17 Essential Graphic Design Resources

Whenever I need to add to my collection of graphic design resources, knickknacks and educational guides, sometimes I hold off on purchasing to save a little money for a full-fledged shopping spree.

If you’re like me, you’re in luck… My Design Shop carries items that designers drool over – such as Pantone products, typography calendars and posters, books on a plethora of design theory and practice topics, and OnDemand webinars featuring knowledge from leading experts.

Resources for Illustrators

Illusive: Contemporary Illustration and its Context

edited by R. Klanten, H. Hellige

Illustration is undergoing a renaissance today. Photography shaped visual culture for decades, but now illustration is reasserting itself with a vengeance expanding in formats and styles.illusive

Illusive records, accompanies and comments on the present illustration boom and presents a collection of contemporary illustration from around the world, addressing the variety of existing techniques and putting them into context with explanatory text. It features personal designs alongside fashion illustration and commercial work – a diversity that reveals how the medium of illustration functions independently from trends. Get it here.

S4216P (1)Extinct Collection Notebooks

Give your design ideas a home and raise awareness for endangered animals at the same time with the Extinct Collection from Absoloot and the Jane Goodall Institute. Each notebook cover features a different endangered animal, as well as species information and conservation status on the inside cover. Made with environmentally friendly paper, you can contribute to a great cause while also giving yourself a creative space to sketch wireframes, brainstorm, or jot down notes. See more of the designs.

Check out more resources for illustrators.

Typography & Hand Lettering Resources

Typographic Design: Form and CommunicationTypographic Design: Form and Communication

by Rob Carter, Philip B. Meggs, Ben Day, Sandra Maxa & Mark Sanders

Containing up-to-date information on current design trends, Typographic Design: Form and Communication, 6th Edition by Rob Carter, Philip B. Meggs, Ben Day, Sandra Maxa, and Mark Sanders provides a comprehensive look at typography. Because of its versatile nature and presence among several industries including print, video, television, film, packaging, digital design, advertising and more, typography, and having proficient type design skills, is an essential component of every graphic designer’s arsenal.

Take charge of your type design with Hand Lettering Type Takeover, an exclusive collection full of resources that will help you breathe new life into your typography. Utilize the expert instruction of several authors to incorporate hand lettering into your type design, and get the inspiration you need to take your typography to the next level.

IMG_0504 (1)This collection includes 5 hand lettering resources, including DIY Type by Dana Tanamachi, The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe, and Flourish. Banner. Frame. by Von Glitschka. See them all here.

See more typography and lettering resources from MyDesignShop.

Design Business Resources

S3649Business Action Planner for Graphic Designers: A Digital Toolkit for Freelance Graphic Designers Who Want to Get Down to Business

By Corwin Hiebert

The Business Action Planner Toolkit is a self-paced, hands-on resource that you can use to bring structure and focus to your business building efforts.

Created by consultants who specialize in managing and marketing creative freelance businesses, this toolkit takes a fresh look at how talented and emerging business owners can build momentum as they develop their business plans.

The Business Action Planner Toolkit is a non-prescriptive resource designed to decrease the chance of inertia and increase your entrepreneurial momentum. The resources, action steps, and insights are organized more organically than traditional business planning templates and it’s all based on Taendem Agency’s real-world experience helping creative freelancers identify, address, and solve their management and marketing problems. Get it here.

t9131_coverThe Creative Professional’s 2015 MARKETING PLAN+ eCALENDAR To Get The Work You Want

by Ilise Benun

Do you want better clients with bigger budgets who value your creative services? They don’t come knocking on your door. You need a plan to go get them. We’ve got that plan. For 2015, we’ve done the thinking for you in our Creative Professional’s 2015 Marketing Plan + eCalendar.

This simple, entirely downloadable marketing plan will tell you exactly what to do every day — without overwhelming you or your calendar. With all the marketing tools out there for creative professionals, it’s gotten way too complicated (and overwhelming) to figure out what marketing will get your ideal clients to come to you. But…

  • If you want to stop taking whatever clients come along…
  • If you want to make 2015 better than 2014…
  • If you want to stop the marketing paralysis through procrastination…

The Creative Professional’s 2015 Marketing Plan + eCalendar can help. Get it here.

By David Sherwin

From David Sherwin, the man that brought you the best selling Creative Workshop, here comes the business side of being creative! Success by Design is a reference for designers to remind themselves of best practices in the industry. Complex business advice and information is distilled into an easy-to-reference format that’s not meant to be read cover-to-cover, but to answer questions in the moment! Get it here.

Creativity Resources

By Denise Bosler

Among the many regulations of design you often hear are, “follow the rules and color within the lines,” and “only use two fonts on a page and don’t make your logo too complicated.” If you’re tired of hearing the same old restrictions, you’ll love the creative freedom offered by Creative Anarchy by Denise Bosler. Though there are surely rules of good design, it is more important just to know when to follow them and when they can be broken.u7725_3 (1)

Gather tips for throwing design caution to the wind, while also maintaining effective communication so your message is heard, and utilize creative exercises to help you push your work to the next level. Learn how to be strategic when using (or choosing not to use) the rules of graphic design to create stimulating original designs. In addition to design inspiration, you’ll also discover sections specifically devoted to helping you design posters, logos, websites, advertising, publications, and more. Get it here.

By Idris Mootee

In the areas that traditional ways of running a business have failed the corporate world, design thinking has picked up the slack. Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation by Idris Mootee introduces a model of using design thinking that is relevant to and productive for business management, marketing, and design strategies, as well as presents ways to apply design thinking in day to day work. Discover how design thinking can inspire creative solutions to solve complicated business problems, and ultimately transform companies and cultures. Explore the advantages and utilizations of design thinking, learn how the design thinking process can help conquer the eight primary challenges most businesses face, and utilize exercises, activities, and other resources to begin reaping the benefits of design thinking. Get it here.

Information Design Resources

By Steven Heller, Rick Landers

Get an inside look at different designers’ creative processes for making quality infographics withInfographic Designers’ Sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Rick Landers. Through data visualization, talented graphic designers can transform a significant amount of information into stunning infographics that are easily deciphered, engaging, and memorable.


Instead of merely showing the finished products of these inspiring infographics, this guide reveals the private sketchbooks of more than 50 leading graphic designers and illustrators, offering a glimpse into their creative processes. With the brainstorming methods, doodles and drawings, 3D and digital mock-ups, and other entries, this collection reveals the art and craft behind infographic design. Get it here.

Conveying information effectively is undoubtedly a challenge, especially when you’re attempting to make your message stand out among millions of others. How do you engage your audience, whether it’s for a marketing campaign, a business presentation, or some other venture? One way of helping your message get noticed is to utilize the visual language of infographics. The How to Create Great Infographics Ultimate Collection not only clarifies what infographics are, but it also shows you how to create effective infographics, so you not only learn how to create a visually appealing message, but you also discover how to ensure your story, data, or other information is being conveyed productively. See what’s inside.

Logo, Branding & Identity Design Resources

The Logo Brainstorm Book

by Jim Krause

Designing a logo is a fundamental part of graphic design. So wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a logo book out there that did more than just plop hundreds of already finished logos in front of you? That’s where The Logo Brainstorm Book comes in.

From Jim Krause, the author of the wildly popular “Index” series, comes a new take on logo books. Recognizing the challenge a logo presents for a designer, The Logo Brainstorm Bookgoes far beyond the typical logo swipe file. It will help you save time and produce incredible results.

To really know how to design a logo, in a way that doesn’t take forever and leave you with less hair at least, you need to understand the components of a logo. These sections make the design process manageable and systematic (think smarter, not harder). So now, instead of staring at a bunch of awesome logos saying “I wish I thought of that,” you’re seeing a process of inspiration. Get it here.

By Robin Landa

Building a personal brand is about determining the things that make you different from every other designer and shining a big bright spotlight on them. Build Your Own Brand will help you explore, develop, distill and determine a distinctive brand essence, differentiate yourself and create your visual identity and personal branding statement. Get it here.

Color Resources

There’s no doubt that color plays a crucial role in every design project. Despite its importance, many designers find color to be the most frustrating aspect of their work to get exactly right. In this ultimate collection of all things color, you’ll find thirteen resources for helping you rediscover inspiration and creativity in your color design work. From palette-building techniques to color theory, this collection will give you a comprehensive library of resources you can use time and time again. Through the books and videos in this collection, you’ll be able to take a look back through the major milestones in color history and then see how they affect current color communication and trends to make sure you’re making the right decisions in your work. Whether you’re a color enthusiast or simply looking for ideas for your design projects, this collection has something to inspire you. See what’s inside.

By Karen Triedman

In an age of retina and high definition displays, accurate and effective use of color is paramount. Grow in your understanding of how color works, and how you can make it work for your design work with The Ultimate Guide to Color by Karen Triedman. With comprehensive information on color design and over 300 color images, discover a wide range of examples, techniques, inspiration, and solutions to fit your need &#8211 whatever your discipline. Get it here.

Fun Decorative Items for Designers:

Cast of Characters Poster

by Lesli Ink

S3567 (1)My Design Shop is proud to present this limited edition poster from Lesli Ink. Hear from the team:

“Lesli Ink is proud to share our beloved Cast of Characters with you. Each of the 26 letters are custom designed with an abundance of love. This limited edition poster is screen printed in Toronto on deliciously black paper using fancy gold ink. We hope this poster brings you the same joy it brought us in making it!”

The Just Type Weekly Engagement Calendar 2016S3398

Get an inside look at 52 different typefaces with The Just Type Weekly Engagement Calendar 2016, and admire their notable features and characteristics, variations, and design history. Each spread in this weekly planner features a different font, and celebrates the diversity, power of expression, and artistry of each.