15 Best Graphic Design Books for Beginners in 2024

15 Best Graphic Design Books for Beginners in 2024 such as Graphic Design For Everyone, Paul Rand, Designing Design, The Story of Art etc..
Welcome to an insightful journey through the '15 Best Graphic Design Books for Beginners in 2024,' written by Muhiuddin Alam on the book recommendations and reviews site, ReadingAndThinking.com.

Over the years as a leading Authority, I made countless articles many of which can be found on this site.

I have received many requests to recommend some of the beginner-friendly best graphic design books. In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert recommendations in this article.

I will recommend graphic design books for beginners in this post, which are based on my in-depth study and testing in this field. Such as Graphic Design For Everyone, Paul Rand, Designing Design, and The Story of Art.

These aren't the only books on this topic. Below, you'll find 15 books with detailed descriptions of each of these outstanding resources, helping you make well-informed decisions in your graphic design books journey."

"Graphic Design" is indeed a classic work, it summarizes the obscure design theory into the four design principles of "repetition, alignment, contrast, and intimacy". My practice in graphic design In the process, I benefited a lot from it. 

"Four Design Principles for Self-Taught Graphic Design Very Useful", which can be used as a reference for students who are new to graphic design. 

For a detailed introduction to Graphic Design and tutorials for beginners shared in this article: You can go to the Top Free Graphic Design Courses & Tutorials Online (a learning platform for high-quality graphic design tutorials).

15 Best Graphic Design Books for Beginners in 2024

Graphic design, also known as visual communication design, uses "visual" as a means of communication and expression. It uses a variety of ways to create and combine symbols, pictures, and words to convey ideas or messages. Visual performance. 

Graphic designers may use professional skills in typography, visual art, page layout, computer software, etc., to achieve the purpose of the creative plan. Graphic design usually refers to the process of production (design) and the final work.

Below I recommend the 15 best graphic design books for beginners. 

1. Graphic Design For Everyone by Cath Caldwell


Through this book, ordinary readers will soon be able to confidently design professional-level works, and professional designers will also get inspiration and solutions to problems.

This book is written by a world-class designer. The complex design principles are condensed into the four basic principles of intimacy, alignment, repetition, and contrast in the book. With its concise and lively style, the author presents these four basic principles and the principles behind them to readers in an easy-to-understand manner. 

This book contains a lot of examples to let you know how to design beautiful and content-rich products in your own way. This book is suitable for readers who need to engage in design work from all walks of life, as well as experienced designers.

2. Grid systems in graphic design by Josef Müller-Brockmann


The grid system is a design awareness and ability that a graphic designer must have." This shows the importance of the grid system. 

In the book "Graphic Artists and Design Issues" published in 1961, Joseph Miller-Brockman explained grid design, which made him a pioneer in the history of graphic design. 

The grid system is also part of the Objective Typography and Design movement that originated in Switzerland. It is incredible that it was not until twenty years later that a special book was published "Grid System in Graphic Design". 

The book has been selling well since its publication, which is quite reasonable. In fact, most designers do not know or understand why an order system such as a grid is to be established. Therefore, if you want to use the grid system reasonably and functionally, you must carefully study all the principles of the grid.

The beginning of "Grid System in Graphic Design" introduces the theoretical basis and purpose of the grid system, and then the detailed steps to build the grid system. After discussing paper size, font selection, column width, line spacing, page margins, and page numbers, Brookman further elaborated on the many detailed elements of the grid system.

The chapter on the application of the grid system includes the works of graphic designers from many countries, including the page design works of Wim Crowell, Paul Rand, Otto Escher, and Massimo Veneri, And makes it a one-to-one comparison with the related grid system. 

As long as it is not too troublesome, anyone who studies the grid will find that with the help of the grid system, he can solve the problems in the design faster and make the design more functional, logical, and visually beautiful.

3. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman


Dr. Norman's "Design Psychology" emphasizes the user-centered design philosophy, reminding consumers that the items they choose must be convenient easy to use, and easy to understand. 

I hope that designers will not ignore the design while paying attention to the aesthetics of the design. Some necessary factors, because for product design, safety and ease of use are always the keys to competition. 

Dr. Norman used humorous language to describe many of the frustrations and dangers that we often encounter in daily life and helped us find the key to these problems, that is, product design ignores the real needs of users in a certain situation, and even violates Principles of Cognitive Science.

4. Paul Rand: Conversations with Students by Michael Kroeger


As one of the most influential and inspirational graphic designers of the twentieth century, Paul Rand defined modern American graphic design. His iconic logo designs for IBM, UPS, and the ABC television network distilled the essence of modernity for his corporate patrons. 

His body of work includes advertising, poster, magazine, and book designs characterized by simplicity and a wit uniquely his own. 

His ability to discuss design with insight and humor made him one of the most revered design educators of our time. This latest volume of the popular Conversations with Students series presents Rand's last interview, recorded at Arizona State University one year before his death in 1996. 

Beginners and seasoned design professionals alike will be informed by Rand's words and thoughts on varied topics ranging from design philosophy to design education.

5. Designing Design by Kenya Hara


What exactly is design? The internationally renowned designer Kenya Hara once asked himself such a question. 

In order to give himself an answer, he conducted a long exploration. "The job of a designer is not just design practice. 

In the current environment, finding a suitable place for design and reconfiguring the design field may be a more important job for the designer." 

In this book In the last chapter of the article, Kenya Hara elaborated on the issue of "reconfiguration in the field of design".

6. Typographic Systems of Design by Kimberly Elam


Text layout design is a complicated process, and many factors such as level, reading order, readability, and contrast must be considered. 

However, in the typography system, Taiwan and Asian graphic design academia and the industry have put too much emphasis on the "grid system" in the past, ignoring the existence of other systems. 

The "Typographic Design System" book is a complete introduction to the eight major systems so that relevant readers can fully understand the typographic system, further enhance the designer's design ability, and expand design possibilities. 


Elam is the author of many best-selling books such as Geometry Design and Grid Systems. In this book, he leads readers to explore the eight major systems of structural frameworks—— 

In addition to the grid format system, there is random, radial, modular, and bilateral symmetry, and so on. 

The author leads readers to practice and observe the works of students and professional designers and proposes many design solutions to help readers escape boring design stereotypes. 

This book fully introduces the eight major systems. Very suitable for getting started. A lot of typical cases are listed in it to help you understand the principles of typesetting more practically through analysis.

7. Don't Make Me Think, Revisited by Steve Krug 


Usability design is the most important and most difficult task in web design. Based on his years of experience in the industry, the author of "Dianshichengjin" analyzed the psychology of users, and put forward many unique viewpoints on the user's usage patterns, design for browsing, navigation design, homepage layout, usability testing, etc., and gave A lot of suggestions for simple and easy usability design. 

The book is short and concise, and the language is relaxed and humorous. The book is interspersed with a large number of colorful screenshots, funny cartoon illustrations, and charts containing a lot of information, making the boring design principles approachable. 

This book is suitable for technical personnel who are engaged in Web design and Web development and is especially suitable for website/webpage designers who are worried about how to retain visitors.

8. The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich


One of the most famous and popular works in books about art. It summarizes the development process from the earliest cave paintings to the current experimental art, to clarify that the history of art is a history of "various traditions that are constantly circuitous and constantly changing. 

In this history, each piece of work is both retrospective and oriented. future".Note: In addition to the above and directly related to design, we should read the following books with thoughtful connotations. 

They can help us understand the whole society, examine ourselves, and explore our personal mission, so as to live and create better.

9. The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams


The author of People's Posts and Telecommunications Press condenses complex design principles into intimacy, alignment, and repetition in "A Design Book for Everyone" Compared with the 4 basic principles, the short story is written in the preface really inspired me a lot! 

With its concise and lively style, the author presents these four basic principles and the principles behind them that good design must follow in an easy-to-understand manner before readers. 

Contains a lot of examples to let you know how to design beautiful and content-rich products in your own way.

10. Logo, Font & Lettering Bible by Leslie Cabarga 


As a graphic designer, why must you rely on existing fonts and use other people’s graphics if you can create your own logos, fonts, and writing? 

Leslie Kebaga is the author of the best-selling book "A Guide to Designing Color Combinations". 

He wrote this textbook on fonts, which is suitable for both experienced graphic design professionals and beginners. designers

11. How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman


This book shows readers the mentality and creative journey of 21 famous American design masters. The concepts are repeated and fascinating, showing the current visual design trend. 

This book is not really talking about design, nor is it teaching people how to design. What this book provides us is an excellent opportunity to spy on the strangest and most innovative masters of our time.

12. Basics Design 02: Layout: Second Edition by Gavin Ambrose 


"International Graphic Design Basic Course" includes "Font Design", "Color Design", "Graphic Design", "Specification Design", and "Layout Design". It is one of the necessary tutorials for graphic design learners.

13. The Essential Principles Of Graphic Design by Debbie Millman 


"The Principles of Graphic Design" is a one-stop resource library for students studying design. It is not only an interesting basic tutorial but also an introductory book for in-depth practice in the field of design. 

"Laws of Graphic Design" revolves around three progressive parts to expand the basic rules, the rules of the creative process, and the design rules in various fields. 
  • Basic rules: Well-known designers will explain basic and general methods of graphic design from the perspective of design elements such as text, color, layout, and design style. 
  • The rules of the creative process: Analyze the working methods and key points from concept strategy, market research, graphics, and images to design workflow and post-production based on project cases. 
  • Design rules in various fields: analyze your own designs through well-known designers and share valuable experiences with readers. These cases cover almost all areas of graphic design.

14. Design Elements by Timothy Samara 


The job of a graphic designer is to make the information that needs to be conveyed realize visual transformation, and become orderly and vivid, so as to realize the effective communication of information. 

Graphic designers, if they want to succeed, must have the right professional knowledge, skills, and keen intuition.

This book is one of the "Books for the American Academy of Visual Design" introduced by Guangxi Fine Arts Publishing House in 2008 from Rockport Publishing House. 

The book clearly explains many principles of graphic design, such as layout design, font design, color application, space processing, image selection, etc., and how to integrate these design elements to help designers master the basic skills of excellent graphic design. 

The book contains hundreds of wonderful design works from abroad, with incisive reviews, which can light up the spark of inspiration for designers. It is a guidebook for graphic design to master professional knowledge and improve design skills.

15. What is Graphic Design? by Quentin Newark 


Design is not created in a vacuum. This book begins with the exploration of all the points that make up design, including theories and developments in economics, ethics, technology, and other artistic fields. 

It examines the development and evolution of design over the centuries from its origins in medieval Germany to today when it includes company logos, magazines, TV subtitles, and websites.

What are the Required Learning Materials for Graphic Design?

I started designing with graphic design. During that period, I spent almost every day in the library and read a lot of design books. 

From the most basic introduction to PS design, basics of AI operation, color theory knowledge, typography principles, etc., to the works of design masters, design yearbooks, illustrations, CG paintings, etc. How to do it.

1. Official teaching materials: 

PS: "Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 classic tutorial" "Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 classic tutorial" 


Why recommend official textbooks? This is the most authoritative learning textbook published by Adobe's own home, which has been sold worldwide for more than 20 years. The book is a step-by-step introduction and example guidance based on the software itself. 

The book provides complete teaching resources: material files, review questions and answers, and CDs.

For example: "Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 Classic Tutorial (Color Edition)" includes 15 chapters, covering photo correction, modification, and restoration, selection creation methods, layer, mask, and channel usage, text design, drawing vector, video Production, mixer brushes, printing 3D objects, and generating and printing consistent colors. 

In addition, the language in the book is easy to understand and is accompanied by a large number of icons, which is especially suitable for Photoshop novices to read; users with a certain amount of experience can also learn a lot of advanced features and the new features of Photoshop CC 2018. 

This book is also suitable for all kinds of training class students and the majority of self-taught personnel as a reference.

2. AI teaching materials 

"Adobe Illustrator CC 2019 Classic Tutorial (Color Version)" 


"Adobe Illustrator CC 2019 Chinese Version Classic Course (Color Version)" is written by Adobe's product experts and is a popular Adobe professional software training material. 

By completing the actual project, you will learn how to design logos, illustrations, posters, etc., to lay a solid foundation for using Adobe Illustrator CC; start by selecting tools, learn how to create Shaper tools and transform content; learn how to use arbitrary shape gradients, layers, And dynamic symbols to simplify the creation of graphics; understand how to complete the resource export of application and web design. 

In addition, you will also learn many important Illustrator skills, such as creating accurate illustrations, hand-painting, etc. 

"The classic tutorial series is currently widely recognized and used training materials on the market, which include everything you need to be proficient in Adobe software: clear explanations of each course, step-by-step instructions, and project files that can be used by students.

3. Typesetting materials:

"Adobe InDesign CC Classroom in a Book" 


The book has 15 lessons, covering InDesign workspace introduction, InDesign basic operations, setting documents and processing pages, using objects, arranging text, editing text, typographic art, processing colors, using styles, importing and modifying graphics, making tables, and processing transparency, Printing, and exporting, creating Adobe PDF files containing form fields, creating EPUB with a fixed layout, etc. 

The language of this book is easy to understand and accompanied by a large number of icons, which is especially suitable for InDesign novices to read; users with certain experiences can also learn a lot of advanced features and new features of InDesign CC 2019. 

This book is also suitable for all kinds of training class students and the majority of self-taught personnel as a reference. Adobe InDesign CC 2019 classic tutorial (color version) 

One thing to note is: that the official textbooks are classics, and the explanations are also the most authoritative, but there are some boring, after all, they are all official professional vocabulary and terminology.

FAQ: Graphic Design for Beginners 

Where to start learning graphic design?

The field of graphic design is very common. In terms of application, what is usually used for printing is related to graphic design. In terms of function, graphic design belongs to visual communication. 

Today, the editor will come to talk with friends about where to start learning graphic design...

Generally speaking, there are many types of graphic design, such as card design, logo design, font design, VI visual image design, CIS design, advertising design, poster design, leaflet design, brochure design, sample design, floor book design, Annual report design, packaging design, bookbinding design, wish card design, invitation design, typography design, printed matter design...

It seems that the types are complex, but in reality, they are not complex. Different types do not exist alone but are connected or attached. Compared with just contacting people, you don’t need to be able to do it completely. As long as you can learn from your fun or project, it’s best to learn a few of them carefully. 

As the days are longer and the horizons are broad, you can generally understand them by analogy. As long as you look carefully, the actual graphic design things abound in life, such as the packaging of all kinds of goods, the design of books and magazines, the billboards on the side of the road, the leaflets and posters in the hardware store, and so on. 

Compared to just stepping into the design field, I want to know some things about the design industry, such as software, design theory, etc., and related design knowledge, preferably visual communication..., we can learn from these industries

In the beginning, you must have a foundation in art, know the appreciation of beautiful things, and have the eyes to discover beauty. To put it bluntly, one can tell the quality of work.

Secondly, software operation. Skilled in using graphic design software.

Furthermore, deep design theory supports this. It is to have professional identification strengths, such as the composition principle of visual communication, the basis of pattern creativity, the basis of font design, the idea of logo design, the strength of style design, poster design examples, packaging design examples, etc.

After that, not everyone who studied design was a designer, just like the pyramid principle is always a minority in the head. Among them, everyone paid a lot of seriousness. The road is long and long, and perseverance is victory.

Fifth, read more, think more, know more about traditional culture, cultivate keen insight, and know that the market is the source of your design.

Finally, talent. It depends on your comprehension ability. To put it bluntly, it is whether you are that piece of material.

There are indeed many things to learn in graphic design. If you really want to work as a visual communication designer in the future, there is still a long way to go. But as long as you go, you will reach the level you hope to one day, come on!

How to learn graphic design for beginners?

The learning of graphic design needs to involve a lot of content. As a beginner, how can we learn this content in a short time? If you want to know how a beginner learns graphic design, then look down at him.

1. Understand graphic design

As everyone said, know yourself and the enemy, a hundred battles will never end. As a beginner in graphic design, you must first figure out what graphic design is. When you can explain it in your own language and others can understand it, you will basically get started.

At the same time, you should also understand: what basic knowledge and industry knowledge should be mastered when learning graphic design, so that you will not be confused and lost in the learning process.

At this stage, you don't need to know what type of books to read, or what type of graphic design software you want to learn, and you don't have to worry about how high your aesthetics is.

On the contrary, we need to understand what is the most basic thing in the field of graphic design at this stage of the development of human civilization, and then we will discuss how to learn faster.

2. Clear learning direction

Graphic design is divided into many categories. Depending on your industry, the following different content will be involved, and they will also be interleaved with each other, but you don’t have to be too entangled in whether the classification is reasonable:
  • Printing design: Need to learn some printing knowledge. For example the design of business cards, VIP cards, leaflets (also known as DM bills), posters, POP, etc.
  • Outdoor inkjet design: shop signs, light boxes, hanging flags, posters, stage backgrounds, etc.
  • Packaging design: It is also necessary to understand the professional knowledge of product packaging materials, shape, size, and die.
  • Image design: corporate VI, logo design, font design, requiring a good grasp of vector drawing software.
  • Web design: website design, UI design, Taobao shop decoration, H5 page design, usually need to understand html+css3.
After understanding the content of graphic design in the above different industries, ask yourself which category is your favorite or best, and then you can start your own learning journey.

3. Clear learning content

The basic content that must be learned in the field of graphic design includes the following aspects:
  • The three basic frameworks of design (including color composition, plane composition, and three-dimensional composition), sketch basis (mastering the principle of perspective, light and shadow relations), color matching, and color psychology.
  • Copywriting design (requires a certain degree of cultural accomplishment) masters the basic skills of copywriting, can be comprehensively used in all walks of life, and write simple advertising words.
  • Layout and principles (mostly used in picture albums, advertisements, and web design). Master the principles of layout composition, mesh design theory, and basic types of elements.
  • Four major graphic design software: Photoshop (PS bitmap), illustrator (AI vector), InDesign (ID bitmap typesetting), and CorelDRAW (CDR vector), at least one of these software can be chosen to learn.

How can I learn Graphic Design Quickly? 

Every beginner who wants to design is thinking about how to learn design quickly? Before solving this problem for everyone, what is graphic design for everyone?

As the name implies, graphic design is what everyone learns in colleges and universities. Visual communication design uses "visual" as a means of communication and expression. It creates and combines symbols, pictures, and words in a variety of ways to convey ideas. Or the visual representation of the message

Talk about the key points

It is to output logos, books, posters, banners, etc. series in the form of software at work. Many people say that "designer" is a tall term, a high-paying job. When your level is not high, you are a designer. When you want high salaries for designers, there are actually a lot of low salaries for design, maybe two or three thousand, doing boring work like cutouts every day. 

So if you learn to design for the high salary design, I advise you to give up. Outstanding talents in every industry are reserved for those who are prepared.

Software or something is to master PS, AI, ID, etc. software. After all, no matter how good the design is, it is achieved through software. If you think that the software is used well, you are a great designer. 

This is a question of thinking. If the software is used well, the design is not necessarily good. But the software is not well used, and your design is definitely not good. Any design is inseparable from good and excellent ideas.
How to have good ideas and ideas, look, that is to look more, learn the ideas of design gods, here are some excellent websites for everyone, such as DribbbleBehance, Trendlist, and other excellent design websites at home and abroad.

Site recommendation:


An internationally renowned design inspiration exchange community, founded in 2009. Because it is an invitation system, the average design level of members is very high, with a lot of layouts, UIs, and illustrations. 

2. Behance 


Everyone knows the world's largest design work-sharing website, which focuses on graphic design. Not much to say, many high-quality works are updated quickly.

Tips for beginners to master when designing

  • One: Don't be afraid to enlarge, enlarge your font appropriately, and match colors appropriately, so that your theme will be more prominent
  • Two: Choose color matching, choose different tones of the same color series, which will make your wholeness more unified
  • Three: Control the spacing in each element, tighten it when there is more content, and relax it when there is less content
  • Four: simple style, use the simplest design, maintain basic rules, use contrasting colors, and use a stable and balanced typesetting framework.

Reading Rewards

Do you prefer to listen rather than read? If so, here’s a nice opportunity to try Audible for 30 days.

Need a bookish gift? Give the gift of reading to the book lovers in your life.

Get new posts by email

Your information is protected and I never spam, ever.

'ReadingAndThinking.com' content is reader-supported. "As an Amazon Associate, when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.".

See Disclaimer.
Next Post Previous Post

Related Post

Book Recommender Tool

Looking For More Books To Read?

Explore and find your next good read - Book Recommendations for specific interests.

Get Book Suggestions

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Summary Tool

Instant Any Book Summary

Explore and find your next Book Summary for specific interests.

Get Book Summary

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Series Finder Tool

Looking For Books Series To Read?

Explore and find Book Series for specific interests.

Get Book Series

Recent Post

Book Reviews

Popular Posts