reading (and listening) on design / by tyler galloway

books

you will eventually be required to purchase "the elements of typographic style" by robert bringhurst, so might as well dive in now. an excellent book on the details of typography, primarily oriented toward books and longer-form text setting.

i am contemplating requiring "Graphic Design Theory (Graphic Design in Context)" by meredith davis for our applied comm theory class. it will be a great addition to your design library, as it covers a lot of ground on the ideas underpinning how design functions in the world. 

a related book that you may end up having to buy is "typography (graphic design in context)" by denise gonzalez crisp. very thorough and looks at type as a series of systems -- a system of language, a system of production, etc.

most stuff by ellen lupton is well written, engaging, accessible and informative. it's not super deep in terms of theory, but still very smart. check out "thinking with type" (highly recommended from my T1 class), "graphic design thinking: beyond brainstorming", "participate: designing with user-generated content", "beautiful users: designing for people" and "graphic design: the new basics" 

donald norman is an excellent writer and thinker. check out the design of everyday things and basically anything else by him. 

in terms of information design, anything by edward tufte is excellent and well-researched. 

unit editions is cranking out some amazing books on design these days. beautifully designed and well written. fairly pricey but well worth it. 

i'm a big fan of design monographs. here are a few:

"How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh..." by michael beirut (another pentagram partner)

"victore, or who died and made you boss?" by james victore

"make it bigger" by paula scher

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i haven't read this one, but it looks good: 
Women Designers in the USA, 1900-2000: Diversity and Difference

if you are interested in design and social change, as i am, here are a couple of suggestions:

designing for social change by andrew shea (bonus: it has a couple of projects from kcai students in it) 

graphic agitation by liz mcquiston (there is a "one" and a "two" in this series)

design for the real world by victor papanek is an awesome perspective on product design but the attitudes and outlook are very relevant for graphic design. i love this book. 

blogs and podcasts

aiga eye on design
short form reportage on mostly fresh and trendy design stuffs. some good projects and info in here. good for an up-to-the-minute understanding of the designosphere. 

design observer
essays, images, podcasts about all sorts of design topics from some of design's heavy hitting authors. 

brand new
critical reviews of contemporary branding and corporate identity work. 

design matters
basically a bazillion podcast interviews with lots of amazing designers (and other creatives) of all stripes. very well done and great for drive time. 

fpo (for print only)
pretty pictures of all sorts of printed projects that take advantage of the printing process – special inks, papers, folds, die-cuts, bindery, etc. lot of beautiful work, not so much writing.

typographica
type reviews, books, and commentary. smart stuff here.