ADC Members Save Christmas

Recommend Best Design Books

Coming to the rescue of an ADC member in need of a great list of design books for her holiday wish list, community members compiled some awesome reads about art, advertising, creativity, and everything in between. Here are some of the best for your last minute shopping (or maybe to add to your own personal letter to Santa).

For the Artiste
Anyone who fancies him or herself an artist is interested in color. Help yours become an expert on its theoretical principles with Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition by Josef Albers. A thoughtful and timeless addition to any library, students and teachers have relied on this quintessential work for over 50 years.

Robert Henri was an eminent figure in the Ashcan School, an early 20th century artistic movement that crossed boundaries with its harsh depictions of New York City street life. A singular visionary with dedicated followers then and now, his collection of conceptual notes, The Art Spirit, will be a go-to source of inspiration for museum rats and budding movement-starters alike.

Bruno Munari’s Design as Artis perfect for the daydreaming doodler in your life. His study of the everyday applications of design will stimulate the imagination of that napkin-scribbler, would-be architect, or type-lover still on your list.

For Your Freelancing Friend

Empower that creative who’s embracing the hustle with The Freelancer’s Bible by Sara Horowitz. She breaks down everything a freelancer needs to know, from how to find clients to getting the best insurance coverage. It might not be the most sentimental gift you bestow this year, but any self-employed friend who receives it will thank you for its endless practicality.

For the entrepreneur on your list, ideas probably come fast and often. For those in need of some help with organizing and executing, Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky is a must-have handbook. With a systematic approach and carefully researched evidence, Belsky makes a convincing case for developing the skills that will bring your pioneering friend long-term success.

Adrian Shaughnessy’s How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul is exactly what it says it is: a soulful guide for professionals. From career tips and interviews with experts in the industry, to philosophical ponderings on commercial ethics, this best seller has everything your talented friend needs to know whether they’re starting a studio or tackling client work.

For Kids (and Awesome Adults)

Looking to indoctrinate an unsuspecting youngin into the wonderful world of design? Wrap up a copy of Go: A Kidd’s Guide To Graphic Design, by Chip Kidd, the industry giant and ADC 93rd Annual Awards Design Jury Chair. With some history lessons, typography primers, fun projects, and Kidd’s infamous wit to tie it all together, it’s a guide to modern design for “ages 10 and up.” So you’ll have just as much fun reading along.

Hook them even earlier with Web Design for Babies 2.0 by John C. Vanden-Heuvel Sr. and illustrator Cristian Turdera. This lift-the-flap style introduction to web design and coding in HTML, CSS, and Javascript is for preschoolers and kindergarteners. That’s right: babies building websites.

For the Big Thinker

Ian Wharton’s Spark For the Fire is a guide to reigniting that youthful flame of creativity from a guy who should know: he’s a winner of ADC Young Guns 8. With chapter titles like “Embrace The Ridiculous” and “Learn Forever and Play,” it’s the perfect read for any mover and shaker you’re shopping for.

Paul Arden draws on the lessons he’s learned at the top of the advertising industry in It’s Not How Good Your Are It’s How Good You Want To Be, but the book isn’t just for ad freaks. It’s a truly novel take on how to succeed in any creative field, even if that field is simply modern life. Surprise that brainy buddy with this book—they have enough Malcom Gladwell.

Or you can always write the story yourself.

Moleskine notebooks are a classic that will delight any creative type on your list with their hand-made touch and sleek, leather binding. If it was good enough for Picasso, it’s good enough for your cousin.