The Best Audio Books for Graphic Designers

November 21, 2011

I know what you’re thinking; shouldn’t books for graphic designers have a visual element?  In truth, tutorials on the art of graphic design will almost certainly require some sort of visual aid, but there are all kinds of audio books for this field that have more to do with the principles of design than actually clicking a mouse and making a ball bounce on the monitor.  And there’s a lot more to this artistic craft than the technological aspects of assembly.  So here are just a few audio books that every busy graphic designer can turn to for inspiration or information on the go.

  1. Behind the Design: Designers on Designing (Design Concepts) by Brian Arnold and Brendan Eddy.  If you want to know the method behind the madness of some of your favorite designers, this audio book offers fantastic insight into the way their minds work.  Each designer is presented in a two-part segment that includes an interview as well as a breakdown of one of their projects, from how they conceived the idea straight on through successful completion.  It won’t teach you how to do graphic design, but it will provide valuable lessons in how the pros do it.
  2. Animation Now! by Julius Wiedermann.  This compendium of modern cartoonists is no joke; if you’re interested in learning about the people responsible for some of the best animation on the market today, this audio book will offer you an inside look at 80+ artists (both independent and from commercial studios), including biographical information and descriptions of some of their award-winning work.  Best of all, it comes with a bonus DVD that contains short films by a handful of these animation wizards.
  3. A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor.  This collaboration between the BBC and the British Museum seeks to tell the story of human history by using just 100 objects from the museum’s collection.  Anyone who knows anything about art realizes that one form necessarily influences others, so it pays to discover how man first created art, what he chose to depict, and how artistic design progressed to the point it’s at today.  Only through a familiarity with the art of ages past can designers hope to create something new and leave their own mark in history.
  4. Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor by Tim Berners-Lee.  It turns out that Al Gore did not, in fact, invent the internet.  It was actually a guy from across the pond that practically nobody has heard of because he made it for free.  And there are few feats of modern design more mind-blowing than the World Wide Web.  In this audio book, Berners-Lee discusses the beginnings of the web, the formation of e-commerce, and the issues facing the internet today (censorship, privacy, etc.).  Anyone interested in any type of design (especially that which lives on the internet) will find this an interesting and informative listen.
  5. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman.  Not every graphic artist is going to end up doing logo design for small business.  Some will tackle animation while others will go into engineering.  And some will even design the objects that people use every day.  This audio book discusses how design is an essential part of ensuring that consumer goods are first and foremost useful (and aesthetically pleasing second).  Since most design happens graphically these days, it behooves any graphic designer to know what makes a product design both useful and appealing.

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for, where you can create the perfect logo design for your business.

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