Books that every web designer should own

Published on May 4th, 2009 by admin

Books are the next best thing to attending classes or seminars. Here are some of my favorites.

Don’t Make Me Think:

Don't Make Me ThinkThis book is a classic in the web design industry. It takes a more general approach and talks about web design over all. Every time I read it I learn something new.

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design:

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

This is a great introduction to the fundamentals of web design. It covers layout and composition, color, typography and much more. If you’re a beginner web designer then this is essential reading.

Letting Go of the Words:

Letting Go of The Words

This book describes the way people search for (but not necessarily find) information. For example, it explains the different roles of the home page, pathway pages and content. A great book to get you thinking about web design the right way.


Logo Design WorkbookThis book changed the way I thought about Logo Design. If you’re interested at all in designing logos for your clients then this book is a must have.

Design Patterns:

Design PatternsThis was the first book that took all Object Oriented Design Patterns and cataloged and explained them. This book is for advanced web developers but if your into code then pick this one up!

The Pragmatic Programmer:

The Pragmatic Programmer Another classic in the web development world. This takes a very general approach and introduces you to the fundamental concepts of good code design.

PHP Objects Patterns and Practice:

PHP Objects Patterns and PracticeThough it’s not as comprehensive as Design Patterns it’s easier to read and has a wonderful section that details some of the best work practices as a php professional.

Learning JQuery 1.3:

Learning Jquery 1.3JQuery is a javascript framework that dramatically simplifies the way you code javascript. If you want to start building AJAX applications fast then you must, simply must get this book!

CSS: The Definitive Guide:

CSS: The Definitive GuideIf you’re interested in learning Cascading Style Sheets (and if you consider yourself a web developer then you should be) then this is the single best source for learning CSS.


MySQLI’ve found that it’s hard to find a good book stricly about MySQL. Well here it is, book found. At over 1,000 pages it covers everything you would ever want to know about MySql.

Reference Books:

You have to get some reference material! Believe it or not but searching on the internet for the solution can often take more time than just looking through the index of the right book.

The good news is reference books are cheap! You can purchase all of the books below for less than $50.

HTML & XHTML Pocket Reference

HTML and XHTML Pocket ReferenceThis book lists out every html tag alphabetically which makes finding information a snap. It also has a great character list in the back for easy access.

CSS Pocket Reference

CSS Pocket ReferenceNot only is this a great reference it also has 30 pages of killer information about the concepts of CSS and how it works.This was written by Eric Meyer, one of the most respected names in CSS development.

MySQL Pocket Reference

MySQL Pocket ReferenceA great reference that explains datatypes, the SELECT syntax and other common functions.

Adobe AIR for Javascript Developers Pocket Guide

Adobe AIR for Javascript Developers Pocket ReferenceThis is a MUST HAVE if you’re going to be packaging and running web applications on the desktop. It explains how to debug and package an application as well as provides an excellent reference about the API.

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