Read What Bob Gill Reads & You’ll Be a Better Designer

One of the sites you need to bookmark if you are serious about self-educating on both the latest design trends and classical schools of design, is Designers & Books, which, by the way, also holds an annual fair that features meeting series with authors of the books, special guests on various design topics and, of course, many publishing houses on site that bring a great, almost overwhelming, variety of the books you can buy right there and then, some of which you could have signed by the author in presence. Like I did with the book I got at the last year’s fair “100 Unforgettable Dresses”.


It was a very educational and inspiring event. Here are some of the highlights from it. I also got to meet some of my graphic design icons, like Tom Geismar, whose book on the corporate design and branding “Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Charmayeff & Geismar” I’ve read cover to cover in just one week. (Thank you, mom, for giving it to me on my birthday!)

One of the D&B latest blogs caught my attention because it featured a reading list by Bob Gill, another of my favorites! I can never get enough of his illustrations and conceptual graphic designs for Esquire and his art direction at the Pentagram. So, if you are want to become a better designer, here’s Bob Gill’s Book List:

So, here are the seven books that Bob Gill, who, by the way, is a graduate of School of Visual Arts, 1960, suggests and provides his reasoning for it:

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 2.44.01 PM

I think it is the most interesting book of design ephemera ever compiled.


A collection of the work of an artist whose range of personal visions seems to extend infinitely.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 2.37.46 PMDada: Art and Anti-Art

Richter recreates that boisterous and fantastic movement of Dadaism in wartime Zurich and Paris in the 1920s. This collection, which includes Man Ray, George Grosz, Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, etc., has been a wonderful source of inspiration.

A wonderful example of an entertaining, imaginative, children’s book, that’s actually about something.

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This must be the first graphic novel (published in 1953.) I’ve been an admirerer of Bob’s very personal illustrations and extraordinary ideas ever since.

Magritte’s work, and his thinking, mean more to me than the work and the thinking of any other creative person I’ve ever come across.

Last summer when I was studying with Tony Palladino – a close friend of Bob Gill (and now I see what they have in common) – he gave me his old Magritte book as a gift, which I’m very much cherishing.

Saul Steinberg’s brilliant observations and images of American culture have inspired me and convinced me that, however difficult, it is possible to make a living doing commercial work of a very high standard.

I might add, I agree on all of them, as I’ve had 4 books out of this list, and three are on the way from as we speak…

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