5 Graphic Design Books That Will Get You Inspired

Weekly Inspiration  – A series of blog posts sharing our favourites within the categories of business, culture, indie publishing and design.

Choosing the right source for your work or creating appealing and engaging design can be a challenge; so, therefore, I´m always on the lookout for graphic design books that can provide me with new inspiration and approach to my work as a graphic designer. I have created a small selection below including some of my favorites that I´m currently reading and using as a reference in my work – enjoy!

Bibliographic: the 100 design books of the past 100 years
by Jason Godfrey


This book was originally published in 2011, but it was recently translated and published in Portuguese by Cosac Naify. It is basically a book that talks about classic design books. Inside, you will probably find all the reference you will ever need in Graphic Design. Some of the books shown are rare to find for purchase, but others you can buy online on Ebay. This is a great way to help in selecting books for compiling a design library at home.

Own Label: Sainsbury’s Design Studio
By Jonny Trunk


This book, published by Fuel Publishing in 2011, talks about the design studio inside of Sainsbury’s—the British supermarket branch responsible for designing packaging and communication materials for the brand’s own label of products. During the 60s and 70s, the studio produced stunning packaging for everyday products, like potato chips, cornflakes, coffee, sugar and many others.

Graphic Design: Now in Production
By Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton


I’m in love with this book/catalogue published by Walker Art Center in 2011. Although it dates from 4 years ago, it is still very contemporary. With more than 1,400 images, the catalogue shows what is being produced in contemporary Graphic Design. Mixing images with essays from prominent designers, the book looks through the evolution of Graphic Design and debates issues like self-publishing and clientless design, the poster and the book in a computer-based culture, the democratization of design tools and software and many other subjects.

Neue Grafik 1958–1965
By Lars Müller Publishing


This reprint of the 18 issues of Neue Grafik, published in Switzerland between 1958–1965, is a perfect reproduction of this revolutionary magazine. Edited by Richard P. Lohse, J.Müller-Brockmann, Hans Neuburg and Carlo L. Vivarelli, the magazine not only displayed what was being produced around Europe at that time, but also influenced other cultures design methods and aesthetics. This reprint makes a very mythical publication accessible to students and professionals to study and discuss the discipline of Graphic Design—back then and nowadays.

By Marion Bataille

This book-object, published by Tate Publishing in 2010, has only 10 pages, and each page has a number, starting from 1 and finishing at 10. Every page when opened through a fold, transforms into the opposite number of the sequence. So, page number 1, when opened, transforms into page number 10. This simple book makes you look at typography and typographic construction in a different way.


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