20 Design Books For Sketching, Typography & New Ideas

Contrary to popular belief, the ability to draw well is not just reserved for those who are blessed with natural talent. While some may be able to grasp the essense of drawing more quickly than others, the truth of the matter is anyone can learn how to draw well as long as they have the right resources.

In this post, we have put together a compilation of 20 books on sketching, the study of typography and how to generate creative ideas. These books are packed with useful exercises as well as tips and tricks to help you take your sketching and drawing techniques to the next level. Also included are books that touch on typography and design ideas.

20 Lifelike Pencil Drawing Masterpieces

20 Lifelike Pencil Drawing Masterpieces

Artists have the unique ability to transform ordinary objects into incredible works of art. They can create stunning... Read more

Start Sketching With These Titles

If you need help transferring your thoughts onto paper, these are the books on sketching you should be reading up.

Freehand: Sketching Tips & Tricks Drawn From Art

A book that will teach you basic drawing techniques in bite-sized sections, and how they can be applied when sketching. It covers tone, composition and texture among others.

freehand sketching
Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World’s Great Graphic Designers

This sketchbook will provide an insight into the works of top graphic designers. It features notes, sketches, and complete illustrations, and explains how the designers came up with their ideas and techniques used.

graphic sketchbook
Sketching from the Imagination

Inside, you can find the works of 50 amazing digital artists. From doodles to sketches to illustrations, you can see how the ideas are developed and the techniques that are used.

sketching from the imagination
Playing With Sketches

This is a fun approach to enhance your drawing skills. It takes you through basic exercises then goes on to more challenging and engaging ones. The book features word games, letterforms, dimensional shapes etc.

playing with sketches
Comics Sketchbooks: The Private Worlds of Today’s Most Creative Talents

Comics are one of the most popular forms of illustration. There are over 700 illustrations from top artists in this sketchbook! You are able to see how the ideas are brainstormed and developed.

comics sketchbooks
The Sketchnote Handbook

This book will guide users on how to create their own sketchnotes. It teaches you how to capture your thoughts, remember key information, and enhance your sketching abilities.

sketchnote handbook
Sketch Your World

Top urban artists will show you how they capture a setting and transfer it onto paper. It covers different topics: improve observation skills, sketch moving objects etc.

sketch your world
Drawn In

This book features full-colour images and profiles of 44 amazing artists. It gives you a glimpse of their doodles, sketches and how they come up with ideas.

drawn in
Icon Design: A Showcase of Sketched Vs. Ready

Icon Design: A Showcase of Sketched Vs. Ready

More often than not we are critical of about the end product or end result of a design... Read more

Learning Typography

Love the art behind letters? Check out these books on typefaces, lettering, calligraphy and more.

Creative Lettering

In this book, top artists will provide you with their personal perspective on lettering. They will show you the tools they use and the correct techniques to use them.

creative lettering
Type: A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles

This is ideal for graphic designers or anyone looking for inspiration. It gives you a glimpse into typeface design and the evolution of the printed letter.

Draw Your Own Alphabets

With this book, you can learn how to design and create your very own fonts! It also teaches you different drawing and presentation techniques.

draw your own
Modern Calligraphy

This book will teach calligraphy in simple steps. You can learn to create wedding invitations, gift cards, thank you cards etc. Starting from the basics, the book will guide you in forming letters, words and then whole phrases.

modern calligraphy
Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design’s Golden Age

The hundreds of examples will inspire designers to have a go themselves. In this book you will also see how scripts from the past and present intertwine.

Type Matters!

This book covers the basics of typography. It teaches you how to set headlines, display type, alignment and so much more.

type matters
Typography Sketchbooks

This visual book displays the work of top typographic artists. It can provide inspiration for those who are into typography or looking for creative typography ideas.

typography sketchbooks

Need Great Design Ideas?

If you ever feel like you are running out of good ideas, find great ones with help from these few handy books.

The Drawing Mind

A book that will provide you with various ideas on what you can draw. It is suitable for those who are looking for a creative outlet to doodle ideas.

drawing mind
The Art of Zentangle

This book uses a meditative process in creating art. It takes a combination of simple lines and shapes to create a complicated and unique final piece of artwork. It also provides instructions and doodling space. [$16.19]

art of zentangle
Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

This book will help your ability to brainstorm creative ideas. There are exercises to test your creativity skills and how it can be improved. Top designers share with us their brainstorming techniques.

creative workshop
Artist’s Journal Workshop

This journal features guidance, structure and inspiration for artists. There are 25 exercises to help you develop new ideas and techniques.

artists journal workshop
Just Draw It!

A book that presents an unorthodox approach to learning how to draw. It covers exercises and different drawing techniques such as rules of perspective, tones and shadows.

draw it

If you know of more books that have help you a lot in design, share the titles with us in the comments!