Books for Designers

I have been recently looking around for books on the topic of design in Amazon. If you have others, feel free to add them to the list. I’ll try and consolidate this list into this post so everyone doesn’t have to scroll through.

Design of Everyday Things- Don Norman
Emotional Design - Don Norman
The Invisible Computer - Don Norman
Cradle to Cradle - William McDonough
Making Ideas Happen - Scott Belsky
Ignore Everybody - and 39 other Keys to Creativity - Hugh McLeod
How to See - A Guide to Reading our Man-Made Environment - George Nelson

Creating Breakthrough Products - Jonathan Cagan and Craig Vogal

I have read this book multiple times. It is a great reference book for design process.

I actually took a class from Cagan, and I found the text to be overly engineery (Cagan is a Mech E professor) with dated examples (it’s due for a refresh… especially with regards to technology/Internet), full of academia. Maybe it was the tiring semester of SETs and POGs and VOAs and other acronyms.

Then again, I’m still a student so it all may be relevant and helpful to someone in the field. It was shocking to hear someone actually say they liked it after everyone I know hating it. But it is out of date.

Not a design book, but The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a must read for any living human being with ambition. It’s different from the video lecture (which you should also read) and is a tear jerker at times.

Awesome, was thinking about doing a thread like this myself.

My latest purchases have mainly been about the tools (communication, manufacturing, sketching etc)… Not too much philosophical, but my intentions are to beef up that part of the library too.

These are the ones on my ‘to get’ list atm:
Sketching: Drawing techniques for product designers
Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams
Manufacturing processes for design professionals

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

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

Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication by Neil Gershenfeld

Designing Design - Kenya Hara

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

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be: The World’s Best Selling Book by Paul Arden

The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution by Kevin Roberts

Small Is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas by Seth Godin.

Design (Tom Peters Essentials) by Tom Peters

The Creative Priority : Putting Innovation to Work in Your Business by Jerry Hirshberg

Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge

Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step by Edward De Bono

What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School: Notes From A Street-Smart Executive by Mark H. McCormack

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm by Tom Kelley

Design Secrets: Products 1 and 2 : 50 Real-Life Product Design Projects Uncovered by Lynn Haller and Cheryl Dangel Cullen

Process: 50 Product Designs from Concept to Manufacture by Jennifer Hudson

Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals by Rob Thompson.

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M. Benyus

Product Design and Development by Karl T. Ulrich and Steven D. Eppinger.

Managing the Design Factory by Donald G. Reinertsen.

Sketching: Drawing Techniques for Product Designers by Koos Eissen and Roselien Steur.

Elements of Design: Rowena Reed Kostellow and the Structure of Visual Relationships by Gail Greet Hannah.

Digital Lighting and Rendering (2nd Edition) by Jeremy Birn.

I agree that some of examples are a bit dated, and could use with a refresh, but the concepts are totally relevant. You can change his models around and call them what ever you want, but the key principals of the book is designing to consumer needs and understanding the opportunities. I think every corporate pin head should read this book or one much like it.

The acronym thing really annoys me though.

Can anubody suggest books on materials for designers.
Thank You.

This is a list I started:

I’m always looks to add to this…


Thats Great. Thank You everyone.

Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Compostion by Kimberly Elan

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Mathew Frederick

Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison

I would honestly recommend the Book Yo wrote, Analog Dreams; really good especially if you are a student…

Bill Stumpf’s The Ice Palace That Melted Away: Restoring Civility and Other Lost Virtues to Everyday Life is a great book that gets at the heart of design for me. Bunch of essays on satisfying human needs with design.