What are the best logo books for graphic designers to improve their skills, get inspired and learn some new techniques?
My library of design books is growing almost out of control, but there are so many great logo design books out there, how can you say no?
So here are the top 10 best Logo Books for logo designers in 2017.
Author — David Airey
A pretty great place to begin your collection, and what I’ve described as one of the best logo books available to date.
Not only does it break down the subject matter into basics, it gives an insight into how a successful logo designer works.
It includes excellent imagery illustrating the process from the sketchbook to the final prints.
In Logo Design Love, you will learn:
- Best practices for extending a logo into a complete brand identity system.
- Why one logo design is more effective than another.
- How to create your own iconic logos.
- What sets some graphic designers above the rest?
- And 31 useful design tips for creating timeless logos.
“There are a lot of books out there that show collections of logos. David Airey’s Logo Design Love is something different. It’s a guide for designers (and clients) who want to understand what this business is all about. Written in a friendly, concise language, with the least design jargon, Airey gives a clear explanation of the process. Anyone involved in creating visual identities, or wanting to learn how to go about it, will find this book invaluable.”
Tom Geismar — Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv
Authors — Angus Hyland & Steven Bateman
An inspiring reference book for symbols in their purest form, presented in black and white.
It is a well-organised and beautiful showcase of over 1300 symbols.
Arranged into groups according to visual characteristics, it is easy to navigate when you need inspiration.
“They [logos] acquire value. These things become these vessels which so much is poured into over time — there’s a hell of a lot wrapped up. They’re quite mundane, they’re part of our everyday visual furniture, but take it away and whoof! That’s why it’s an interesting subject area.”
Also worth checking the Pentagram partner giving a lecture on symbols at the Design Museum in London to coincide with the launch of his book.
Part one — https://vimeo.com/24521965
Part two — https://vimeo.com/24718591
Author — Michael Evamy
Similar to Symbol (see above) in terms of both presentation and concept, Logotype by Michael Evamy, focuses on typography as supposed to visual symbol design.
That being the case, they go perfectly together, and I do recommend you buy both.
A real source of inspiration for designers who appreciate the intricacy of typography.
The subtle nuances of tweaking a logotype to create a clever, bespoke finish for a Brand.
“Logotypes — word marks, monograms and single-letter marks — are where the verbal becomes visual. Where elements that are usually designed to speed the eye across the page, invite it to linger. Where the choice of font is never less than meaningful. Where spaces and spacing are significant. Where the composition of words and characters carry weight. Where letterforms, and even fragments of letterforms, can evoke attributes, atmospheres, emotions events, places, personalities and periods of history.”
Author — Bruno Munari
In the early 1960s, designer Bruno Munari published his visual case studies on shapes: Circle, Square, and Triangle.
Using examples from ancient Greece and Egypt, he invests the three shapes with specific qualities: the circle relates to the divine, the square signifies safety and enclosure, and the triangle provides a key connective form for designers.
For the first time, this trilogy is published as a single volume in an affordably-priced paperback.
If you haven’t heard of Bruno Munari, Pablo Picasso is quoted as calling him the “Leonardo of our time.”
All you need to know really!
Author — Michael Evamy
“The next time you are tempted to design a logo, take a look at this book. Chances are, it has already been done. By raising the bar, this wonderful resource will make better designers of all of us.”
This vast collection of over 1,300 symbols and logotypes — clearly arranged across 75 different categories according to their basic visual form — includes the work of past masters, such as Paul Rand and Saul Bass, alongside some of the most exciting work from contemporary designers. This is a complete, taxonomical guide to the history, development and style of identity design.
Authors — Jens Muller & R. Roger Remington
This unprecedented Taschen publication, authored by Jens Müller, brings together approximately 6,000 trademarks, focused on the period 1940–1980, to examine how modernist attitudes and imperatives gave birth to corporate identity. Ranging from media outfits to retail giants, airlines to art galleries, the sweeping survey is organised into three design-orientated chapters: Geometric, Effect, and Typographic. Each chapter is then subdivided into form and style led sections such as the alphabet, overlay, dots and squares.
“…blockbuster new book Logo Modernism…is a beautiful distillation of modernist ideals rendered in their most superbly crafted way.”
Author — Pentagram
This is a gorgeous, portfolio-like publication that showcases logo designs from Pentagram over the last forty years.
Set entirely in black and white, each of the 400 logo designs is given individual pages, named and dated in alphabetical order.
Whilst it would be interesting with a broader scope of each symbol, to judge them in terms of function and effectiveness, the approach in this format allows for a visually intriguing flick through once in a while.
Author — R. Klanten
Bringing together more than 3000 works by over 200 designers from around the globe, Los Logos spreads an incredible wealth of cutting edge design solutions over 444 pages, providing the ultimate collection of contemporary logo design no easy task! Well-indexed; subject-catalogued and systematically structured this popular bestseller has become the perfect research tool for any self-respecting designer or cultural enthusiast.
Author — Per Mollerup
Marks of Excellence (first published in 1997) offers a rigorous exploration of the trademark. Its history, development, style, classification and relevance in today’s world. The book includes extensive discussion of its origins in heraldry, monograms, owner’s marks and certificates of origins. It also contains a comprehensive taxonomy of trademarks and an alphabetical index of trademark themes.
The text covers every aspect of the trademark — its history, development, style, classification and relevance in today’s world. A brief history is given of the origins of the trademark in heraldry, monograms, owner’s marks and certificates of origin. The proceeding chapters explore corporate identity and communication design with an emphasis on sign theory. The core of the book is a comprehensive classification of trademarks covering name marks, abbreviations and all kinds of picture marks. This is followed by an alphabetical index of trademark themes from animals to word puzzles. The index is illustrated by a selection of the world’s best trademarks — the marks of excellence from which this book takes its name. The final section of the book covers the development of trademarks over time and across the boundaries of language and space.
An invaluable reference tool for design students and graphic designers, the original book is packed with 600 illustrations of both rare and recognisable trademarks, logos, signs, advertisements, and the images that inspired them. This revised and expanded edition will include at least 500 new images and 80 pages of new material, bringing this successful title right up to date.
Whilst keeping much in common with the original book, this edition will, in appearance and substance add so much that it will appeal to content owners of the old book. A monumental volume in the sphere of graphic design, this book is just as absorbing for anyone interested in any aspect of visual communication.
Author — Ron van der Vlugt
There are almost too many infographics showing how famous logos have developed over time.
But this is the first book I’ve found that compiles well-known logos into one resource.
It shows a chronological, step-by-step guide to how one hundred brands have developed over the years.
What is nice in particular is that it includes most of the early, if not first, logo designs that companies have adopted.
This allows for a sort of before and after view to show the extremities of the contemporary and vintage styles.
“Apple’s first logo was a complex picture. A tribute to Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree, with a phrase from Wordsworth: “Newton…a mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone.” A tag line containing the brand name: Apple Computer Co. This is where the short history of the Apple logo begins. The apple shape was introduced not long after, with a bite taken out of it to increase brand recognition. First with rainbow colours and later in monochromatic tones.
In Logo Life, you can read the short histories of the Apple logo and 99 other famous logos for world-famous brands. Seeing all the little steps and great leaps in the visual evolution of these logos, as well as some of their most iconic uses in brand advertising. 100 Famous Logos is a great book full of visual details and facts worth knowing about the evolution of many of the world’s greatest logos.”
At a reasonable €24 from the publisher, I would recommend this as a solid addition to every logo designer and graphic designers library.
If you buy all of them, you’ve made an excellent start to a solid logo book library!
With the above selection, I think there’s a good balance of education and inspiration — getting the right balance is an important facet of growing your skills.
You can have all the inspiration in the world, but if you don’t know how to utilise it, it will go nowhere.
There are of course a multitude of other books related to logo design, but I can’t vouch for them personally.
If you own any other books you would like to recommend, please leave a comment below and I will add it to the collection — alternatively, feel free to buy it for me if you want my eternal gratitude!
What logo books have we missed?
Did your favourite design book not make the list?
Let us know in the comments below.
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