts help readers connect more fully with the needs of their subconscious right brains and unlock their hidden genius.

Buy $12.30

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

Logo Design Love

There are a lot of books out there that show collections of logos. But David Airey’s “Logo Design Love” is something different: it’s a guide for designers (and clients) who want to understand what this mysterious business is all about. Written in reader-friendly, concise language, with a minimum of designer jargon, Airey gives a surprisingly clear explanation of the process, using a wide assortment of real-life examples to support his points. Anyone involved in creating visual identities, or wanting to learn how to go about it, will find this book invaluable. – Tom Geismar, Chermayeff & Geismar

In Logo Design Love, Irish graphic designer David Airey brings the best parts of his wildly popular blog of the same name to the printed page. Just as in the blog, David fills each page of this simple, modern-looking book with gorgeous logos and real world anecdotes that illustrate best practices for designing brand identity systems that last.

David not only shares his experiences working with clients, including sketches and final results of his successful designs, but uses the work of many well-known designers to explain why well-crafted brand identity systems are important, how to create iconic logos, and how to best work with clients to achieve success as a designer. Contributors include Gerard Huerta, who designed the logos for Time magazine and Waldenbooks; Lindon Leader, who created the current FedEx brand identity system as well as the CIGNA logo; and many more.

Buy $24.08

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

We design to elicit responses from people. We want them to buy something, read more, or take action of some kind. Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient. This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs. With it you’ll be able to design more intuitive and engaging work for print, websites, applications, and products that matches the way people think, work, and play.

Learn to increase the effectiveness, conversion rates, and usability of your own design projects by finding the answers to questions such as:

  • What grabs and holds attention on a page or screen?
  • What makes memories stick?
  • What is more important, peripheral or central vision?
  • How can you predict the types of errors that people will make?
  • What is the limit to someone’s social circle?
  • How do you motivate people to continue on to (the next step?
  • What line length for text is best?
  • Are some fonts better than others?

Buy $17.22

Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition

Cover of Content Strategy for the Web

BETTER CONTENT MEANS BETTER BUSINESS. Your content is a mess: the website redesigns didn’t help, and the new CMS just made things worse. Or, maybe your content is full of potential: you know new revenue and cost-savings opportunities exist, but you’re not sure where to start. How can you realize the value of content while planning for its long-term success?

For organizations all over the world, Content Strategy for the Web is the go-to content strategy handbook. Read it to:

  • Understand content strategy and its business value
  • Discover the processes and people behind a successful content strategy
  • Make smarter, achievable decisions about what content to create and how
  • Find out how to build a business case for content strategy

Buy $16.92

Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook

Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook

This book is your essential guide to understanding the advantages you can bring to your web pages by implementing web standards and precisely how to apply them. Web standards such as XHTML and CSS are now fairly well-known technologies, and they will likely be familiar to you, the web designer. Indeed, they are all around you on the Web. However, within web standards still lies a challenge: while the browser’s support for web standards is steadily increasing, many web developers and designers have yet to discover the real benefits of web standards and respect the need to adhere to them.

Buy $15.12

The Elements of Typographic Style

The Elements of Typographic Style [Paperback]

Renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst brings clarity to the art of typography with this masterful style guide. Combining the practical, theoretical, and historical, this edition is completely updated, with a thorough exploration of the newest innovations in intelligent font technology, and is a must-have for graphic artists, editors, or anyone working with the printed page using digital or traditional methods.

Buy $20.27

Adaptive Web Design

Adaptive Web Design

Aaron Gustafson has been working on the web for nearly 15 years and, in that time, has cultivated a love of web standards and an in-depth knowledge of website strategy and architecture, interface design, and numerous languages (including XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP). Aaron has trained professionals at the New York Times, Gartner, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (among others), and has presented at the world’s foremost web conferences, such as An Event Apart and Web Directions.

“Finally. Progressive enhancement explained with a perfect balance of theory and practice. Aaron’s take-aways will have you progressively-enhancing your markup, style and behavior with ease.” –Dan Cederholm, Author, CSS3 For Web Designers

Buy $22

Responsive Web Design

From mobile browsers to netbooks and tablets, users are visiting your sites from an increasing array of devices and browsers. Are your designs ready? Learn how to think beyond the desktop and craft beautiful designs that anticipate and respond to your users’ needs. Ethan Marcotte will explore CSS techniques and design principles, including fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries, demonstrating how you can deliver a quality experience to your users no matter how large (or small) their display.

Buy $35.99

CSS3 for Web Designers

CSS3 for Web Designers

From advanced selectors to generated content to the triumphant return of web fonts, and from gradients, shadows, and rounded corners to full-blown animations, CSS3 is a universe of creative possibilities. No one can better guide you through these galaxies than world-renowned designer, author, and CSS superstar Dan Cederholm. Learn what works, how it works, and how to work around browsers where it doesn’t work.

Buy $35.99

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

People won’t use your web site if they can’t find their way around it. Whether you call it usability, ease-of-use, or just good design, companies staking their fortunes and their futures on their Web sites are starting to recognize that it’s a bottom-line issue. In Don’t Make Me Think, usability expert Steve Krug distills his years of experience and observation into clear, practical–and often amusing–common sense advice for the people in the trenches (the designers, programmers, writers, editors, and Webmasters), the people who tell them what to do (project managers, business planners, and marketing people), and even the people who sign the checks.

Buy $15.51

The Thank You Economy

The Thank You Economy

The Thank You Economy is about something big, something greater than any single revolutionary platform. It isn’t some abstract concept or wacky business strategy—it’s real, and every one of us is doing business in it every day, whether we choose to recognize it or not. It’s the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, the way businesses and consumers interact online and offline. The Internet, where The Thank You Economy was born, has given consumers back their voice, and the tremendous power of their opinions via social media means that companies and brands have to compete on a whole different level than they used to.

Buy $14.69

Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain

Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain

You probably grab a cup of coffee for that extra boost of energy. Throughout the day, you are asked to be creative, to come up with new and better ideas. So what do you do when you need a creative jolt for your brain? Now you can turn to Caffeine for the Creative Mind.

Buy $11.55

The Web Designer’s Idea Book: The Ultimate Guide To Themes, Trends & Styles In Website Design

The Web Designer's Idea Book

Author Patrick McNeil, creator of the popular web design blog designmeltdown.com and author of the original bestselling Web Designer’s Idea Book, has cataloged thousands of sites, and showcases the latest and best examples in this book. The web is the most rapidly changing design medium, and this book offers an organized overview of what’s happening right now. Sites are categorized by type, design element, styles and themes, structural styles, and structural elements. This new volume also includes a helpful chapter explaining basic design principles and how they can be applied online. Whether you’re brainstorming with a coworker or explaining your ideas to a client, this book provides a powerful communication tool you can use to jump start your next project.

Buy $17.32

Photoshop to HTML

Photoshop to HTML

In “Photoshop to HTML ”, Nettuts+ editor Jeffrey Way takes you through the entire process of converting a design from Photoshop into a complete HTML /CSS website! But this is NOT just an eBook. It also comes packed with extras! You also get a directory of Photoshop, HTML and CSS files for you to use as you work through the book AND a series of 14 screencasts covering the whole project from beginning to end.

Buy $29

Rockstar Icon Designer

Rockstar Icon Designer

Veteran icon designer Kate McInnes introduces you to the wonderful world of icon design, so you too can become a Rockstar Icon Designer!

In this book Kate shares with you her experience and expertise by covering everything from the history and theory of icon design, to best practices and methods. She’ll also take you through the whole process of creating your own icon set, and walk you through actual tutorial exercises where you’ll design icons from scratch.

Buy $24

How to Build a Successful Blog Business

How to Build a Successful Blog Business

How to Build a Successful Blog Business is a straight forward guide to building a publishing business online that covers everything from choosing a niche to hiring staff, registering a business to selling it, finding traffic to monetizing it.

Buy $39

How to Make Your First iPhone App

Milions are being made on apps by every day people. Learn insider tips to make your idea a reality. No programming skills necessary!

  • Find out how to team up with the right developer to make an app that will put you on your way to an Apple Design Award.
  • Learn how to avoid “App Death” and develop an app that skyrockets to the top of the charts!
  • It’s difficult to get a straight answer on the cost of having an app developed. Find out why the numbers are all over the place and what you can really expect to pay.
  • Get tips on finding the perfect team to help develop your app idea!

Buy $15

The Smashing Book

This book is a treasure of practical and useful knowledge for Web designers and developers. It contains 10 chapters and is printed in full color. The book is a paperback and is 8.27 × 5.5 inches (21 × 14 cm). The book is available exclusively from Smashing Magazine and nowhere else. This first Smashing Book looks at Web design rules of thumb, color theory, usability guidelines, user interface design, best coding and optimization practices, as well as typography, marketing, branding and exclusive insights from top designers across the globe.

Buy $13.20

How To Be A Rockstar WordPress Designer

Managing web content has always been tricky, but with WordPress, any web designer can have a flexible, free and powerful CMS to use not just on blogging projects, but on all sorts of websites.

During the course of the book you’ll build THREE WordPress themes, a blog, a portfolio site and a general site with menus and submenus. Each theme demonstrates different aspects of WordPress theming and all three are packaged in with the book so you’ll have Photoshop, HTML, CSS and WordPress PHP files to refer to.

Buy $29

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

Buy $8.47

The Happiness Project

the-happiness-project

In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.

Buy $10.19

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us

The Happiness Project

Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they’re enabling countless new tribes to be born-groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.

Buy $14.25

The Designful Company

the_designful_company_marty_neumeier

“The complex business problems we face today can’t be solved with the same thinking that created them,” says author Marty Neumeier in this entertaining and original read. Instead, he says, we need to start from a place outside traditional business thinking. In an era of fast-moving markets and leap-frogging innovations, we can no longer “decide” the way forward. Today we have to “design” the way forward—or risk ending up in the fossil layers of business history.

Buy $18.28

HTML5: The Missing Manual

HTML5 is more than a markup language—it’s a dozen independent web standards all rolled into one. Until now, all it’s been missing is a manual. With this thorough, jargon-free guide, you’ll learn how to build web apps that include video tools, dynamic drawings, geolocation, offline web apps, drag-and-drop, and many other features. HTML5 is the future of the Web, and with this book you’ll reach it quickly.

Buy $22.33

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos for Fancycrave.com. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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