Books on Design / Ideation Process

Hi all,

I’m currently a first year ID student and
planning to apply for internships for the coming year.
I know that generally these are offered only to upper-year
students who have more experience in ideation and
concept development process, so I was wondering
if anyone can recommend some good books that I
can use to get up to speed on what I’ll be learning later on.

I’ve got some good ideas and competent graphic/drawing skills,
but just need some more background knowledge so I can put together
a competitive portfolio. Any tips on any other skills I should
develop to get my foot in the door this early on will also be


There are two books in the design secrets series called “Design Secrets: Products - 50 Real Life Projects”. These books have been produced by the IDSA and have examples of projects from Steelcase, IDEO, Micheal Graves Studios, Astro, and alot more. These books provide you an abrieviated look at the process for several projects.

One other book that comes to mind is “Smart Design, Products that change our lives.”

Here is a link to these books on Amazon:

I wish that they would go more in depth with some of the projects. If anyone can think of any other sources that go into greater detail, let us know

You will learn the skills in time- don’t worry. You are in a unique position- your ideas are valuable at this time because you ‘don’t know any better’. I’d say spend the time and get down as many of these ideas that you can- no matter how stupid they seem at the time. Then later the skills will come by so you can develop them.

Most portfolios I see are full of boring-ideas-well-executed. Now’s your chance to escape the trap.

I appreciate the replies guys.
The ‘Design Secrets’ book is along the lines of what I’m looking for.

I’ve got over two 2-inch binders full of ideas at this point,
a good amount being of the napkin-sketch variety.
So I figured now’s the time to refine and develop them
into something portfolio-worthy, and jettison the trashier stuff.
Most firms won’t have the time to sift through stacks
of initial concepts, or am I wrong? Would it be to my
advantage to include these as well, just so they can see
my thinking process?
If you guys think I’m going about this the wrong way
please let me know. Thanks!