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Top 10 Best Design Books for Design Students in 2023

Top 10 Best Design Books for Design Students in 2023

Edited By Sundararajan | Updated on Sep 12, 2023 09:46 PM IST | #NIFT Entrance Exam

Best Design Books for Design Students: It doesn't matter if you are a student studying design or just hearing the word "design thinking" and being quiet in meetings and referring to it on Google. There are always things you can learn about design to benefit from whatever you do. So, we approached the professors of the top best design college and asked them what books they would recommend getting their feet wet in design. Each institute submitted five books covering the fields of design, from industrial design to graphic design to interior design and more.

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Top 10 Best Design Books for Design Students in 2023

The designers come from different backgrounds, some have studied their craft in school and others are self-taught. Regardless of your training, you must understand the basics of the field. The top 10 best books about design below will give you that solid foundation - helping you think differently about design and inspiring your next design project.

A well-rounded collection of design books covers more than just basic how-to guides. From design tricks to books for pure inspiration, we have divided our recommendations into five categories so that you can create a balanced bookcase that is interesting, challenging, and inspiring:

  • Color, typography, and structure

  • Inclusive design

  • Business and professional development

  • Books to get you excited about the power of design

  • Books that make you think

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Best Books for Design Students in 2023

These design books prepare you for a successful career as a designer by teaching you a variety of topics with a trusted center with high strategies as a designer. These books are actively researched or frequently quoted by members of our design community. If you are looking for a list of the best design books to read, this is it.

Whether you are a graphic design student, a designer looking for design principles, or a senior product designer looking for books on design systems, you can be sure that we take this list of the best books about design seriously for your own design needs. Use this list of the best books about design as a guide to what to read, study, and practice to better understand as a designer.

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Must Read Books for Design Students

Design BooksDescription


Name: Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design

Author: David Dabner, Sandra Stewart, Eric Zempol

Publisher: Wiley

This book is a must-pick if you are just starting on the graphic design path. Critics have repeatedly stated their preference for book examples in books, magazines, websites, and even mobile devices.


Name: Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field

Author: Helen Armstrong

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

This book is suitable for graphic designers of all ages and experience levels. Any graphic designer needs to understand the technical aspect of the design.


Name: 100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design

Author: Christian Brandle, Barbara Junod, Bettina Richter, Karin Gimmi, Museum of Design Zurich

Publisher: Lars Muller Publishers

This geographically developed branch of graphic design has provided many of its enduring components to the design industry.

With discussions about the 100-year path taken by Swiss typography, photography, advertising, editorial design, and writing patterns, this book presents just how influential this design form has been.


Name: Universal Principles of Design

Author: William Lidwell, Jill Butler, Kritina Holden

Publisher: Rockport Publishers

This book covers the psychology of design and how it affects consumers and has an amazingly complete overview of the Golden Ratio. Also, it captures the full breadth of Universal Design.


Name: Grid Systems in Graphic Design

Author: Josef Müller-Brockmann

Publisher: Niggli

This book focuses on both ideological and practical. It not only explains the background and history of grid design but also provides step-by-step instructions on how to use each grid system.

Although the phases are part of the Swiss School of Design, this book demonstrates why they deserve their writing.


Name: 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design

Author: Steven Heller, Veronique Vienne

Publisher: Laurence King Publishing

This book tries to cover the first 100 moments throughout the colorful history of graphic design. When set chronologically, the book covers everything from technology to the stylistic aspects of graphic design.

It also includes discussions of how objects have been affected by graphic design ideas and how patterns have changed over the past century or so.


Name: Unflattening

Author: Nick Sousanis

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Why such praise? This is because the book puts in its head the belief that words change metaphor when explaining ideas and changes traditional educational work.

To do this, Chausanis used "visual thinking", all his pages are designed in the same variation as below.


Name: Designing Design

Author: Kenya Hara

Publisher: Lars Muller Publishing

This book pays tribute to these Japanese designers who are often less well-known than many of their Swiss and German contemporaries.


Name: Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition

Author: Josef Albers

Publisher: Yale University Press

Although the previous guide covers a wide range of topics on how to use color effectively in your work, this book focuses more on that.

In this revised and updated version, the author has broken the complex color principles.


Name: Graphic Design: The New Basics (Second Edition)

Author: Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Cole Phillips

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

This revised and expanded edition covers the basics of graphic design and is a home away from home for every beginner designer.

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Questions related to NIFT Entrance Exam

Have a question related to NIFT Entrance Exam ?

Hello aspirant,

The nationwide Institute of Fashion Technology offers a nationwide entrance exam called NIFT for admission to its fashion design programmes.

Every course has specific requirements that must be met in order to apply. For NIFT, there is no minimum age requirement, however it is evident that passing the 10+2 exam is a requirement in order to be admitted to any undergraduate programme in fashion design.

You cannot be admitted because you are in class eleven. However, you can apply to NIFT for experience and practice, and if your application is accepted, you can take the entrance exam. If you pass, however, be aware that you will not be able to retain your results for admission.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Dear Aspirant,

Yes! If you want to pursue your under graduation from nift after 12th or even if you are appearing for12th exam then you are eligible to apply for the exam. There are several courses offered by nift which includes undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Age (Undergraduate degree programmes) -

  • General - the maximum age should be less than 24 years as on 1st august in the year of examination
  • Reserved category - 5 years relaxation

Hope this information helps :)

Dear aspirant

NIFT 2023 ELIGIBILITY - B.DES admission

1. Aspiring students must have completed a 10+2 board exam from any recognized Central/State Board of Secondary Examination, such as Central Board of Secondary Education/State Board New Delhi, and Council for Indian School of Certificate Examination, New Delhi or,

2. Any Board/Public School/University Examination conducted in India or abroad which is equivalent to the 10+2 system and is accorded by the Association of Indian Universities or,

3. If candidates complete the General Certificate Education (GCE) Examination (London/Sri Lanka/ Cambridge/) at the Advanced (A) level/International Baccalaureate (IB) then, they are eligible to apply or,

4. Students will also be eligible if they have passed the 10+2 examination conducted by the National Open School with at least five subjects or,

5. Diploma of 3 or 4 years which is recognized by AICTE or State Board of Technical Education.

Age limit - Candidates must be of 23 years of age as of August 1, 2022. However, candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST)/Person With Disability (PHP) get a relaxation of 5 years

Eligibility for B.F.Tech admission

1. Students must pass the Class 12 exam in the 10+2 pattern of examination with Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics as compulsory subjects from any recognized Central/ State Board of Secondary Examination, such as Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi, and Council for Indian School of Certificate Examination, New Delhi or,

2. Any Public School/Board/University Exam in India or in foreign countries which is equivalent to a 10+2 system with Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics as a mandatory subjects. It must be recognized by the Association of Indian Universities or,

3. General Certificate Education (GCE) Examination(London/ Cambridge/ Sri Lanka) at the advanced (A) level with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics/International Baccalaureate (IB) or,

4. Diploma of 3 or 4 years in any programme of engineering which is recognized by AICTE or a State Board of Technical Education or,

5. A passing grade in the Higher Secondary Education Examination held by the National Open School with at least five subjects - Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics

Age limit is same as B.des

You can check other details about eligibility criteria for NIFT from link below

Hope this was informative for you

Best regards!!


For BVoc courses in interior design, separate entrance exams are conducted by the concerned colleges. By giving NIFT you can only get admission in BDes and MDes courses in NIFTs and some other participating institutes.


In 2022 NIFT Entrance Examination was conducted in 32 cities. The candidates have to select the preference of the examination cities while filling the application form. Based on the availability, preferences of the examination cities you will be allotted an examination center. You have to appear for NIFT Entrance Examination in the allotted examination center as per the given schedule. You can select any city where examination is conducted while filling your preferences, make sure that you select the cities such that you can commute on the day of examination easily. Next year the list of examination cities may increase or decrease, the cities may vary.

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