10 Books That Should Be On Every Web Designer’s Bookshelf


Whether you are an old pro or a novice at web design, there are certain books you should keep around, for reference and for inspiration. Here are ten that are on our own bookshelf here at Pixelita Designs. And we think you should have them too.

  1. Logo Design Love (David Airey) — Even if you aren’t a graphic artist, you should keep this book around for inspiration and ideas.
  2. Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design (A. Clarke) — This is my favorite “how to” book with regard to the art of writing cohesive, functional and beautiful CSS code. Clarke takes you step by step through real world examples and lends his insight into his own development process.
  3. The Web Designer’s Idea Book (Patrick McNeil)— Thumb through this book when you want inspiration to start on a client’s site design. Cleverly organized by color palette and by genre.
  4. The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Volume 2 (Patrick McNeil) — Volume 2 is just as intriguing and inspirational as the first book in the series, and NcNeil has added to the showcase some of the latest and best designs found on the net.
  5. The Zen of CSS Design (Dave Shea; Molly Holzschlag) — From the creator of the much-beloved CSSZenGarden.com web site, this book showcases the myriad designs that can be made merely by clever use of CSS. Pick it up for some inspiration.
  6. CSS Mastery (Andy Budd, Simon Collison, Cameron Moll) — While this book has become just a bit long in the tooth (published in 2006), it still lays the groundwork for solidly coded and perfectly executed CSS.
  7. Digging Into WordPress (Jeff Starr; Chris Coyier) — Whether you build WordPress sites for a living or just have a few hobby sites, and whether you are new to WordPress or, like us, have been at it since it began, this is a must-read.
  8. WordPress 3: Ultimate Security (Olly Connolly) — Again, if you are developing WordPress sites, or even if you just manage a few WordPress-based hobby sites, this book is a must-read.
  9. Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Design (Dan Cedarholm) — An update of Cedarholm’s original Bulletproof Web Design, this book shows why he gets to charge $100 grand for his web design work.
  10. A good dictionary — Think I’m kidding? Nothing destroys a site’s credibility faster than misspelled words, misused words and phrases, and bad grammar. Nuff said.
Joni Mueller has been designing web sites for hire since 2003, when she first blew up her web host's server by insisting on running Greymatter. Since then, Joni has designed for Blogger and Movable Type, TextPattern, WordPress and CMS Made Simple. She lives with her cat and shoe collection in a bucolic old section of Houston called Idylwood. For some strange reason, Joni likes to refer to herself in the third person. When she's not working on web design, she's ordering lawyers around. And blogging about it. Or both.

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