Book List of the Week

Book List of the Week: Five Designers Inspired by Children’s Books

April 14, 2014

Our contributing designers find inspiration and recall formative moments in reading children’s books. Here are five book lists from our archive that have included books written for children, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Harry Potter. The designers are graphic designers Gail Anderson (featured in our post “Hardcovers and Paperbacks Will Always Rule”) and Angus Hyland (“The Needs of Work and Pleasure”); brand designer and Design Matters host Debbie Millman (“A Self-Portrait”); fashion designer Stephen Burrows (“Memoirs, Magic, and Murder Mysteries”; and landscape designer Margie Ruddick (“Advice for Would-be Landscape Designers—“Major in Literature, of Any Kind”). For more, see all children’s books chosen by designers.

Gail Anderson's Book List

Online design research is helpful and I do love my audio books when I’m driving, but regular old hardcovers and paperbacks will always rule. Books have memories attached to them, the occasional forgotten slips of paper, and sometimes even an earnest childhood signature. My list is comprised of design books I can’t function without, titles that have had lasting meaning for me, and some that overlap both categories.

Stephen Burrows's Book List

As you can see, I prefer books with images and visuals, whether it be through an author’s descriptive words, or a photographer’s camera lens. I also love a good story. The only time I get to read full novels is on vacation . . . and I don’t get very many of those!

Angus Hyland's Book List

Books, books. I seem to spend my life in books, either in their creation or distribution (usually to my local charity shop as I struggle to fit any more into my small house). My policy is to keep only what I actually need or think I might, optimistically, read at some mythical point in the future.

Debbie Millman's Book List

When I was a kid there were lots of rules in my house. One of the most horrific for me at the time was the (very) limited amount of television I was allowed to watch. As a result, I read. And I read a lot. I read books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, and comic books; I even borrowed my mother’s Redbook and Ladies Home Journal, and snuck into my father’s library to read the steamy sections of The Godfather when I was sure that no one would catch me.

Margie Ruddick's Book List

These books have stayed with me for many years, or in some cases almost my entire life—they have formed me, changed my way of thinking, shocked me. All of them have some relation to landscape—that is not because I am so narrowly focused (although I kind of am), but because landscape is everything.

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