Some publications that I totally adore.
Transcending CSS, Andy Clarke
One of my first books about web design and still by far my favorite one. It’s a one-stop guide to everything related to the topics and still relevant after six years. It totally changed the understanding of my craft.
Designing for the Web, Mark Boulton
Not only that Mark Boulton is my favorite web-designer – a true hero for me –, he also writes fantastic and relevant books. If you need one book about web-design in general, then it’s this one. You will find almost no code in it, but a lot of basic information you need as a professional. There is also a free online version, but I strongly advise you to buy the book.
Design is a job, Mike Monteiro
This is of the latest additions to my library but already one of the books, I couldn’t live without. Since I changed my job recently I got very much out of this book. Not only how to deal with clients but also how to handle your colleagues. Especially if you plan to start as a freelancer this is a must-have book for you.
The Vignelli Canon, Massimo Vignelli
Everything in this book is so true, so inspriational, so straight to the point. The author – Massimo Vignelli, a New York based designer born in Milano, Italy – writes about the basic topics of design and how he and his design studio employ them. In every statement you feel the passion of this man about design, which simply infects you to emulate his deeds. Although the book is available as a free PDF you should definitely buy a printed copy.
The Principles of Beautiful Web Design, Jason Beird
Another book about web-design techniques which tought me very much I know today. It not only gives you an understanding of the technical side but also holds information about the very basics – design principles, color, etc.
Responsive Web Design, Ethan Marcotte
Maybe the most important contemporary piece of writing, which probably changed a whole generation. Ethan Marcotte told us that the web is no fixed place anymore and that it is essential to be as flexible and fluid as possible with a website.
Hardboiled Web Design, Andy Clarke
Another gem by Andy Clarke, which mainly told me how important it is to leave Photoshop as a web-design tool behind and directly jump into the browser as soon as the general page structure is set.
The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst
The bible. Do I have to say more? Since web design is 95% typography you also need a book which teaches you how to deal with this masses of texts. It’s voluminous and you will need some time to digest all of its content, but it is really worth the effort.
Universal Principles of Design, William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler
Since the web doesn’t consist of type alone you should also know how to deal with the remaining 5%. The authors decribe a total of 125 principles on two sides each with supporting examples. Follow them and you will design the best websites of your life.
Thinking with type, Ellen Lupton
If you need one short and precise book about typography, get this one. Ellen Lupton’s publication teaches you everything you need to know about the history of typefaces, describes all the important terms and not least how to actually employ fonts and what you need to consider. A true gem, which I will often refer to in the future.
Don't make me think, Steve Krug
This is one of the books you can't miss to read if you have to do anything with web development. It not only teaches you the very essential elements of a website but also how important it is to test websites early and often. It’s short, it’s precise and when you read through it you will see every site with different eyes.
Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
No matter if you are a designer or just interested in good design, you have to read this book. It not only tells you about the person, the genius, Steve Jobs, but also about Apple, one of the most influential companies of the world. How everything started, which decisions were made, which errors, which accomplishments, that helped Apple to become so big and succesful. You can learn so much about good design in this book, what it is, but also what it isn’t. Read it and marvel about it. You will never see the world the same afterwards.