Few years ago I wrote a short list of books for Web and Graphic Designer that helped me to understand what design really means, find the way I can improve my skills as a Web Designer and figure out the right direction for the career path I wanted to take.

During the last two years I had a chance to work in Helsinki as a Web Designer and Junior Front-End Developer with a small yet rapidly developing company of serious and competent specialists, move to London and join the Digital team of the biggest publishing company in the world as a Web Developer. So I felt the need to make another list of books I could recommend as a pleasant and useful reading for Web Designers, but this time it is going to be with more resources on usability and user experience in general.

Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences by Jesmond Allen, James Chudley

I got this book by a pure chance. One day it was just left on my desk, so I decided to start reading it. After few weeks I found a person who actually forgot this book on my desk and had to give it back, but I'd still love to finish it. Turns out it's out of print, existing copies have prices with 3-4 digits, so it would be challenging to get it. How about a rental/sharing service?

Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions by Bill Scott, Theresa Neil
Smashing Book 5 by Smashing Magazine

After I visited the Smashing Conference in Oxford, I pre-ordered this book straight away. It is quite heavy one with more than 500 pages of real-life cases and examples of responsive web design.

Practical Guide to Information Architecture by Donna Spencer

Visual Design

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

There is not enough words to describe how meaningful and at the same time laconic this book is. I always keep it on my desk and turn over the pages for inspiration.

In Progress by Jessica Hische

This book actually describes more about the graphic design and process of creating a beautiful typographic works (I have a soft spot on typography), but it helped me to identify the steps that every creative graphic idea should go through from paper to vector. It's a good example of how to define the right tools and stages of the project.

Treasury of Alphabets & Lettering by Jan Tschichold

This is a wonderful book, a 'must-have' one for every typographic designer. The copy that I have is in Russian (yup, it's my mother tongue) and was published by a well-known Russian design agency Art. Lebedev Studio. In the end of 1940s Tschichold worked as typographic designer for Penguin Books. It was him who specified the future typography for the famous Penguin paperback series.

Jan Tschichold for Penguin Books

Photo by Penguin/Thames and Hudson


Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan
Design as Art by Bruno Munari
Visual Editions: Composition No.1 by Marc Saporta

Visual Editions is not an usual book publisher, they provide a surprising non-linear reading experience and delightful tactile feelings. Their third book Composition No.1 is a book in a box (literally) that has loose pages each of them with a narrative. It leaves totally to the reader to decide the order of reading it. Their digital edition is full of elegant animations, and also has a randomiser to provide the same experience as with the real published book.