Collection of Useful E-Books for Web Designers

What Are E-Books

An E-Book is a publication which comes in digital form and is known as an Electronic book, or an E-book, which comes as a book-length publication, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced, published through, and is readable on computers or other electronic devices.

Often times these E-books can be the equivalent of a conventional printed book, since e-books can also be created digitally; however e-books can and do exist without any printed equivalent. They are commercially produced and sold and are usually intended to be read on dedicated e-book readers. However, almost any sophisticated electronic device which features a controllable viewing screen, including computers, most mobile phones, and nearly all smartphones, can also be used to read e-books.

The Benefits of E-Books

Basically, most people prefer the standard method of print for long-form reading, however e-books have gained popularity as a worthy digital alternative to print. Aside from all of the usual benefits of digitized books, such as: faster searches, less page-flipping, linked pages, additional resources, etc., e-books serve as a massive aid to digital and online purposes for web professionals.

Many newer E-Book readers have the ability to display motion, enlarge or change fonts, use Text-to-speech software by which to read the text aloud for visually impaired people, partially sighted, elderly or dyslectic people – or, just for convenience: search for key terms, find definitions, or allow for highlighting, bookmarking and annotation. Additionally, E-Books allow readers to look up words or find more information about a chosen topic immediately. Material can be organized much quicker, and as the author prefers which allows a number of paths through the material.

Comparison Of E Books vs Print

There are E-Books which are available for nearly every aspect of design which range from tasks such as: planning your business and managing your time, to designing web applications, learning and mastering javascript, as well as adaptive ( responsive ) web design. While an E-Book reader costs much more than one book, the electronic texts are sometimes cheaper.

Moreover, a great share of E-Books are available online for free, minus the minimal costs of the electronics required. Also, there are many free samples which are available for a variety of publications, and there are other lending models being piloted as well. E-Books can be printed for less than the price of traditional new books which require new on-demand book printers.

For this article, we are highlighting several of the best free e-books aimed at Designers, with selections available as PDFs or HTML. Let us know which is your personal favorite, or which of these E-Books you have used for any of your purposes, and if you know of any E-Books aimed at design, please drop us your feedback in the comments below.

1. Adaptive Web Design by Aaron Gustafson

adaptive web-design
The web is an ever-changing medium whose scope, application, audience and platform continue to grow on a daily basis. If you’ve worked on the web for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard or even used the term “progressive enhancement.” Since the term’s inception, it has been considered a best practice for approaching web design. But what is it really? And how do we reconcile its meaning with the rapid evolution of the languages and browsers we rely on to do our jobs?

In this brief book, Aaron Gustafson chronicles the origins of progressive enhancement, its philosophy, and mechanisms, and reveals the countless practical ways that you can apply progressive enhancement principles using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

2. The Anatomy of Type

The Anatomy of Type explores one hundred traditional and modern typefaces in loving detail, with a full spread devoted to each entry. The full character set from each typeface is shown, and the best letters for identification are enlarged and annotated, revealing key features, anatomical details, and the finer, often-overlooked elements of type design. Containing in-depth information on everything from the designer and foundry, the year of release, and the different weights and styles available, The Anatomy of Type is more than a reference guide to the intricacies of typeface design. It is a visual send-up of some of the world’s most beloved typefaces, beautifully displayed in vibrant color.

3. Introduction to Good Usability

This guide turns to be handy if you don’t have any knowledge of webdesign yet or if you are involved in webdesign but don’t do any of the real work. This would definitely help you to understand some common interface elements and mistakes people often make with them.

4. Why Design?

What designers offer to clients is a way of thinking. The “Why design?” booklet outlines the role of design in business strategy. It seeks a common framework for why design adds value to clients’ interests.

5. Universal Principles of Design

universal-principal of design
Universal Principles of Design is the first cross-disciplinary reference of design. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, this book pairs clear explanations of the design concepts featured with visual examples of those concepts applied in practice. From the 80/20 rule to chunking, from baby-face bias to Ockham’s razor, and from self-similarity to storytelling, 100 design concepts are defined and illustrated for readers to expand their knowledge.

6. HTML5 Quick Learning Guide

This guide introduces you to just the main elements of HTML5 that you’ll probably want to use right away. This guide is for those who want to get the basics figured out first, and worry about the finer details later on.

7. The Woork Handbook

The Woork Handbook is a free eBook about CSS, HTML, Ajax, web programming, Mootools, Scriptaculous and other topics about web design… directly from Woork!

8. A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web by Mark Boulton

a practical guide to designing
A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web aims to teach you techniques for designing your website using the principles of graphic design.
Featuring five sections, each covering a core aspect of graphic design: Getting Started, Research, Typography, Colour, and Layout. Learn solid graphic design theory that you can simply apply to your designs, making the difference from a good design to a great one.

9. Typographic Web Design by Laura Franz

Typography has long been an invaluable tool for communicating ideas and information. Words and characters once impressed in clay, written on papyrus, and printed with ink are now manifest in pixels of light. Today’s web typographers can help their readers find, understand, and connect with the words, ideas, and information they seek.
Thus, legibility and readability are the foundations for the typographic theories and practice covered in Typographic Web Design. You’ll learn how to choose fonts, organize information, create a system of hierarchy, work with tabular information, create a grid, apply a typographic system across multiple pages, and build a font library.

10. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

First, businesses discovered quality as a key competitive edge; next came service. Now, Donald A. Norman, former Director of the Institute for Cognitive Science at the University of California, reveals how smart design is the new competitive frontier. The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how–and why–some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.

11. Eloquent JavaScript

Eloquent JavaScript is a digital book providing a comprehensive introduction (tutorial) to the JavaScript programming language. Apart from a bookful of text, it contains plenty of example programs, and an environment to try them out and play with them.

12. Type Classification

This book has been made to help you learn the 10 broad classifications of type. These are the basic foundations of what you need to learn to learn typography and it is essential for any designer to know how to classify type.

13. A Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers

This guide provides designers with the proper ways to store and describe their collections in 10 short chapters. The author, Karin van der Heiden, provided the translation.

14. 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design by Steven Heller

100 ideas that changed graphics design
New in the “100 Ideas that Changed…” series, this book demonstrates how ideas influenced and defined graphic design, and how those ideas have manifested themselves in objects of design. The 100 entries, arranged broadly in chronological order, range from technical (overprinting, rub-on designs, split fountain); to stylistic (swashes on caps, loud typography, and white space); to objects (dust jackets, design handbooks); and methods (paper cut-outs, pixelation).

15. How to be Creative

If you’ve ever felt the draw to do something creative but just haven’t been able to pull it together, you’ll love this manifesto. Hugh MacLeod, an advertising executive and popular blogger with a flair for the creative, gives his 26 tried-and-true tips for being truly creative. Each point illustrated by a cartoon drawn by the author himself.

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  1. tommy chheng says:

    Beyond just fine-tuning a web designer’s skills, it could also be helpful to get a basic understanding of how the internet, backend development works.

    I recently wrote an ebook to help non-technical designers understand web technologies:

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