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The top 15 summer reads for designers

Looking for some good holiday reads? Here’s a quick overview of some of the best design books released so far this year, fromtypography to illustration to logo design.

01. Hegarty on Creativity: There are No Rules

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The latest from ad man John Hegarty focuses on creativity and examines how we can be better at it and better communicate it. Using 50 different themes that all have creativity at their centre, from more shallow ideas such as ego, money and technology to the more complex challenges of modern life, like how to be angry in a professional and conductive manner, he brings the debate of creativity to life’s daily practicalities. A great choice if you’re looking for a challenging read that’ll stretch your thinking.

02. An Excuse to Draw: Tommy Kane Sketches the World

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Globetrotter, artist and long-established creative director Tommy Kane has become popular across the world for both his advertising genius and travel illustrations. This, his first ever book-length collection, focuses on his many adventures in a style that is inspired by the likes of comic artists such as R. Crumb and James Jean. A great illustrated travelogue with some very witty takes on the world.

03. The 365 Project: A Designer’s Daily Challenge

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Based on his original blog, this is the collection of the year’s worth of daily challenges and projects that designer Bryn Hobson set himself on his personal blog. Compiled into a book, you can read all about the inspiration behind each task, the process involved and what he learned. It might even inspire you to start your own 365-day challenge!

04. The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Clients

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Navigating the world of client relationships is never easy, no matter how many years you’ve been in the business. Through a series of one-to-one interviews with leading designers such as Milton Glaser, April Greiman, Mke Weymouth and Drew Hodges, Ellen Shapiro’s guide offers some great advice on how to build rapport with clients. A great way to pick up a few tips on how to keep your clients happy.

05. Graphic Content: True Stories from Top Creatives

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Ever wondered what really goes on in the minds of the world’s top creatives? San Francisco-based artist and designer Brian Singer leads a team of designers, engineers and filmmakers at Facebook and, in his very funny and original book, shares the weird and often wacky experience of those working in the industry. That crazy Wednesday night you had in the scrap yard involving next door’s taxidermy cat… yep, he’s probably got a story to top that, too.

06. The Designer Says: Quotes, Quips and Words of Wisdom

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Another one to add to the list if you’re looking for insider advice from top dogs in the industry.

Sara Bader’s book is a collection of quotes from some of the design world’s most renowned and talented designers, set out like a discussion at an end-of-the-world dinner party. An entertaining and informative poolside read that’s suitably easy to dip in and out of.

07. What They Didn’t Teach You in Design School: What You Actually Need to Know to Make a Success in the Industry

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Let’s face it, design school is a great grounding for your career, but you’re not going to learn everything you need to know to prepare you for the real world. In this book, industry heavyweights provide career advice from learning how to get that all-important first job to impressing your new employer. A must read if you’re a design graduate looking to get ahead.

08. Extra/Ordinary: From Everyday Objects to Art

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Turning everyday objects into art is hardly a new concept – Andy Warhol made himself famous on it. But this great read from publisher Index Books explores it within a modern perspective. Showcasing work from a range of inspiring artists, it forces us to rethink the objects around us and find the magic in the mundane.

09. Ultimate branding

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How can design be used to build and bolster a brand and their identity? In this superb new collection from Monsa, Josep M. Minguet and Patricia Martinez highlight some of the most inspiring branding work around, whether that’s an initial concept or a finished project, and take a closer look at the creative artists behind the design. A good choice if you’re designing for the consumer market.

10. Linkography: Unfolding the Design Process (Design Thinking, Design Theory)

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Creativity: can you define the process behind it? Gabriela Goldschmidt’s new book examines the imagination behind design and why designers think the way that they do. Using 13 case studies of design in practice and insights from cognitive psychology, Goldschmidt attempts to understand the logic behind the creative process and why certain steps derive a particular conclusion. Not the lightest of books to dip in and out of next to the pool, but a must-read if you’re looking to understand more about design thinking.

11. Make your own luck by Kate Moross

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More of a memoir than a step-by-step guide, in this book illustrator and art director Kate Morossprovides some invaluable insight into how to survive the often bumpy world of design from self-promotion to collaborating with others to that all-contentious issue of when to work for free. And she’s certainly someone to learn a few life lessons from. By the age of 21, Morross had already set-up up a record label, designed a collection for Topshop and worked for a roster of big-name brands such as Nike and Google.

12. Drawing Type by Alex Fowkes

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Have you ever wanted to know more about the designer behind the typeface?

In his book, Fowkes takes us behind some real-world projects to interview a number of different typographers about their unique processes.

A typographer himself, Fowkes has created a number of typographical illustrations for the likes of Sony Music and Outlook Festival, and provides some working advice to help you draw serifs, san serifs and scripts.

13. B is for Bauhaus by Deyan Sudjic

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Director of London’s Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic’s anthology provides an A-Z list of contemporary culture, from authenticity to zips!

He uses his own personal experiences- his architectural background, curator of a number of museums around the world and co-creation of Blueprint magazine – to make assertions about some of the myths (and truths) in popular culture, from what makes a Warhol a genuine fake to the principles of Functionalism.

14. Typography 34 by Type Directors Club

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Typography 24 is the latest annual instalment from the Type Directors Club, which curates some of the world’s best typography work through its annual competition.

This book showcases some of the best and most exciting work from 2012. Over 2,300 designers submitted their work for consideration and the book celebrates innovation in type design across a variety of formats including books, magazines, corporate identities, logos and posters.

15. Postermania: New Poster Design by Cristian Campos

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If you’re interested in poster design then this is the book for you.

In Postermania: New Poster Design, author Cristian Campos provides an overview of contemporary poster design and selects some of the world’s best illustrators and graphic designers to showcase a number of design styles such as minimalist, baroque, retro and futuristic, as well as the more traditional types of poster design.

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