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Children, teenagers, and young adults across the country head back to school this week, toting along with them a collection of books that may or may not get read over the next year. While most of us older kids probably spent the summer working, it’s no excuse for not doing a little required reading of our own. A solid library of design books is a great resource to have for a number of reasons: for inspiration, for staying current on emerging trends, and most importantly, for looking really smart when clients visit.

Here’s a sampling from our stacks. Let us know what other design and branding books should be added to the mandatory reading list.

Type Directors Club Annual Book

Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton

Hand Job: A Catalog of Type, Michael Perry

Big Brand Theory

Above the Fold, Brian Miller

Type Rules!,  Ilene Strizver

How to See, George Nelson

A Designer’s Art, Paul Rand

Graphis Annuals

Graphic Design Manual: Principal and Practice, Armin Hofmann

Graphic Style: From Victorian to Digital, Steven Heller and Seymour Chwast

How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul, Adrian Shaughnessy

Drawing is Thinking and Art is Work, by Milton Glaser.

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