Graphic design is about much more than “making things pretty.” In fact, we would advise against saying that to a designer. You won’t like the reaction.

Graphic design is an art that takes creativity and imagination. It requires years for design professionals to hone their craft and have the life experience necessary to become good at what they do.

Want to gain a better understanding of graphic design or improve your skills? Then give these four books a read.

“The Graphic Design Idea Book: Inspiration from 50 Masters” (Steven Heller and Gail Anderson)

Broken into sections covering the fundamental elements of design, key works by acclaimed designers illustrate technical points and encourage readers to give new ideas a shot. Steven Heller and Gail Anderson’s writing is easy to understand and serves as an accessible introduction to the key elements of good design.

“Interaction of Color” (Josef Albers)

Originally published in 1963, Josef Albers’ book has stood the test of time to remain an important part of any designer’s library. Albers was a German-born artist and educator who led Yale University’s department of design and is considered one of the most influential teachers of the visual arts in the 20th century. By the way, we wrote a blog about color not that long ago.

“Graphic Design: A User’s Manual” (Adrian Shaughnessy)

Adrian Shaughnessy, also the author of the best-selling “How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul,” offers advice on how to thrive in the design world. His thoughts cover a wide range of topics from the everyday (kerning) to the big picture (budgeting).

“Just My Type” (Simon Garfield)

British journalist and non-fiction writer Simon Garfield delivers one of the better comprehensive guides on the importance of type choices in design. Chapter 21, for example, describes the most hated fonts in the world. You know Comic Sans shows up there.

West Press’ talented staff is here to help you each step of the way — from graphic design to printing to mailing services to large format to website development. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.