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Must-Read Design Books for Fall

by Margaret Penney | August 25, 2017

The end of Summer and beginning of Fall can be a transition from slow vacation-mode to a time of productivity and learning. Students and lifelong learners can appreciate the cooler months as an opportune time to learn a new skill or pick up a smart new book.

This Fall, designers and artists have some very good reads to anticipate. We’ve scouted a few for you to check out.

Handprinting at Home

Hand Printing at Home

If you’re a designer who loves DIY, this is a book for you. Printmakers Hantke and Grassman teach the reader how to do lithography in their own home using easy to find materials like aluminim foil, cola, and oil-based crayons. The technique was created by Amilie Aizier-Brouzard and provides a highly creative and eco-friendly way to make affordable lithographs.

Design is Storytelling

Design is Storytelling

Designer, educator, writer and curator Ellen Lupton presents design as a form of storytelling and explores techniques one can use to develop visual stories worth reading in her new book. Lupton looks at a wide range of design projects from designing apps to producing information-heavy publications and creating brand-gold logos.

Modern Calligraphy

Modern Calligraphy

Leslie Tieu’s Modern Calligraphy is a good primer for those new to calligraphy. The book covers tools and techniques needed to create quality calligraphy in the pointed or brush pen style.  Pens, paper, and nibs are discussed as are upstrokes, downstrokes, and common shapes. Tieu provides insight also for how to develop one’s own unique calligraphic style and provides contemporary examples for inspiration.

Paul Sahre: Two-Dimensional Man

Two-Dimensional Man

In Paul Sahre’s biography he shares candid stories from his impressive thirty-two year design career. He discusses his experiences as a designer and also more personal life lessons regarding personal identity and place. The book presents the life of a designer as one with its own unique trials and tribulations in addition to one filled with accolades and successes.

Dieter Rams: Ten Principles of Good Design

Ten Principles of Good Design

Design leader and luminary behind the Braun look, Dieter Rams shares his aesthetic philosophy and experiences from his forty year career as a designer. He presents ten principles of good design like “good design is aesthetic” and backs up these assertions with over 100 design projects as examples. The book concludes with an essay on design iconography through time and organized by function.


Margaret Penney is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Margaret is a teacher, designer, writer and new media artist and founder of Hello Creative Co.


If you are interested in developing your graphic design skills, Sessions College offers a range of graphic design courses for students at all levels. Contact Admissions for more information.

This blog is powered by Sessions College, the leading online school of visual arts.

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