7 Best Design Publications You Should Read in 2023

7 Best Design Publications You Should Read in 2023

Welcome to our round up of some of the most exciting design publications UNITOM has to offer. This list is by no means exhaustive and is in no particular order; we are in the fortunate position of having too many great design books and mags to choose from. These are just a few that we think have something very special to offer. As always, if you want a personalised recommendation from the UNITOM team then our booksellers are on hand to match you up with your perfect book!


1. A Book on Books 

“Whether it is for a simple zine or a weighty tome, book design is underlined by a holistic and thoughtful approach that is all about creating the right tactile experience for the reader.”

We love the interiority of a beautifully designed book that's all about beautifully designed books, and this publication by Victionary spotlights exceptional books from all around the world.

Delving into some of the most innovative publications on the market, expect; interviews with book designers, insights from publishers and booksellers, a celebration of printed matter, a reverence for books as art objects, and lots and lots of breath-taking books. We are really proud that quite a few of the books featured are ones that we stock (some even appear on this list!).



2. A Line Which Forms - Volume 5 

“To reclaim care, we believe that first and foremost, design needs to challenge its own violent past.” - from Does Design Care? - Cherry Ann-Davis

A yearly collection of essays from Design MA students at the London College of Communication. Using graphic design led research, this sharp and complicated book functions as a symposium on the question; ‘Who are we, and who do we care for?”. At the core of this book is a belief that design research should be shared with readers beyond academic institutions, an idea we can get behind!

Essays address the complexities of how care functions in families, communities, and workplaces. Asking; how can care be abused? Who do we deem worthy of care? How can we begin to heal the devastation left in the wake of structural, political, and often violent lack of care towards marginalised populations? This book will take you with it, in its careful search for answers.



3. Graphic Design From ... 

How does graphic design differ from place to place? This exploratory collection from Counterprint Books celebrates creativity in graphic design From Africa, From South Korea, From Scandinavia, From Latin America, From Switzerland, and From Eastern Europe. It would be impossible to represent the full breadth of vibrant design practices, traditions, and studios in each region, but we think these books are a good way to introduce yourself to contemporary graphic designers you might not otherwise have found. These books are almost entirely visual so you can get a sense of global colour, pattern, and typography trends at a glance. Get inspired!


4. How Many Female Type Designers Do You Know?

This unassuming but punchy little book by Yulia Popova takes a look at typography’s gender gap. Offering some much needed insight into the barriers facing women in type, and featuring interviews with some incredible female designers working in the field, this book is a must read for anyone working in or with type.

Read Golnar Kat Rahmani’s insights on the negative stereotyping of the Arabic alphabet and how she combats this with Type & Politics, a project aimed at de-politicising Arabic type. “Just because this is another alphabet, and it is Arabic, and Arabic is related to Islam, it is perceived as dangerous. […] I’m always interested in how we can influence this sad situation and introduce people to new ways of thinking. It breaks down this wall of ignorance.”.

Get to know Loraine Furter, designer of the online database of open-source typefaces designed by women; Badass Libre Fonts by Womxn. “The bottom line is I would like to have a strong network to be able to make women and the feminist topic more present. So, no more all-male panels.” Plus loads more original research and conversations, a timely read! 



5. Brand Magazine 

Brand magazine is an invaluable resource for any designer working in branding, whether it’s for big businesses, indie labels, micro-brands, personal branding, non-profits, or something in-between. We think these two issues are a couple of this mag's best so far! 

Issue 64 - Weather Forecast of Graphic Design focuses on designers making huge (dare I say meteorological) shifts in the climate of graphic design in different cities around the world. Using weather forecasting as a metaphor, this issue functions as a glimpse into the future of graphic design by analysing the workbooks, pre-occupations, and design outputs of the people directing leading studios. “I like things that have a bold and powerful feel but also transport you and intoxicate your senses with color, energy, and playfulness.” -Ali Godil, House of Gül

Issue 65 - Superpowers of Printing leaves no part of the printing process unexamined. From dialogue with technical engineers in printing houses, to subversions of standardised production through printing, paper, and product experiments that relish unpredictability. Think erratic folds, bleeding colours, and bizarre binding!



6. No Magic In Riso - A Bilingual Riso-graph Tool Book 

“Made with 15 RISO colours, 660 masters, 3 fans, 4 people, 74 tubes of soy ink, 695,000 sheets of paper and 2 RISO digital duplicators in 850 working days.”

Equal parts technical and joyful, this book is the culmination of years of experimentation, play, and documentation of risograph printing by O.OO Design and Risograph ROOM. “The color separation methods used in this book are not absolute or “the right way”, because there isn’t one!”

Packed full of colours charts, instructional guides, and printing examples, the result is a detailed guide on RISO from cutting edge printers. Balancing whimsy and specificity, offering granular advice without being overly prescriptive, this is truly a masterclass in tool book design.



7. Citizen First Designer Second 
“Design matters and does have a role to play in the world - but it is often hard to grasp, as being creative usually comes with an inherent sense of inferiority that stops us from understanding our value.” - Rejane Dal Bello

Designer Rejane Dal Bello reflects on her illustrious career, the role of graphic design in society today, and our shared responsibilities to each other in an unjust world. Consisting of bitesize chapters like ‘Design Cannot Make Revolution, Only People Can’ and ‘Making an Image Means You Exist’, alongside examples of Dal Bello’s design work, this book makes for a thought provoking and delightfully digestible read. Perfect if you want an introduction to some design theory that isn’t too dense, this book is more like a series of casual conversations with a knowledgeable and generous friend. Traversing the political and the personal, Dal Bello welcomes you into her life as a designer and offers honesty and insight on the challenges and triumphs that it has brought her, and that it might bring you.



Thank you for reading, we hope you found your next source of design inspiration! You can browse our full range of design magazines and design books in store and online. 

All the prices listed here are correct at the time of posting, but please note that the pricing and availability of these products may fluctuate over time. 

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