4 min read

8 Design Books for Digital Product Designers

Mariya Besedina

December 13, 2018 (last updated: May 14, 2019)

Staying up to date with technologies, trends, and strategies may be challenging but it has empowered a culture of progressive learning. Learning on the other hand enhances our ability to innovate and effectively adapt to change. One of the most universally applicable knowledge is the principles of design. Design is an art that can excite, bring value, and make a difference. Through the process of design we can solve common problems, enhance user experience and elicit desired emotions.

As we aspire to explore new avenues and share our findings each year, our team has put together eight of our favourite design books covering topics from theory, the process, web and print applications, and a plethora of inspiration.

1. The Design of Everyday Things

Delve into the world of good, usable design. The Design of Everyday Things helps you appreciate the vast applications of design. Norman teaches you about design as a communication tool between object and user, and how to optimize this communication channel.

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2. Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Good design is intuitive. Don’t Make Me Think explores the keys of an optimal and smooth user experience from intuitive navigation to information design for the digital realm. Full of practical applications and insights, a must-read for web designers.

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3. Grid Systems in Graphic Design

Design is an aesthetic and intelligent product of mathematical thinking. Making the counterintuitive, intuitive. Framing your designs within a grid system will help you take your designs outside the box. A more advanced read for graphic designers with precise instructions on how to navigate the grid world and use it to your advantage. As for web designers, with some number crunching, you can transpose the principles to the digital realm.

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4. Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team

The complete guide to brand design with hundreds of examples and case studies. Whether you design local or global brands, a wonderful resource to implementing a comprehensive brand system for impact.

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5. Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

Another great read to enhance your knowledge on brand identity design systems. With a variety of case studies from different designers and practical guidelines to follow, Logo Design Love is the perfect book to help craft unforgettable identities.

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6. How To

A design manual by one of the world’s most renowned graphic designers, Michael Beirut. How To delves into a design philosophy that teaches you how to elicit the desired emotions out of your audience through design. With several dozen case studies, you can tap into the insights of Beirut’s creative process and innovative design.

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7. Thinking with Type

Potentially one of the most underestimated fields in design is typography. Typography can make or break the design, the readability, and the conversion of your website or promotional material. From print to digital, Thinking with Type covers all the basic principles to be familiar with before designing with type.

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8. Sprint

With digital experiences shifting to an objective based focus, our KPIs shift to usability, conversions, and retention. We take a little step outside the design discipline to look at problem solving as a process. Sprint comes from three partners at Google Ventures that targets the issues of solving the right problem and testing your solutions in a condensed amount of time with limited resources. This allows you to test your assumptions and viability prior to investing months of work and endless resources into a venture that might not be on the right course. Explore integrating the sprint process into your next digital or product design to see the amount of insights you’re able to extract in a very short amount of time helping you design for your objectives.

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Let us know your favourite books of the year or what’s on your radar to read next? Stay on your toes and keep learning!

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