It can be tough to get any reading done during the cooler months. Business ramps up right after the new year, flooding your inbox with projects, and around the winter holidays there is a similar rush to finish outstanding tasks and balance the books.

During the summer, though, there is a pleasant lull—a perfect time to catch up on the many, many amazing design books published over the past 12 months. Here are 20 graphic design books from our favorite publishers, fresh off the presses.

Logo design & branding

Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes, by Michael Evamy

Graphic Design Book: Logo

This comprehensive guide analyzes 1,300—yes, 1,300—logos, from twentieth century masterworks to cutting edge solutions of the present. From Laurence King.

Start Me Up! New Branding for Businesses, by Robert Klanten and Anna Sinofzik

Graphic Design Book: Start Me Up!

This book is not only a branding survey, but a cogent argument about how entrepreneurship today is different from that of yesteryear, and why designers must adapt. From Gestalten.

Los Logos 7, by Robert Klanten George Popov, Anna Sinofzik and Nina C. Müller


The seventh installment in a long-running and very successful series, showcasing the latest and greatest in logo design. From Gestalten.

Logo Design, by Julius Wiedermann


Julius Wiedermann’s classic tome about the magic of logo design has gone bilingual: grab this copy for translations in English, French and German. From Taschen.

Hanzi Kanji Hanja


Are you finding yourself with more and more Chinese client opportunities, but don’t have a background in designing with Chinese characters? Look no further than this book. From Victionary.

Illustrative Branding: Smashing Illustrations for Brands


100 projects that show the unparalleled potential of illustration in branding as a way to convey messages and tell stories. From Victionary.

Manuals 2: Design & Identity Guidelines

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Coming on the heels of Manuals 1, this installment includes 20 design manuals from some major American and European corporations. A great way to make sure you are up to date with industry standards for branding. From Unit Editions.

Typography and print

Hello, I am Erik, by Johannes Erier

Graphic Design Book: Hello, I am Erik, by Johannes Erier


Several designers contribute to this visual biography of Erik Spiekermann, one of the greatest German typeface designers of all time. From Gestalten.

A History of British Magazine Design, by Anthony Quinn


From the 1841 issue of Punch right up until the digital present, this book surveys the whole history of British magazine design. From Abrams Books.

Print Matters: The Cutting Edge of Print


110 examples of recent graphic identities that make use of the latest and greatest print techniques, from foil-stamping, to die-cut, to thermal print. From Victionary.

Web design

Responsible Responsive Design, by Scott Jehl


Unfortunately, web design books are still few and far between. One notable exception is the publisher A Book Apart. Their latest title explores the world of responsive design. While it’s true that this has been a hot topic for some time now, this book promises fresh insight on topics like dealing with screen features, lag, and global audiences.

Famous designers

Munari’s Books, by Giorgio Maffei

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A book about the great book designer, Bruno Mari—a man whom Picasso called “the Leonardo of our time.” From Princeton Architectural Press.

Twenty Over Eighty: Conversations with Legends of Architecture and Design, by Aileen Kwun and Bryn Smith

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A collection of interviews with 20 designers over the age of eighty, who devoted their lives to their work. Among them are the graphic designers Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Bob Gill, Richard Hollis, Lora Lamm and Deborah Sussman. From Princeton Architectural Press.

Business skills

The Little Know-It-All: Common Sense for Designers, by R. Klanten, M. Mischler and Silja Bilz


This book begins from the premise that entrepreneurs today, including designers, need to know a wide range of skills beyond their specific profession—for example, how to manage social media, search engine marketing and maybe even programming. Feeling overwhelmed? This manual will help you expand your competencies. From Gestalten.

Design Thinking for Visual Communication, by Gavin Ambrose

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Faced with a design brief, how do you get started? This popular book, now in its second addition, provides tons of tips to guide you through the design process. From Bloomsbury.

The Design Process, by Karl Aspelund

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For many young designers, the design process can seem like a daunting mystery. In this book, Karl Aspelund breaks it up into seven clear stages, each backed up with inspiring examples. From Bloomsbury.

Design Management: Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation, by Kathryn Best

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This is a guide for students seeking to make their work as strong and marketable as possible. To this end, the author puts forth a “theory of design management,” complete with case studies, interviews and exercises. From Bloomsbury.

The basics

Graphic Style Lab, by Steven Heller


A case-study based book on how to use lettering and typography to craft a unique, cohesive style. From Rockport Publishers.

Universal Principles of Design, by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler


Touted as a “swiss army knife of design knowledge,” this pocket companion packs 150 principles that all designers, from web to advertising to video games, need to know. From Rockport Publishers.

Design Elements: A Graphic Design Manual, by Timothy Samara


This recent update to the famed “20 Rules for Good Design” increases the number to 25, adding new focus on web design. From Rockport Publishers.

Have you read any good graphic design books this year? Share in the comments!