There are a few truths in the world. One is that design books are awesome, and two Top 10 articles are also awesome. I personally read a ton of design books. If you have taken a look around Olympia Graphics Co. you probably would have noticed the amount of design book reviews.
If you are a logo designer, Branding firm, Freelancer whatever. If you make logos then we have a list of books are right up your alley and could be called a “Must Read”.
These are in no Particular Order.
Logo Modernism by Jens Müller is 432 pages packed full of logo design after logo design. All of them are displayed in B&W and printed on glossy thick paper. I should also mention this book is HUGE.
Coming in at 10 x 1.5 x 15 inches you will find it hard to fit on a bookshelf standing up. That’s ok because Logo Modernism is one of the best Logo reference books period.
Logo Modernism has almost everything you would want from a logo reference book. Artist Bios, Company Bio and Style Guides mixed between page after page of logo designs.
Pick up a copy of Logo Modernism for around $69.00 – Logo Modernism (English, French and German Edition)
Logo Design Love
Logo Design love by David Airey is one of the best all-around guides of the Logo design business. In this updated edition, David Airey has added more sketches, tips and tricks and everything we loved about the previous editions.
We added Logo Design Love to our Ultimate list because well, it wouldn’t be one without it.
Grab a copy of Logo Design Love for around $20.00 – Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, 2nd Edition
Designing Brand Identity
Designing Brand Identity is the partner to Logo Design Love. If that book was for the artist this book is for the entire Brand Firm. Designing Brand Identity goes deep into the workings of a Brand Firm.
This book is the blueprint for a design company. Plain and simple. Each chapter is dedicated to a different step in the process.
If you run or work at a design firm this book will be extremely useful to you and your entire team.
Pick up a copy of Designing Brand Identity for around $19.00 – Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team, 4th Edition
Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar
Identify is the history of the superstar design firm Chermayeff & Geismar. They are the creative geniuses behind the logo designs for PBS, Showtime, Chase bank, Mobil 1 and many more.
Each design is broken down and we get to hear why they did what they did and see some great sketches of early designs. I personally ended up learning a ton from this book. If you are in the logo design field this book will go great in your collection.
Pick up a copy of Identify for around $43.00 –Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar
Thinking With Type
Thinking with type by Ellen Lupton is a goldmine of typography knowledge. If you design logos than you need to know about typography. Thinking with type will get you started down the correct path.
You will learn everything about typography from font types, styles, sizes adjustments, grids and so on. If it has to do with type this book has it somewhere in the 224 pages.
Pick up a copy of Thinking with Type for only $12.95 –Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
Grid Systems / Raster Systeme
If Thinking with type was “The” type book, Grid Systems is “The” book on Grid systems in design. When it comes to logo design you will want to be using grids in some way. Grid Systems by Josef Müller-Brockmann will set you straight with grids.
Josef Müller-Brockmann covers everything about using grids in design. From page after page of examples of grids being used in how grids work in typography, print, and web design.
As a designer, if you have not read this book you are missing out.
Pick up a copy of Grid Systems for around $46.00 –Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Visual Communication Manual for Graphic Designers, Typographers and Three Dimensional Designers (German and English Edition)
Design as Art
Design as Art by the amazing Bruno Munari is more of a design theory book or a book on design philosophy more than a guide to logo design. Bruno Munari takes your hand and guides you through the soul of design.
Design as Art will help you see design in a cleaner, clearer point of view and hopefully, ignite a fire of passion for this topic like it has so many others in the past.
Described by Picasso as “the new Leonardo.” Munari is one of the last surviving members of the “futurist generation” and this book is just one of his gifts to the design community.
You can pick up a copy of Design as Art for around $12.00 – Design as Art (Penguin Modern Classics)
Logo (mini) is the pint-sized version of the same book Logo. This is another logo reference book with added sketches, style guides and logo designs broken down into categories like Just Type, Single Letters, Concentric and many other useful categorizations.
If you are designing a logo and need just one book for inspiration this would be a great book to grab. With 352 pages of logo design information, this is a hard one to top. Plus it is cheaper than some other books in the category.
Pick up a copy of Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes for $ 15.53 – Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes (Mini)
Geometry of Design
In Geometry of Design by Kimberly Elam is one of the few books to really dive into the topic of geometry in design. One of the coolest features in the book are the overlays that cover some illustrations that help illustrate the grid or geometry being used.
You will learn how the Golden ratio can be used to create beautiful shapes and other tricks and techniques that have been held a secret by some of the worlds best designers.
Kimberly Elam digs deeps by taking apart paintings, furniture, architecture and photography to show us how geometry and grids are used to tie everything together.
Pick up a copy of Geometry of Design for around $16.24 – Geometry of Design, Revised and Updated (Design Briefs)
Signs and Symbols – Their Design and Meaning
Signs and Symbols – Their Design and Meaning is by the famous Adrian Frutiger. The creative genius behind the sans-serif font designs, Univers, Frutiger and Avenir.
In Signs and Symbols, Adrian Frutiger takes aim at symbols and breaks them down in every way imaginable. Spanning the symbols entire history from ancient times with shields and arms to how symbols are used today.
This is a more advanced book with a ton of information but if you are just starting out in logo design or even graphic design you may want to read other books like some mentioned above like Logo or Logo Design Love first. But if you have been searching for more in-depth knowledge on the topic of symbols than you can’t get much better.
Pick up a copy of Signs and Symbols for around $42.00 – Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning by Frutiger, Adrian (1989) Paperback