2013 Textbooks Round-Up: Design

The first of our autumn textbook round-ups this year kicks off with what’s on offer in Design.

The new academic year is here, and with it, a rush to find the best book for the job. We think we might have it, but regardless of that, we just hope this might save you having to create your own (we also happen to like lists *a bit*)

First up, the hot-off-the-press:

Michael Hann’s Symbol, Pattern and Symmetry – a timely release, only a year after the publication of his very successful Structure and Form in Design – explores the significance of geometric form in craft and design and how different cultures have adopted and evolved these patterns over history.  It also includes over 400 original illustrations and photographs of pattern and symbology from a range of historical periods including Byzantine, Persian and Celtic cultures, as well as Japanese and Chinese design.


Another new release, coming to the UK in December from Fairchild Books, is the third edition of Color Studies, by Edith Anderson Feisner and Ronald Reed – a lavishly illustrated and fully updated introduction to colour theory and application.

The Fairchild Books team have also been busy in other areas. Earlier in the year we introduced you to three new additions to our Fundamentals, Basics and Studio Companion Series, focussing in graphic and interactive design:

Idea Generation
, the third in the Basics Graphic Design series, which does what it says on the tin: explores the ways in which a designer can generate ideas and develop them into successful design solutions. Besides a wealth of inspiring, informative images, it also comes packed with studio interviews and exercises.


The Fundamentals of Interactive Design, new in the Fundamentals series: a very visual, step-by-step introduction to every stage of the creative process, full of examples of ground-breaking interactive design. Expect to find projects, resource lists, technical specifications, professional insights and interviews, and case studies featuring leading international brands, such as Smirnoff, Panasonic, Lynx, Heineken, Coca-Cola and IKEA.

3D Design Basics, the third of the Studio Companions, explores basic three-dimensional options for presenting design ideas, including models, paraline drawings, and perspective drawings.

Catherine Kendall, from the University of Tennessee, told us that she could see the set as a required reference set for all design majors, so don’t be fooled by its slimline look!


Last, but not least, three of the most talked-about publications for us this year:

The beautiful Becoming a Successful Illustrator, which you have already seen us talking about in a previous post, is a practical, inspirational guide guide to the working world of illustration. For us, this is the book for any aspiring illustrator out there.


Understanding Type, another gem in our Basics range – if you don’t quite know the difference between Bodoni and Bembo, or why Arial is not the same as Helvetica, or what types to respect and what types to avoid, then you must get yourself a copy.
Finally, adding to our growing shelf on sustainability is Sustainable Thinking, from our Required Reading Range.

In Jonathan Chapman’s, Course Leader MA Sustainable Design, University of Brighton, UK, own words:

Sustainable Thinking jettisons the tired rhetoric of sustainable design debate; boldly repositioning design-thinkers of all disciplines at the creative and intellectual heart of our search for solutions.

And there you have it! Our list of recommendations for any design student out there with an inquisitive mind and a Christmas list to put together.

(Um, did we say Christmas list? Watch out for another blog post coming your way …)