Graphic design books for beginners – Part 1

This is the first post of the series Graphic Design Books For Beginners, where I review my top favourite books for people learning design

This weekend I was trying to fit on our bookshelves the embarrassingly large number of graphic design books my husband bought recently. Don’t worry, I’ve told him off regarding his shopping habits. Then I happily accepted the books he bought for me…

Anyway, while arranging our books collection I had an idea. I thought it might be interesting to do a post series about design books for beginners. I’m thinking about students, freelancers or even professionals who may want to polish some of their skills. I hope this series helps..

Today: Graphic Design The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips

According to the authors, this book addresses the gap between software and visual thinking by analyzing and laying out the way towards visual form-making through experimentation with concept development.

In particular, Graphic Design The New Basics presents student work created in graduate and undergraduate courses.  This is analyzed and organized into chapters that focus on distinct elements of design such as formstorming, rhythm and balance, texture, modularity, hierarchy and many more.


graphic design books graphic design the new basics spread 3


graphic design books graphic design the new basics spread 2


The student work is set out perfectly to illustrate each design element discussed in each chapter and that is why I find this book so useful. Aside from the learning content that you get, you also get quite a lot of nuggets of inspiration. In fact, I found some projects so clever and inspirational that I sketched some ideas for my personal projects list. So that’s always a sign for a good book…


graphic design books graphic design the new basics spread 1


Overall, Graphic Design The New Basics is my first reading recommendation from my list of graphic design books for beginners. It outlines beautifully the importance of visual thinking and experimentation in the design process. Most of all, it helped me a lot when I first started to learn about graphic design.

You can purchase your copy on or

Nona Maria Goleanu

Creative partner at Vectory House with experience in business management, branding and graphic design. Usually a very happy person but she gets easily annoyed if someone steals her post-its.

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