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10 Books Every Creative Pro Must Read

Elisha-Rio Apilado

Interested in a good read?

These ten books are straight from my bookshelf at home and have helped me become a successful artist. If you have a favorite read, please add your suggestions in the comments below!

Featured Author: Elisha-Rio Apilado
Elisha-Rio Apilado is a Chicago based graphic designer/illustrator and studio artist whose paintings and drawings have been featured in various exhibitions. Elisha studied studio art in Dallas, TX and moved back to Chicago where she obtained a B.F.A. in Visual Communications at the IL Institute of Art. She is currently working as a designer. Her portfolio and blog of random art findings can be found at Join her Facebook page or follow her on twitter where her daily art adventures are posted.

1. Advertising by Design: Creating Visual Communications with Graphic Impact

Robin Landa | Advertising, Conceptual Design

Full of brilliant advertising campaign examples, this book takes a behind the scenes look at developing successful ads for print, television and guerrilla media. It encourages designers to push past obvious design choices and discover game-changing ideas. It informs designers to never overlook ideas, even though they might seem bizarre. The book also includes interviews with esteemed creative directors for added inspiration and great insights.

Note from a Designer: When you finish this book, you will feel very confident in your skills as a graphic designer. It will nudge you to experiment with ideas and concepts, and will help you push past hesitation and doubt. To me, the most enjoyable part was reading about successful ad campaigns and learning the best techniques for producing an appropriate ad for a product. After you look through the examples, you will seriously want to push yourself to create a witty, unexpected and powerful ad. This book is loaded with inspirational images and will definitely get your creative juices flowing.

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2. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students

Ellen Lupton | Typography

Written by a leading design educator and critic, this book serves as a guide for those learning or brushing up on typographic skills. And, it enables the reader to grasp the principles of typography by presenting many inspiring examples. Organizing letters on a blank page is a basic challenge for all designers, and this book will help you understand that typography is much more than just letters.

Note from a Designer: I find this book comes in handy when I’m dealing with typography and caught in a creative block. I have yet to find another book that explores the anatomy of typography like this one, while also examining the history and origin of everyday fonts. There are a million fonts to choose from and learning the structure of letter forms will turn you into a type guru. After reading this book, narrowing down font options will be easy — now I’m a pro!

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