What are your favorites? The most valuable? Which made you a better designer?
First off, there have been some really good collections on DN already: https://www.designernews.co/stories/24037-what-are-your-favorite-designrelated-bookshttps://www.designernews.co/stories/44756-favourite-design-bookshttps://www.designernews.co/stories/267-ask-dn-most-inspiring-design-books
Conversations with Students - I remember really liking this one.
Shape of Design - Really lovely, I think this is a lot of contemporary designers' favorite. I can come back to this multiple times a year and it still hits me in my good parts. Hi Frank ✌
Design for the Real World - Thinking about this kind of stuff is important. It's not just pretty pixels.
You will probably get a lot of design book recommendations so I'm going to recommend one that is going to make you a better designer without being about design. Thinking, Fast and slow by Kahneman
This book is absolutely brilliant. Great recommendation. It's good for anybody who is trying to think about thinking (which I feel is important for designers of any discipline). Kahneman has enjoyed a long and storied career, and translates his accumulated wisdom very effectively. Beware, ye children of the list-icle age, this is some longform shit. If you panic when you have to read something longer than the viewport, tread lightly here. That being said, it's so, so worth it.
If you liked that, I would also check out, "Cognition and Reality", by Ulric Neisser. He's kind of the papa-bear of many things cognitive.
Thanks for the recommendation, Brian.
I’m very very new to the field but The design of everyday things by Don Norman has helped me immensely in understanding how design (and human beings) works.
Classic. And I could not agree more. Every designer needs to read this once in a while.
Grid Systems in Graphic Design - The bible of grid theory.
I really enjoyed the books from the people behind 37Signals. They're not specifically design books. I have personally found the greatest progression for me as a designer came from learning how design fits inside a product / company / culture.
Also, they're beautifully illustrated.
Here goes my all time favourite:
This is service design thinking:http://thisisservicedesignthinking.com/
Design is a job:http://abookapart.com/products/design-is-a-job
Designing for emotion:http://abookapart.com/products/designing-for-emotion
I've just ordered Emotional Design by Don Norman. Apparently it's very good. He did a short TED talk as well which was really good.
For those with more technical background this now free to read book might be of value: http://designingforperformance.com
The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett is one of my top reads for UI/UX designers.
"White" by Kenya Hara
I always found browsing bookstores with great design/art sections to be cathartic. Kinokuniya in San Francisco or Hennessey + Ingalls in LA / Santa Monica.
Start with why by Simon Sinek is amazing
Making ideas happen by Scott belesky (founder of Behance) is also great
I haven't read it yet but I have make it bigger by Debbie mailman which comes highly recommended about controlling the design conversation with clients to get good work made.
I've made a collection based on books available on ProductHunt if you want : http://www.producthunt.com/@antoineplu/collections/books-for-designers
"Intertwingled" by Peter Morville. Somehow makes a book about information architecture un-put-down-able
I really enjoyed & recommend “100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People”, “Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us into Temptation”, & Alan Cooper's books (“The Inmates Are Running the Asylum” is a great entry-point, especially if you work[ed] in/at/with Microsoft).
I wouldn't deem these “required reading material”, but I think you will find a number of other recommendations like that.
Design Writing Research was a big influence on me.
I posted a bunch of recommended books here - http://www.gavinelliott.co.uk/recommended-books/
Don't Make Me Think: While Primarily for UX Design, this book still gives one a great foundation to keep the users in mind whe designing anything.