Best! Books! Ever! (Part 3!)

Best! Books! Ever! (Part 3!)

Now that I've exhausted the patience and goodwill of my coworkers, I've moved on to colleagues' favorite design reads. Please note that we're now on numbers 11 through 15. It's like Julie and Julia! Can we make it to 100 designers?

11. I never knew a book about color could be as poetic and captivating as The Art of Color. Written by Bauhaus master Johannes Itten, The Art of Color transcends basic theory and brings color into the realm of philosophy and universal harmony unlike anything else I've come across. Anyone even remotely interested in working with color needs to read this's not only a great read, but it's extremely useful. It might have been written almost a century ago, but the principles discussed within are timeless and will always hold true.

                                                     --Thomas Porostocky, Principal; Timko&Klick

12. It sure is easy to find inspiration on the web these days, but I happily turn to my book cases. After so many years of shlepping them around, I need them to inspire me. I like to think that my work is big and bold. I will often pull Make It Bigger by Paula Scher off the shelf for a check up. The work is not only big; it's smart, playful, and varied. 
                                  --Rena Sokolow, Principal; one2tree


13. Number one favorite: Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist by Tibor Kalman. Always gives me a fresh point of view and inspiration for "why it is I do what I do". Inspiration and content is all. Second favorite: Paul Rand: A Designer's Art. How is it stripes can look so consistently sparkling? These two classics rule my graphic library. 

          --Maryjane Fahey, Principal; Maryjane Fahey Design


14. Although I don't open this book much anymore, it occupies a special place on my shelf because it was the book that convinced me I wanted to be a graphic designer. I was in the midst of NOT becoming a doctor; someone said he could picture me as a graphic designer; I had no idea what a graphic designer did. So I went to the bookstore and found a squarish volume called Becoming a Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design, by Steven Heller and Teresa Fernandes. Suddenly I found myself ogling the things graphic designers created with lust and envy--I too wanted to bring forth these book jackets and album covers and posters and stationery and shopping bags and packages and all these common and ephemeral objects that roam the world. And then, faced with the immense question of what to do next, I found possibilities in the book's many designer interviews. Two years later, my path took me to Steve Heller's MFA program at the School of Visual Arts. I guess it was fate. 

                                 --Amy Wang, Designer; Carbone Smolan



15. I have many favorite design books, but would like to mention the first design book that I bought, Paul Rand: Modernist Designer. As I open the book, I learn the not only functional/aesthetic graphic style in modern art, but also Paul Rand's quote makes me think about the philosophy of design. 

                         --Sophy Lee, Designer; ESPN

See the first ten titles from the Best! Books! Ever! Series here, and visit our store here for all the SPD Essentials.

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