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Design Inspiration

The most inspiring new design books

Design books

Intro

Fuelling The Creative Process

If you’re looking for an inspired list of design books to fill out your shelves, this is it.

Sometimes, even the most creative minds run dry. If you’ve hit a designer’s block, get back to basics with our collection of the best design books to read in 2024.

We’ve collated our list of the most influential books for web design inspo, so we can share some of the ways we refresh and recharge the creative tank. From design principles to colour theory and everything in between, the books below have been incredible assets in our design work.

Whether you’re a graphic design student brushing up on the basics or a senior web designer looking for books on advanced design systems, this list has something for you. And no, we don’t earn any commission on sales, so any web design insp book that has made our list is a genuine, unbiased recommendation.

Author

About the author: Andrew Newby

I’m Andrew Newby, the creative force and Design Lead at Edge Studio. My journey in the world of web design began within the agency scene of Sheffield. There, I sharpened my skills in the complexities of web design, mastering the balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Over the years of running my own web design business in Sheffield, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t in web design. I’ve also read many books that have helped me grow as a designer. Through this blog, I’d like to share a list of books that have really helped me, as well as recommendations from my wider team. Whether you’re just starting out in web design, have been doing it for a while, or just love great design, these books are full of ideas, knowledge, and tips that can help you on your own design path.

Books

Web Design Info Reading List

Fundamentals of Web Design
Essential reads for grasping the core principles and practices of web design.

1. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug: This classic book is all about making your websites easy to use. It’s a must-read for any web designer who wants to create websites that people love to use.

2. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman: This book is about the psychology of design. It’s a fascinating read that will give you a deeper understanding of how people interact with the world around them.

3. The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams: This book is a great introduction to design for people who don’t have a lot of design experience. It’s full of practical tips and advice that you can apply to your own web designs.

4. Designing with Type by Ellen Lupton: This book is all about typography, which is the art of arranging type. It’s a great resource for web designers who want to learn how to use typography to create beautiful and effective websites.

User Experience & Interaction
Books with a focus on creating intuitive and engaging user experiences.

1. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett: This book is a great introduction to user experience (UX) design. It covers all the essential principles of UX design, from usability to accessibility to visual design.

2. Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden: This book is about the lean startup methodology applied to UX design. It’s a great read for web designers who want to create products that are more user-friendly and efficient.

3. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper: A comprehensive guide on designing effective interfaces and interactions.

Technical Skills & Best Practices
Guides on the technical aspects of web design, from wireframing to coding.

1. Wireframing by Michael Angeles: This book is all about wireframing, which is a technique for sketching out the layout of a website or app before you start coding. It’s a great way to get your ideas down on paper and get feedback from others before you start building.

2. Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte: This book is all about responsive web design, which is a technique for creating websites that look good on all devices. It’s a must-read for any web designer who wants to create websites that are future-proof.

3. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett: A visually appealing introduction to the basics of HTML and CSS that will help you expand your skills from design to build.

4. JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development by Jon Duckett: A continuation from the previous book, focusing on making sites interactive.

Advanced Concepts & Future Trends
Insightful reads on advanced design strategies and anticipating future web trends.

1. Hardboiled Web Design by Andy Clarke: This book is a collection of essays about the challenges of web design. It’s a great read for web designers who want to be inspired and challenged.

2. Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter: Offers insights into how to design websites that not only work well but also connect with users emotionally, creating memorable and engaging experiences.

3. Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever: Guides on how to communicate design choices effectively to stakeholders.

4. Inclusive Design Patterns by Heydon Pickering: Discusses how to create websites that are accessible to all, ensuring inclusivity in web design.

Summary

With this list of must-read materials packed full of web design inspo, you have everything you need to kickstart your creativity. We’d love to hear which of these books currently grace your shelves and what authors you’ve found the most helpful. Do you have a favourite that didn’t make our list? We’d love to hear about it!

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