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Summer 2018 Reading List for Creatives

Summer 2018 Reading List for Creatives

Maybe you’ve been out of school for a few years, but that doesn't mean you have to stop learning. If you’d like to brush up on your skills or just simply learn more on topics related to your creative profession, we’ve put together a summer reading list for you:

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1. Oh Sh*t. What Now?: Honest Advice for Graphic Designers by Craig Oldham

This text is geared for novice design students who have just finished school or new designers trying to navigate the job market. British designer, Craig Oldham, guides readers through questions that all new designers ask themselves, such as, “How do you find creative jobs?” “Where do you live and where can you afford to live as a designer?” “How to network?” Oldham provides his personal anecdotes alongside practical advice for anyone struggling to figure out their next steps after school.

2. Paul Rand’s Work

No designer should be unfamiliar with Paul Rand, who is best known for his iconic work with IBM and ABC. Although his book Thoughts on Design was published in 1947, there have been updated editions published that are still relevant for designers today. This text discusses problems designers may encounter, as well as his take on the beauty of design. Rand writes, “An erroneous conception of the graphic designer's function is to imagine that in order to produce a 'good layout' all he need do is make a pleasing arrangement of miscellaneous elements. What is implied is that this may be accomplished simply by pushing these elements around, until something happens. At best, this procedure involves the time-consuming uncertainties of trial and error, and at worst, an indifference to plan, order, or discipline.” You can find this as well as other design philosophies of his in Thoughts on Design.

Additionally, you may want to read his more recently released book Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art. This piece goes through his most important collections paired with descriptions from other experts about his theory and practice. Princeton Architectural Press describes this book as a “new edition of Rand's classic monograph, long unavailable, meticulously re-creates the graphic quality of the original.” This book is completed with an afterword by American art designer and writer, Steven Heller, who  specializes on topics such as illustration and typography.

3. Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines by the Artists Guild Graphic

This is the 14th edition of the Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook, which maps out strategies for designers in their day-to-day business lives. The book demonstrates how design is a field that is constantly evolving and with that, new information about the business-side of design is published by the Artists Guild Graphic. Through fifteen chapters, the authors go through topics such as legal rights and issues for designers, salaries and trade customs, and the Graphic Artist Guild. The entire appendix of the book lays out several forms and contracts that designers may encounter in their work-world life. If you want to look prepared in your field, this book is essential.

4. Two-Dimensional Man by Paul Sahre

Designer Paul Share takes us through his journey of finding his own style and work methodologies. Known as a The New York Times illustrator, he has also accumulated a large portfolio of design work, including book designs for Patton Oswald and work for the band They Might be Giants. You can view his portfolio here. CreativeBloq describes this book as, “part monograph, part autobiography, part art book and part reflection on creativity. Combining personal essays discussing the realities of living creativity during his 30-year career, he proves that throughout highs and lows, humour can be a saving grace.”

5.  The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

No designer’s bookshelf is complete without a text on typography. While this book was published in 1992, it’s been revised four times, which goes to show that it is still a very important source. Whether you’re a designer who believes in the fundamental importance of font design in your work, or you’re more on the fence, there is still something for everyone in this book, including a glossary of typographical terms and how certain types evoke harmony and rhythm over others. Known as the typography bible, this book covers classic typography philosophies and typographical lingo.

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6. Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities by David Airey

This book is for both designers and their clients on how to hone in on logo skills. The book’s website describes this text, saying, “You’ll be shown how to develop an iconic brand identity from start to finish, using client case studies from renowned designers.” The pages are beautifully laid out with famous logos showcased alongside descriptions of how the logo successfully communicated its brand.


Looking for more books to read? Check out our The Future of Futura book review here.

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