Skip to content
Dark mode:

My five favourite books

Published on 16 February 2012

Following on from Mike Streets article, I have compiled a list of my five favourite books, or more accurately, five books that have really stood out to me as a designer.

It was quite a challenge to narrow the list down to five as there are many great books out there so I focused on the ones that have really shaped the way I think and approach design.

Once you have read this post, why not write your own and link to it in the comments on Mike's original post?

A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web

Published by Five Simple Steps

First up is Mark Boulton’s A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web. This was the first web design book that I read that wasn’t all about code and actually taught me a fair bit about design.

Universal Principles of Design

Published by Rockport Publishers

This book gave me a solid grounding in design principles and in my opinion is a must for anyone who calls themselves a designer. The format of this book (one design principle per spread) makes this book so easy to pick up and start learning from straight away. It's the kind of book that you can just dip into and get what you need, although you will no doubt find that you can't resist reading it cover to cover.

The Design of Everyday Things

Published by Basic Books

This book is highly regarded among the UX community and rightly so. This book shaped my outlook on how humans interact with various interfaces. It may not be about the web but what you learn from this book will make you a better designer.

Thinking with Type

Published by Princeton Architectural Press

The web is content and most of that content is type, so you can’t be a good web designer without knowing a thing or two about typography. There are more in-depth typographical references out there however this book assumes no previous knowledge and will give you a solid understanding of the foundations of typography.

Managing Oneself

Published by Harvard Business School Press

This book isn’t aimed at the self-employed. In fact this little book is full of advice that anyone would do well to keep in mind as they progress on their chosen career path. I noticed instant improvement in the way I worked with people after reading this book (in one sitting).

These are my five favourite books. What are yours?