The Wingsart Reading List

Whether you’re looking for research or inspiration for your next project, these are my personal book choices to help get you started.

10 Essential Books for the Multi-Skilled Graphic Designer

10 Essential Books for the Multi-Skilled Graphic Designer

My pick of 10 essential books for designers and artists covering type, illustration, motion graphics, business and design history.

Do you have a selection of books that you return to again and again at the start of a new project? Books that continually inspire, serving as both starting point and antidote to the dreaded blank page?

Straight from my own bookshelf, here’s my choice of 10 essential books that I would wholeheartedly recommend to any new designer or seasoned pro.

Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis

Born in New York in 1892, Andrew Loomis was a prolific illustrator working at his peak during the period of 1920 to the late 1940’s. His popular work consisted of elegant illustrations – typically of fashionable young women in serene settings – for commercial advertising, books and mass-market magazines. He was also a highly respected teacher and throughout his career wrote a series of instructional art books starting with Fun With A Pencil in 1939, with five more written over the following twenty years covering all facets of illustration theory and technique…

andrew-loomis-famous artists book
Mid-Century Ads – Advertising from the Mad Men Era Taschen

Mid-Century Ads – Advertising from the Mad Men Era

If, like the rest of the television viewing public you’ve been seduced by the sexy and sophisticated world presented in the excellent HBO series Mad Men, you’ll almost certainly have a growing interest in the real people and advertising from which the show draws its inspiration. Mid-Century Ads – Advertising from the Mad Men Era is a new, double volume coffee table book developed by the New York Times journalist Steven Heller and Taschen Executive Editor Jim Heimann, collecting the best examples of print advertising from the 1950’s and 1960’s…

The Art of Robert E. McGinnis by Art Scott

Featuring work from one of our greatest living artists and member of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, The Art of Robert E. McGinnis is an essential collection for fans pop culture art. Although recognised for his iconic poster illustrations for films such as Breakfast and Tiffany’s, Live and Let Die and Barbarella, it’s the paperback covers that, for me at least, remain his enduring appeal…

Magic Color Flair: The World of Mary Blair

In accompaniment to the Walt Disney Family Museum exhibition Magic Color Flair, John Canemaker provides this fantastic overview of the designer and illustrator Mary Blair. Celebrated for her concept work on Disney features during the 1950s including Alice and Wonderland, Cinderella and Peter Pan, her drawings and paintings display bold, colourful and abstract shapes that…

The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio

With over 350 pages of incredible illustration, The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio represents a masterclass in comic art. Offering comic-book fans and ink-junkies an opportunity to indulge in some of the finest comic art you’re ever likely to see, The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio tells the epic origin story of these two masterful comic creators…

The Art of John Alvin by Andrea Alvin

With the instantly recognisable images for Gremlins, E.T., Blade Runner and Star Wars representing only a small portion of this collection, The Art of John Alvin rightly confirms his position among the greatest movie poster artists of all-time. Courtesy of John Alvin’s wife and collaborator Andrea, this new book from Titan offers fans a long overdue showcase of his incredible body of work…