6 Books to Inspire Graphic Designers

These graphic design books will inspire you and help you learn about the history of this discipline

Daniel Barba López, graphic designer and director of Monotypo Studio (@monotypo_studio)–a studio dedicated to offering graphic and communication solutions to brands, in everything from small adjustments to a logo to fresh reworks of company stationery, packaging, and other avenues for providing vision and personality–shares his favorite graphic design books.

History of Graphic Design, by Philip B. Meggs

Learning the history of graphic design is an excellent way to grow as a designer. This book, written by Philip B. Meggs, offers an inexhaustible source of knowledge and inspiration, as it shows us the most relevant paradigms of graphic design from its origins to the present.

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Meggs, P. B., (2015) 'Historia del diseño gráfico', Rm Verlag

A Type Primer, by John Kane

Typography is as vast as it is essential to graphic design, that’s what makes this book essential reading. This manual is an introduction to the world of typography that takes us on a journey through its history, its parts, and its structures so that we can understand it and learn how to use it correctly.

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Kane, J., (2013), 'Manual de tipografía', Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.L.

Herb Lubalin: American Graphic Designer 1918-1981, by Adrian Shaughnessy

An edition worthy of the best libraries, this title compiles the work of Herb Lubalin, one of the most prolific designers and typographers of the 20th century. His contributions to the process of creating typefaces and the emblems of legendary brands continue to leave their mark on the world of the graphic arts.

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Shaughnessy, A. (2013), 'Herb Lubalin: American Graphic Designer 1918-1981', Unit Editions

White, from Kenya Hara

Its cover gives us an idea of the type of content we will find in the pages of this book. The work of Japanese graphic designer Kenya Hara is characterized by minimalism and subtlety, and this title, which encapsulates their projects, offers insights on how to effectively implement the process of conceptualization through abstract ideas.

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Hara, K., (2019), 'White', Lars Muller Publishers

Otl Aicher, by Markus Rathgeb

Markus Rathgeb is one of the most relevant typographic and corporate identity designers of the last century. They designed the Lufthansa airline logos and the visual identity of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. This book compiles his work and shows how they developed complete corporate identities.

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Rathgeb, M. (2015), 'Otl Aicher', Phaidon Press

Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design, by Jennifer Bass

Saul Bass' own daughter wrote this book dedicated to one of the most famous designers in history, famous for his work in film, corporate identity, and graphic design. He is also one of Daniel Barba's favorite and most influential designers, thanks to his valuable legacy.

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Bass, J., (2011), 'Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design', Laurence King Publishing

In his course Typography Customization for Logo Design, Daniel Barba will show you the process of modifying types and allowing a unique brand identity to take shape.

English version by @harry_davies.

You may also like:

- Logocentric vs. Flexible: Two Approaches to Branding
- Blue Note: Where Jazz and Design Met
- 3 Essential Books for Learning to Create


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