The Indefinite List of Book Recommendations From Adobe MAX

Why do designers love physical books so much? Not sure but here’s a list of recommendations I’ve heard from the Adobe Max conference 2020.

Phylicia Flynn
Published in
10 min readOct 25, 2020


Wall mounted shelves with books sorted by color
Photo by Vladimir Mokry on Unsplash

Starting this off with a blanket statement: All designers love books.

Due to COVID taking over everyday life and social events, Adobe Max 2020 was moved virtual. I’d be lying if I said the former Interior Designer in me wasn’t excited to see into the speakers’ houses. Maybe I’m nosy but seeing other people’s living spaces has been a huge benefit of Zoom calls.

And one thing stood out to me on from the very first day of the conference; majority of these designers/artists are presenting in front of their well-curated bookcases. While it does make for a great, clean but artsy background, I was still a little shocked on how the love of books is still thriving; even during an event that is hosted my a computer software company.

But it didn't stop there! While many of the speakers have published their own books, they also mentioned books that have inspired them throughout their journey. So naturally the book nerd that lives deep inside of me ran to jot down every book I heard mentioned. And here’s the list!

Book cover of The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
image from GoodReads

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

by Jane Jacobs

blurb from GoodReads:

A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate…



Phylicia Flynn
Writer for

Interior Designer transformed into UX/Product Designer. NJ transplant living in the Midwest. Has an affinity for dogs, spicy food and coffee shops.