If you’re a designer in need of some digital direction, or someone in digital that needs to understand more about design, check out TFP’s August recommended reading list! With a wealth of big-picture ideas, real-world strategies, examples, case studies, tips, and more, our book picks provide inspiration, guidance, and practical tools to help you succeed in the digital publishing marketplace.

Covering everything from basic design principles to exciting changes and emerging trends, these guides offer valuable insights on the challenges and opportunities in graphic and editorial design today.


Digital Design Book Picks

Ebook layout cover
Communication design cover
Sudjic cover
Handbook digital media cover
Color for designers cover
Modern magazinist cover
Beautiful user cover

Got You Covered: 60+ Layouts for Designing Great eBook Covers
by Maria Poulos
This illustrated guide provides more than 60 rough layouts and graphic design compositions for designing eye-catching ebook covers. Written for professional graphic designers and those interested in book cover and layout design, it includes illustrations, layout names, and a brief discussion of each concept. You’ll also get tips on type, color, sizing, and position of graphics. A great read for learning page layout, composition, and graphic design.

Communication Design: Insights from the Creative Industries by Derek Yates and Jessie Price
This book bridges the gap between education and emerging practices to provide students and practitioners with the information they need to understand the new skills required to succeed in today’s changing communication environment. Organized into themes of brand, experience, conversation, participation, navigation, advocacy, and critique, it explores the core ideas shaping contemporary practice. Alongside case studies of game-changing projects, it uses analysis of historical context and interviews with key thinkers and practitioners to provide a relevant and contemporary guide to the creative employment landscape.

B is for Bauhaus, Y is for YouTube: Designing the Modern World from A to Z by Deyan Sudjic
The author provides a kaleidoscopic view of the profound way in which design—both good and bad—has colored the modern world and influenced our interactions with popular culture. Woven throughout are surprisingly nostalgic remembrances and intensely personal perspectives on a life in design by someone who clearly lives and breathes it. Sudjic demonstrates not only a passion for the subject, but also an ability to illuminate what is most inspiring and intriguing about the way we create.

Handbook of Research on Digital Media and Creative Technologies by Dew Harrison
This handbook highlights the latest research in education, communication, and creative social expression using digital technologies. By exploring advances in art and culture across national and sociological borders, it gives artists, theorists, information communication specialists, and researchers the tools they need to effectively disseminate their ideas across the digital landscape.

Color for Designers: Ninety-five things you need to know when choosing and using colors for layouts and illustrations by Jim Krause
Most of today’s books on color lean in one of two directions: toward heavy-handed theory-speak or toward ready-to-use palettes that will likely be out-of-step before the book has received its first coffee stain. This guide leans in neither direction, instead choosing to simply tell it like it is while bringing home the timeless thinking behind effective color selection and palette building. The author starts out with basics including the color wheel, hue, saturation, value, and more. He then dives deeper into the practical application of color with instruction on how to alter hues, create palettes, target themes, paint with color, use digital color, and accurately output your colorful creations to print.

The Modern Magazine: Visual Journalism in the Digital Era by Jeremy Leslie
Encompassing mainstream and independent publishing, and graphic and editorial design, this book explores the issues facing the industry, examining changes to the basic discipline of combining text and image for the global, Internet-savvy consumer. Specialists share their understandings of the current state of the industry and how different areas of publishing influence each other. Incorporating great visuals and genuine insight into the process of their creation, this read chronicles today’s exciting changes, providing a resource for designers, with interviews with major figures, summaries of new developments and trends, links to blogs, and more.

Beautiful Users: Designing for People by Ellen Lupton, Thomas Carpentier, and Tiffany Lambert
In the mid-twentieth century, Henry Dreyfuss—widely considered the father of industrial design—pioneered a user-centered approach to design that focuses on studying people’s behaviors and attitudes as a key first step in developing successful products. In the intervening years, user-centered design has expanded to undertake the needs of global populations as well as the design of systems and services. This pick explores the changing relationship between designers and users and considers a range of design methodologies and practices, from user research to hacking, open source, and the maker culture.

If you’d like to share something you’ve read, drop us a note. And keep up with the latest industry news coverage by signing up for our This Week in Publishing and Publishing Innovations newsletters.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.