20 Design Books We Love
Salwa Benaissa
Salwa Benaissa
October 6, 2023
20 Design Books We Love

Whether you’re a seasoned designer or just getting started in the field, learning and reading about design helps to continuously improve your craft and take your work to the next level.

In that spirit, we’ve rounded up 20 books that have provided members of our Product Design team with the most valuable insight and inspiration. They cover various design-related topics, from design strategy and interface design to branding and typography.

Ready to get nerdy? Let’s dive in.

First up are our favorite books on design theory and strategy. We handpicked the following 6 titles according to how much they influenced our thinking, not only about design but also business, psychology, and everyday life.

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

Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan M.Weinschenk

The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) by John Maeda

These days, there’s no shortage of books about UX/UI. The question is, where to start? If you’re a product designer, you’ve undoubtedly come across at least one of the following 5 titles, or their authors. But even if you’re a web developer or graphic designer seeking an introduction to UX/UI, these are great kick-off points.

About Face by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann , David Cronin

User Friendly by Cliff Kuang, with Robert Fabricant

The User Experience Team of One by Leah Buley

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal (editor)

Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden

Although we’re mostly interface designers on the team, we all love trespassing into other design areas to stay on top of our game. That includes branding, typography, and imagery, all covered by the following 3 titles. (Speaking of graphic design, did you see our awesome new icon set?)

Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Müller-Brockmann

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities by David Airey

Philographics: Big Ideas In Simple Shapes by Genis Carreras

Whether you’re a designer or a copywriter, UX writing skills certainly come in handy. As the solo UX writer on the team, the following are my top 3 books on the topic. All were recommended to me by another UX writer when I was just starting out, and they all helped me immensely.

Strategic Writing for UX by Torrey Podmajersky

Microcopy: The Complete Guide by Kinneret Yifrah

Content Design by Sarah Richards

This last category covers books that aren't quite about strategy or design, but which every designer and creative practitioner can learn from. Drawing from pretty much every sector, they demonstrate tools to help you unleash your creativity.

Feck Perfuction by James Victore

Creative Confidence by Tom Kelly and David Kelly

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

That’s it for our list so far, though our library is always growing!

Are there any books you think we missed? We’d love to know.