Design Reality

The Top Ten Books Inspiring our Designers

We asked some of our designers to recommend a read that inspired them the most.  Here's a roundup of their favourite books.

Surfboard Dynamics Tristan Mausse et al.

A beautifully laid out, excellently narrated collection of alternative surfboard designs and theories.

Complete surfboard geek material and constant inspiration for me to try new things.

Josh Moffat, Designer 

How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie

This book is about how to convince, influence, and build rapport with a wide range of people. Everyone who needs to communicate should read this even if you’re not a designer!

Most people think that obvious things like sketching, CAD and solving problems make great design books, but for me that’s mandatory in design. The real skill comes in communication and how you deal with people from all walks.

Jonny Marchbank, Senior Designer 

Stuffocation James Wallman

Stuffocation focuses on our use of objects and products addressing the idea of overindulgence and overproduction.

This has influenced the way I look at design, sustainability and consuming products more than any other book.

Josh Moffat, Designer 

Why Shrink Wrap a Cucumber? Stephen Aldridge

This book is for all those involved in the packaging industry – packaging designers, manufacturers and retailers and provides a comprehensive illustrated guide to designing environmentally friendly packaging.

This one stands out and dispels a lot of misinformation presented to consumers about packaging.

Chris Ward, Senior Designer 

Race Car Vehicle Dynamics  William F. Milliken Jr.

Written for the Engineer or race car enthusiast, it covers everything you need to know to about cars.

It was my saviour from many nights of confusion at university and a great reference book for the course I undertook. It covers complex terms in easy to understand language.

Mike Booker, Senior Designer 

Sketching: Drawing Techniques for Product Designers  Koos Eissen and Roselien Ssteur

Detailing how to present and communicate designs in a clear and compelling way, beyond perspective drawing and rendering.

Although pen and paper sketching is often replaced by sketching software, which can sometimes ‘flatter’ a person’s sketching, the fundamentals of sketching and communicating will always apply.

Some sketching books show the raw fundamentals of sketching, but this one shows how sketching and illustrative communication can be applied to real world products and services, showing examples from global brands and design consultancies.

Will Brown, Designer 

The Language of Things Deyan Sudjic

This book focuses on human factors, ergonomics and the way we use products, rather than the products themselves.

This book has inspired me and taught me a lot about user experience and product interaction.

Josh Moffat, Designer 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel H. Pink

A fascinating read about how to get the best out of people. It looks at what factors motivate people today.

Simon Pougher, Senior Designer 

Design Sketching Klara Sjolen & Erik Olofsson

This inspirational read was the first sketching book that I read.  It has been an invaluable resource to enable me to learn about product design.

 James Grimoldby, Project Manager

And for those of us who spend a lot of time with designers….

How to Live with a Designer Without Killing Them

Alan Long