Design Studio of 


Should I spend more time working or more time reading? Time is relative, and my only answer is to maximize the impact of each by being smart and selective about both. Many of the books on this list have significantly shaped my approach to design, meaningful work, and intentional practice, and I strongly recommend them, especially the first three. It’s a very incomplete list, and I would love to hear others’ suggestions.

  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • De Bono’s Thinking Course by Edward De Bono
  • The Gift by Lewis Hyde
  • Meggs’ History of Graphic Design or Taschen’s History of Graphic Design
  • Wabi-sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren
  • The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton
  • How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built by Stewart Brand
  1. The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan
  2. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  3. Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono
  4. Don’t Make Me Think Steve Krug
  5. The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley (IDEO)
  6. Rick & Dick by Center for Urban Pedagogy
  7. The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
  8. Rework by Jason Fried & 37signals
  9. Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek
  10. Getting to Yes