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Favourites: Design Books

Christine Comelli

Whenever I have creative block, I always have two ways of sourcing inspiration and those two ways are to either jump on to Pinterest and make some mood boards (my Pinterest page is here), or I go straight to my bookshelf for some colour, sketch or technical inspiration! :)
I've put together a little list of my favourite design books in relation to a few different things (some are specific to Industrial Design, but a lot of them will be useful for anybody in any design course too!) Enjoy! :)

1) The Industrial Design Reference and Specification Book: Cuffaro, Blackman, Covert, Paige, Nehez-Cuffaro, Laituri and Sears.
This book was written by a range of industrial designers, ergonomists and communication designers. It's such a handy little thing that contains content on a range of important areas from manufacturing methods and tooling set-up to ergonomics and copyrighting/patents! All of the content is really easy to understand as it's very condensed and majority of the content is assisted with a range of graphics and images. I feel like this is a super ideal book for any industrial designer or industrial design student to have in their bookshelf. 

2) Setting the Scene: Index Books
I found this book at Perimeter's design book sale a few weeks ago and I am so in love with this! I feel like this would be very suitable if you own your own business, work in visual merchandising or are in your final year of design studies which requires a graduation show at the end of the year and you need to set up your own presentation or plinth. This book provides a range of amazing visual merchandising and categorises it into: clothing and accessory marketing, product marketing and home-made project marketing. It has such a beautiful range of images and ideas to make the perfect set-up for any exhibition, Instagram picture or website imagery for your company.

3) Sou.Sou: Katsuji Wakisaka
Katsuji Wakisaka is a Japanese textile designer who has worked for a range of companies such as Sou.Sou and Marimekko. I picked this up when I was in Japan almost two years ago, so the content is in Japanese (and I don't speak/understand Japanese), but the images are so beautiful and it's such a great source for colour and pattern inspiration. It has a range of textile designs as well as homewares in here so I was particularly drawn to it when I picked it up in the store Loft in Japan because of this :)

4) Sketchbooks: Richard Brereton
'Sketchbooks' is a collection of a range of artists and designers everyday sketchbooks. It's such an adorable range of scribbles, notes and doodles from a range of different artists and designers in all different professions. Some of the sketches are done in markers, watercolours, ballpoint pens and more! It's such lovely inspiration when you're about to start an ideation journal or just to take a look into the thoughts of other designers and artists.

5) Furnitecture: Anna Yudina
This is another book I purchased in another language (Italian), but I know that this one is available in English too. For anybody interested in product or furniture design, this book is a keeper! :) It has a lot of multi-purpose furniture throughout it and offers a range of ideas and tips for modularity and material choices. It's such a beautiful and visual book and a lot of the content is very Scandinavian and warm.

6) Sketching - Drawing Techniques for Product Designers: Koos Eisen and Roselien Steur
Back in my first year of Industrial Design, my tutor Ilya recommended this book and I'm so glad I picked it up! This is another one that is probably more specific to industrial designers or industrial design students as it has a range of sketches, basic principles and tips to achieve the beautifully-industrial-designey sketches that you often see people in industry achieve. It goes through simple things such as line-weights and rendering skills to how to draw cars and interiors! It's such a handy book to have and I'd highly recommend this if you're studying industrial design.

7) New Scandinavian Design: Katherine E. Nelson and Raul Cabra
I don't know about everybody else, but Scandinavian design to me is ultimate #designgoals for anything I design :P This book contains a range of well-known Scandinavian design products, split into different countries and explaining the slight differences between the countries' designs. It's such a lovely collection of beautiful product design and is always one of my main sources of inspiration when designing homewares in particular.