Non-Design Books That Helped You Become a Better Designer

I enjoy reading a variety of books—everything from historical biographies to science text books and graphic novels. I find that no matter what I'm reading there's usually a life lesson or a creative idea I can apply to my work. 

So I'm wondering: What are some of your favorite non-design books that have inspired your work, broadened your thinking, or helped you become a better designer?

1 Reply
Jackie Van Nice

That's a fascinating question, Trina! 

I've always been obsessed with languages, travel, and teaching - and have tons of related books. Here's what I find inspirational about the ones I love:

  • Great Information Design: When they can take a dense amount of information and organize and present it in an involving, crystal-clear way it always inspires me to do the same in my work.

    It's easy to see the difference great design makes when you compare one travel guide against another, for example. They may contain almost identical basic information, but one can be a confused, boring muddle while the other has you racing to buy a plane ticket.   
  • Inspirational Content: This is easy to see in good travel books. When you can visualize and read about the art, history, and science of a culture - every bit of it is potential design inspiration. Whether it's extraordinary art and architecture, stunning geographic locations, evocative music, beautiful crafts and clothing, amazing food, or profound discoveries or contributions over time - it's all inspirational and can easily muscle its way into my designs.