30 Essential Books for Industrial Designers

Hi all,

I try not to do this so often, but I’ve written and compiled a list of 30 Essential books for Industrial Designers. I would love to hear about your favorites or any books that I might have missed out?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

30 seems quite a big number of books which are essential…imagine having to carry around that in you rucksack…why did you pick 30?

I would add creating the perfect design breiif as pretty essentail


No Papanek?! Shame on you!

I’d definitely say ‘Design for the Real World’ has to get in there as it’s probably the first book (that or the ‘the Design of Everyday Things’) that any of us read as design students. I think ‘Cradle to Cradle’ is probably more informative than ‘The Green Imperative’, so kudos.

Also, ‘Designing for People’ by Dreyfuss (yes it’s old, but you can’t beat hearing about people putting children in overhead racks on airplanes), maybe ‘Ten Faces of Innovation’ by Kelley - some great case studies

Whether you´re a fan of automotive design or not, this guy´s amazing sketches are really impressive:


(Daniel Simon, Cosmic Motors)

@dawolfman666, LOL yes 30 is large, I had more but had to cut back, and needed a good spread to cover alot of ground!

LOL @georgeous Papanek should be in there, sorry missed that!

@sketcher that link is great thanks!

Leave it off…it is actually what provided me some respect for your list. Someone had the strength to leave that pompous blow-hard’s book off a design list…finally.

lots of books on there i haven’t sunk my teeth into yet. I just finished that moggridge book (designing interactions) though - I’ve since started collecting computer mice…

thanks for the list!

“watches tell more than time” is a great book


lol, burn

for me the best book on design is Andrea Palladio’s “Four Books on Architecture”.

But it is not so popular as it is old and contains architecture in the title.

The book is a dissertation on proportion, with incredible illustrations, some still available as poster prints.

Streamlining: A Metaphor For Progress

Great stuff guys, keep them coming, im keeping track!

I’d throw in “How to See” by George Nelson and the “Thoughts + Facts” books by Stefano Marzano & the Philips design crew.

Also, how about “The Fountainhead” for a little fiction in the list…

how about “the way things work” keep the kiddies from making designs that can only exist in cloud cookoo land.

haha fountain head, yes i heard about it and might need to get my grubby paws on that one.

a classic indeed…always easier to understand something with a few mammoths

I tore through the first half, then put it down for a couple weeks and have been trying to get back to finishing it for a few months now. It’s good stuff! (so far atleast)