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16 Best Design Books

Discover a wide range of design books that inspire and educate, covering various disciplines and styles. Enhance your creative journey today!


Design for the Real World

by Victor Papanek

5 (1 reviews)

What is Design for the Real World about?

"Design for the Real World" by Victor Papanek explores the intersection of design, human ecology, and social change. Papanek challenges conventional design practices and advocates for a more responsible and sustainable approach. With a focus on the impact of design on society and the environment, this thought-provoking book urges designers to prioritize the needs of people and the planet, offering practical solutions for creating a better world through design.

Who should read Design for the Real World

  • Designers and architects seeking to create sustainable and socially responsible solutions.

  • Environmentalists and activists interested in the intersection of design and ecology.

  • Students and scholars studying the impact of design on society.


Steal Like an Artist

by Austin Kleon

4.7 (11764 reviews)

What is Steal Like an Artist about?

In this insightful and inspiring book, the author shares ten unconventional principles to unleash your creativity. Drawing from his own experiences and the wisdom of renowned artists, Kleon encourages readers to embrace their influences, find their own voice, and create meaningful work. With practical advice and engaging illustrations, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking to tap into their creative potential and navigate the challenges of the artistic journey.

Who should read Steal Like an Artist

  • Aspiring artists seeking inspiration and guidance on unleashing creativity.

  • Established creatives looking for fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.

  • Anyone interested in exploring their creative potential and embracing originality.


The Design of Everyday Things

by Don Norman

4.7 (5748 reviews)

What is The Design of Everyday Things about?

"The Design of Everyday Things" explores the fundamental principles of good design and how they can be applied to everyday objects and systems. The book delves into the psychology behind human interaction with technology and provides insights on how to create user-friendly experiences. With real-world examples and thought-provoking anecdotes, the author challenges conventional design practices and offers practical solutions to improve the usability and functionality of the objects we encounter in our daily lives.

Who should read The Design of Everyday Things

  • Designers and engineers seeking to improve user experience and usability.

  • Consumers interested in understanding the psychology behind everyday objects.

  • Students studying human-computer interaction and product design principles.



by Marty Neumeier

4.7 (69 reviews)

What is Metaskills about?

"Metaskills: Five Talents for The Robotic Age" by Marty Neumeier explores the essential skills needed to thrive in the rapidly evolving robotic age. Neumeier presents a compelling argument for the importance of cultivating five metaskills - feeling, seeing, dreaming, making, and learning - to navigate the challenges and opportunities brought about by automation and artificial intelligence. This thought-provoking book offers practical insights and strategies to develop these talents and stay relevant in an increasingly automated world.

Who should read Metaskills

  • Professionals seeking to develop essential skills for the future.

  • Entrepreneurs looking to thrive in the age of automation.

  • Students preparing for a career in the rapidly evolving tech industry.


Thinking With Type

by Ellen Lupton

4.6 (2186 reviews)

What is Thinking With Type about?

"Thinking With Type" is a comprehensive guide that explores the fundamental principles of typography and its impact on design, writing, editing, and education. Written by an acclaimed author, this book offers valuable insights and practical advice for designers, writers, editors, and students alike. With its critical approach, it delves into the history, theory, and application of typography, making it an essential resource for anyone interested in the art of visual communication.

Who should read Thinking With Type

  • Graphic designers seeking a comprehensive guide to typography principles.

  • Writers and editors looking to enhance their understanding of typography.

  • Students studying design or typography as part of their curriculum.


How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

by Michael J. Gelb

4.6 (830 reviews)

What is How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci about?

In this insightful guide, the author explores the mind of the legendary artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci, revealing seven practical steps to cultivate genius in our daily lives. Drawing from da Vinci's notebooks, Gelb presents exercises and techniques to enhance creativity, sharpen thinking skills, and foster a holistic approach to problem-solving. This book offers a captivating journey into the mind of a genius, inspiring readers to unlock their own potential and think like da Vinci.

Who should read How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

  • Aspiring artists and creatives seeking to unlock their potential.

  • Professionals looking to enhance their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

  • History enthusiasts interested in understanding the mind of Leonardo da Vinci.


Real Artists Don’t Starve

by Jeff Goins

4.6 (796 reviews)

What is Real Artists Don’t Starve about?

In this insightful book, the author challenges the myth that artists must suffer for their craft. Drawing from historical examples and contemporary success stories, he reveals timeless strategies for creative individuals to thrive in the modern world. From embracing collaboration to understanding the value of their work, this book offers practical advice and inspiration to help artists build sustainable careers and prove that they don't have to starve to pursue their passions.

Who should read Real Artists Don’t Starve

  • Aspiring artists seeking practical strategies to succeed in the modern creative industry.

  • Established artists looking to adapt their approach and thrive in the evolving creative landscape.

  • Entrepreneurs and business professionals interested in harnessing creativity for success.


Burn Your Portfolio

by Michael Janda

4.6 (296 reviews)

What is Burn Your Portfolio about?

In this insightful book, Michael Janda shares invaluable advice for aspiring designers that goes beyond what is typically taught in design school. With a candid and humorous tone, Janda offers practical tips and real-world experiences to help readers navigate the competitive design industry. From building a strong portfolio to mastering client relationships, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to succeed in the design field.

Who should read Burn Your Portfolio

  • Aspiring designers seeking practical advice beyond traditional design education.

  • Design students looking to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

  • Experienced designers wanting to enhance their professional skills and knowledge.


Designing Your Work Life

by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans

4.6 (93 reviews)

What is Designing Your Work Life about?

"Designing Your Work Life" offers practical guidance on how to create a fulfilling and meaningful career. Written by two experts in design thinking, the book provides a step-by-step approach to help readers navigate the complexities of the modern workplace. With insightful anecdotes and actionable advice, it empowers individuals to make intentional choices, find happiness, and thrive in their professional lives.

Who should read Designing Your Work Life

  • Professionals seeking guidance on finding fulfillment and happiness in their careers.

  • Individuals looking to make meaningful changes and thrive in their work life.

  • Anyone interested in designing a more fulfilling and satisfying career.


Ways of Seeing

by John Berger

4.5 (2556 reviews)

What is Ways of Seeing about?

"Ways of Seeing" by John Berger is a thought-provoking exploration of how we perceive and interpret visual images in our society. Through a combination of essays and images, Berger challenges traditional notions of art, advertising, and the male gaze, urging readers to question the power dynamics and hidden meanings behind what we see. This book offers a fresh perspective on the ways in which visual culture shapes our understanding of the world around us.

Who should read Ways of Seeing

  • Art enthusiasts seeking a fresh perspective on visual culture.

  • Students studying art history or visual communication.

  • Individuals interested in exploring the social and political aspects of art.


A Whole New Mind

by Daniel H. Pink

4.5 (1536 reviews)

What is A Whole New Mind about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author explores the shift in the skills required for success in the modern world. Daniel H. Pink argues that the future belongs to individuals who possess right-brain qualities such as creativity, empathy, and intuition, rather than the traditional left-brain skills of logic and analysis. Through engaging anecdotes and compelling research, Pink presents a compelling case for the importance of cultivating a whole new mind to thrive in the ever-evolving future.

Who should read A Whole New Mind

  • Professionals seeking to thrive in a rapidly changing creative economy.

  • Entrepreneurs looking to harness the power of innovative thinking.

  • Students and educators interested in developing essential right-brain skills.



by Michael Michalko

4.5 (703 reviews)

What is Thinkertoys about?

"Thinkertoys" is a practical guide by Michael Michalko that offers a diverse collection of creative-thinking techniques. This handbook provides readers with a toolbox of strategies to enhance their problem-solving skills and stimulate innovative ideas. Through a combination of exercises, puzzles, and real-life examples, Michalko encourages readers to think outside the box and tap into their creative potential. Whether you're a student, professional, or simply seeking to expand your thinking abilities, this book is a valuable resource for unlocking your imagination.

Who should read Thinkertoys

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs seeking innovative strategies to boost their business.

  • Students and educators looking to enhance their problem-solving skills.

  • Professionals in creative fields aiming to unlock their creative potential.


Jony Ive

by Leander Kahney

4.4 (815 reviews)

What is Jony Ive about?

This book delves into the life and work of a brilliant mind who played a pivotal role in shaping Apple's iconic products. It explores the journey of a man named Jony Ive, who revolutionized the world of design and technology. From his early days at Apple to his collaborations with Steve Jobs, this captivating biography unveils the genius behind some of the greatest products that have transformed the way we live and interact with technology.

Who should read Jony Ive

  • Apple enthusiasts and technology lovers seeking insights into Jony Ive's creative process.

  • Design professionals and aspiring product designers interested in understanding Ive's innovative approach.

  • Business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to learn from Apple's success story.


Innovation in Real Places

by Dan Breznitz

4.4 (99 reviews)

What is Innovation in Real Places about?

"Innovation in Real Places" by Dan Breznitz explores strategies for achieving prosperity in a challenging global landscape. The book delves into the importance of innovation in driving economic growth and offers insights into how different regions can foster innovation to thrive in an unforgiving world. Breznitz provides a comprehensive analysis of successful innovation ecosystems, highlighting the key factors that contribute to their success. This thought-provoking book offers practical guidance for policymakers, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of innovation in real-world contexts.

Who should read Innovation in Real Places

  • Entrepreneurs and business leaders seeking strategies for success in challenging environments.

  • Urban planners and policymakers interested in fostering innovation and economic growth.

  • Researchers and academics studying the dynamics of innovation in real-world settings.


Radical Technologies

by Adam Greenfield

4.3 (129 reviews)

What is Radical Technologies about?

"Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life" by Adam Greenfield explores the impact of emerging technologies on our daily lives. From smartphones and social media to artificial intelligence and virtual reality, Greenfield delves into the ways these technologies shape our behavior, relationships, and society as a whole. With a critical lens, he examines the potential consequences and challenges posed by these radical technologies, urging readers to question their role in our lives and consider the future implications.

Who should read Radical Technologies

  • Technology enthusiasts seeking a critical analysis of modern innovations.

  • Designers and engineers interested in the social impact of technology.

  • Individuals concerned about the implications of technology on society.


What Are You Looking At?

by Will Gompertz

What is What Are You Looking At? about?

In this captivating book, the author takes readers on an enlightening journey through the world of modern art. From the Impressionists to the avant-garde movements, Gompertz explores the surprising, shocking, and sometimes strange stories behind 150 years of artistic innovation. With wit and expertise, he unravels the mysteries of iconic artworks, revealing the artists' intentions and the societal impact of their creations. A must-read for anyone curious about the evolution and significance of modern art.

Who should read What Are You Looking At?

  • Art enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive exploration of modern art's evolution.

  • Curious individuals interested in uncovering the unconventional aspects of art history.

  • Students and scholars of art history looking for an engaging and informative read.