best books to learn from?


New Member

I'm not a graphic designer, though I have done a couple of 'amateur' projects & think I do have a bit of an eye for design. I'd like to learn more & maybe work towards becoming a professional graphic designer. I can't afford to pay £thousands for courses, so I'm planning on teaching myself, at least initially.

I'm probably going to be using Adobe CS5 & have had suggestions of the official Adobe "Classroom in a Book" series & Deke McCllelland's "One-on-One" series but I'm aware these are more about how to use Adobe CS, rather than principles of graphic design.

So, does anyone have any recommendations or comments re

(a) books specifically about graphic design
(b) which software might be best - Adobe CS, QuarkXPress 9, Paint Shop Pro, other
(c) re Adobe CS specifically - which of the above books would be better, or any others

Thanks in advance!
Hey Jeffk, there not going to be any one specific all in one grpahic design handbook out there unfortunately, you need to mix up your book choices between how to manuals for your software and general design books coving all topics such as website design, typography and art. a great book for becoming a professional designer is "How to be a graphic designer without loosing your soul" by Adrian Shaughnessy, its a great book for a beginerr to get a feel for the industry. If your looking for a how to book for the Adbode creative suite get a dummies book, there great and easy to use and ther is no shortage of titles covering the whole adobe range. once you can use your software you will find that you begin to create ork based on your own personal deisng preferences so i woulnt worry to much about books on how to design etc. Hope this helps.

Yak Out!
I'd always suggest learning the Adobe suite by actually using it. Playing around with the tools/settings and making notes about what they do. I've been a designer for 6 years and I probably havn't used half of the tools in PS/AI. Books and manuals are all well and good if you have the money spare or you know what you're looking for, but I can guarantee you won't use half of it.
Thanks both.

I know that books are no substitute for actually using software, & YouTube video's are great & I do both, but I also like learning in a more structured way (it's the way my mind works, I've a scientific background) - it gives me a solid & rounded foundation to then build on. I can't afford courses at the mo, so books seem a decent compromise.

All the graphic bits n pieces I've done so far have been very trial & error. the first one i did completely in photoshop & it ended up at nearly 31MB - if i'd known about indesign it would have been a lot less, so there's something to be said for being taught!

As far as books on graphic design go, i didn't expect to find the one book that'd cover it all, just hoping for people to say which they'd found useful & maybe why. (Cheers Yak!)