On the Subject of Design

  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves cover
  • Thinking with Type cover
  • Understanding Comics cover
  • Making and Breaking the Grid cover
  • The Brand Gap cover
  • What is a Designer: Things, Places, Messages cover
  • Marks of Excellence cover
  • Comics and Sequential Art cover
  • Designing for People cover
  • How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul cover
  • Unjustified Texts: Perspectives on Typography cover
  • While You’re Reading cover
  • Design Writing Research cover
  • Letter By Letter cover
  • From Lascaux to Brooklyn cover
  • Type & Typography cover

Reading is one of my great loves in life, a fact that is sometimes at odds with my smock wearing tendencies. Over the years, I’ve repeatedly affirmed self-education despite the lack of a classroom. This helps me stay sharp and challenge my notions about design and the stuff I make everyday.

Good books are tough to find, so I’ve begun keeping track of notable ones. I still get a lot of emails asking about graphic design reading recommendations, so when I relaunched this site, I decided to dedicate a section to others like me where I could keep a list of books that I’ve found helpful. I don’t provide these as a comprehensive canon, but as a source of books I’ve vetted as worthwhile for those wanting to keep learning. Enjoy!

  • The Design of Everyday Things cover
  • Designing Interactions cover
  • Spunk & Bite cover
  • Envisioning Information cover
  • A History of Graphic Design cover
  • Detail in Typography cover
  • Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus cover
  • Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving cover
  • Graphics Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines cover
  • A Whack on the Side of the Head cover
  • The Elements of Color cover
  • Logo & Font Lettering Bible cover
  • About Face: Reviving the Rules of Typography cover
  • The Elements of Typographic Style cover
  • Type: The Secret History of Letters cover
  • Grid Systems in Graphic Design cover


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On the Subject of Me

Jason Santa Maria is a graphic designer living and working in sunny Brooklyn, NY. More »

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  • They Might Be Giants
  • Typekit
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A Book Apart

Responsive Web Design, by Ethan Marcotte. From A Book Apart.
“Insightful, witty and practical, Responsive Web Design points us in the direction of a new web.”
—Mark Boulton
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Recommended Reading

Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving coverVisual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving
by Judith Wilde, Richard Wilde
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Oddities & Diversions

Design Is History

Design Is History, created as a teaching tool for young designers just beginning to explore graphic design and as a reference tool for all designers. Chock full of great info.

Education at FontShop

Education at FontShop, a great resource for tips, tricks, and type knowledge.

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